There Goes Scott Shane Again…

By Charles H. Green

Scott Shane, a professor of entrepreneur studies at Case Western Reserve University did it again – it’s like he can’t say anything about the Small Business Administration unless it’s in a negative light. His most recent comments came in an Entrepreneur Magazine article where he takes new Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet to task for rebuffing the House Small Business Committee’s critique of SBA’s educational initiatives.

The dispute was triggered by the SBA’s efforts to reallocate funds from its Small Business Scott ShaneDevelopment Center (SBDC) and SCORE programs to an educational program for owners of larger and older small businesses and a program to fund new business accelerators. The change means the agency will allocate fewer of its resources to helping micro-entrepreneurs start businesses.

And as everyone knows, the real fight isn’t about money. It’s about who should decide the agency’s direction and what principles should guide their choices. What’s disappointing is that the traditional agency supporters, like Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), whose participation in this mudslinging proves that too many members are more concerned about getting control and credit than progress.

“Congress, not government bureaucrats, should decide what types of small-business support programs this country should have,” writes Shane.

It’s curious to me that someone who’s piled up an impressive list of scholarly works in this field takes such a consistently negative position against SBA in the face of their accomplishments and support for Main Street businesses. Shane, who’s suggesting that Congress can do anything better than an average high school graduate, should spend more time in their gallery.

Shane went along with this committee’s efforts to ‘make news’ and I believe traded some credibility in the process.

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