Start-up Resources

When it comes to starting a business in Downtown Houston, entrepreneurs to take notice. Take for example our thriving economy and flourishing downtown innovation district designed to encourage collaboration. Whatever the attraction, small businesses and entrepreneurs are excited about the opportunities, but we know that taking the leap can be a big transition, which is why our supportive small business community will always have your back. Whether you’re searching for help getting started on a business plan, sources of capital to fund your start-up, government contracting opportunities or minority resources and programs, we’re here to help.

U.S. Small Business Administration

U.S Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America’s future, and to helping the United States compete in today’s global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses

Small Business Development Centers

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace. SBDCs are hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and funded in part through a partnership with the Small Business Administration.

SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners a variety of free business consulting and low-cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, market research help, 8(a) program support and healthcare guidance.


Score is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Score is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a network of 10,000 volunteers.

Small Business Forums

State of Texas Governor’s Small Business Forums, sponsored by the Texas Governor’s Office, the Texas Workforce Commission and local partners, are designed to give entrepreneurs and small businesses valuable tools, skills, and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s fast-paced economy. Featuring a wide range of instructive seminars and expert speakers offering vital information on both public and private resources, the forums provide a great opportunity to network and connect with industry specialists, government officials, service providers and other regional businesses.

Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship established by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 and housed within the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) aims “to foster innovation and the commercialization of new technologies, products, processes, and services with the goal of promoting productivity and economic growth in the United States.” OIE operates two primary initiatives that focus on increasing the rate at which innovations, including federally-funded research, are translated into jobs and economic growth and on promoting and supporting high-growth entrepreneurship.