Delaney Hosts Entrepreneurship Workshop in Rockville

Dec 15, 2015
Press Release
Over 250 attend workshop featuring business leaders, entrepreneurs and advocates

ROCKVILLE - Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) hosted an Entrepreneurship Workshop Monday at the Universities of Shady Grove. Over 250 attended the workshop, which provided constituents with a one-stop-shop to meet with entrepreneurs and federal, state and local business organizations and advocates. The event featured Cabinet member Maria Contreras-Sweet, the top official and Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Rep. Delaney founded and led two successful businesses and is the only former CEO of a publicly-traded company in the House of Representatives. Delaney received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and his business, CapitalSource, provided over 5,000 small and mid-sized businesses with access to capital, helping them grow.

“Small businesses are jobs engines, innovation injectors and are essential to a strong economy and that’s why it’s so important that we encourage entrepreneurship,” said Congressman Delaney. “Before coming to Congress, I was proud to work with entrepreneurs around the country and to provide capital to help thousands of businesses grow and create jobs. In Maryland and across the country, the talent is there, the expertise is there and the dedication is there, but we have to do more to help entrepreneurs succeed. To encourage small business growth, we need the right federal policies, we need the right state and local policies and we need to listen to business leaders and this workshop is designed to bring those voices together. My message to aspiring business owners is that you are not alone. I’d like to thank Administrator Contreras-Sweet for coming to Rockville to meet with my constituents and thank all the individuals and organizations that participated. The overwhelming turnout for today’s event shows that there is tremendous interest in entrepreneurship in Maryland and we should remain focused on creating the next generation of business leaders.”

“Entrepreneurship is an essential ingredient for economic growth, a pathway out of poverty and a powerful tool for people to harness their talents,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Part of the SBA’s mission is to create the right ecosystem for small businesses to succeed and thrive.  I appreciate Rep. Delaney’s invitation to meet with Maryland small business owners in Rockville to hear their stories firsthand and examine how we can make SBA even more responsive to America’s entrepreneurs.”

The workshop was the eleventh hosted by Delaney this year.

Attendees and panel participants included:

  • SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet
  • Ann Marie Mehlum, Associate Administrator of Capital Access, SBA
  • Antonio Doss, District Director, SBA Washington Metropolitan Area District Office
  • Jimmy Rhee, Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs
  • George H. Harrop, Managing Director of Small Business Lending, PacWest
  • Christy Wyskiel, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures
  • Pinky Rodgers, Founder Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape
  • The United States Patent Office
  • The Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs
  • Maryland Women’s Business Center
  • Maryland Small Business Development Center
  • The Maryland Minority Business Enterprise
  • The Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Program
  • The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce
  • The Montgomery County Local Small Business Reserve Program
  • City of Gaithersburg Office of Economic Development

Maria Contreras-Sweet became the 24th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a member of President Obama’s cabinet on April 7, 2014. SBA is charged with supporting America’s small businesses, which create nearly two out of three net, new private-sector jobs in our economy and employ half of our nation’s private-sector workforce. Contreras-Sweet entered the private sector as the only female executive for Westinghouse’s 7-Up/RC Bottling Company and founded a successful community bank in California, focused on financing small- and mid-size businesses, especially the region’s underserved entrepreneurs.