The Debenture Small Business Investment Company Program

Research Report

The Debenture Small Business Investment Company Program

A Comparative Analysis of Investment Patterns with Private Venture Capital Equity

Abstract

The SBIC program provides venture capital and mezzanine finance to start-up and expanding small businesses through SBICs, and is intended to fill the gap in smaller debt/equity financings, and to expand the reach of venture capital into underserved urban and rural markets. We find that debenture SBIC investments varied substantially from comparable private venture capital. Total financings by SBICs are much less likely to be in high-tech industries than those made by venture capital firms, are more dispersed regionally, and appear more likely to be in low- and moderate-income areas.

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