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Isabel Guzmán, SBA Administrator.
The SBA administrator made the announcement. Photo: @SBAIsabel.

SBA announces its Small Business Investment Companies of the Year

The winners will be formally recognized during the National Small Business Week Awards Ceremony.

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During the recent Women's Business Summit 2023, which took place in Washington D.C. between March 27 and March 28, some awards were also announced as a prelude to the National Small Business Week Awards Ceremony, taking place on April 30 to May 6. The winners announced were those the SBA will award as the Small Business Investment Companies of the Year.

The Small Business Investment Companies of 2023

SBA Administrator Isabel Guzmán said:

Congratulations to these recipients for helping advance our economy by funding  so many high-growth enterprises over the past year.

Guzmán announced Stonehenge Community Impact Fund, LP of Columbus, Ohio, and Balance Point Capital Partners, L.L.C. of Westport, Connecticut, as the 2023 Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) of the Year.

The two funds, along with other national winners and finalists for the National Small Business Person of the Year, will be recognized on Sunday, April 30 and Monday, May 1 during the official awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“SBA’s 2023 Small Business Investment Company of the Year awards honor two investment companies that have shown exceptional dedication to their missions, a successful track record, and unwavering support for expanding capital access to small businesses across the Nation, especially in underserved and often under-capitalized markets,” added Guzmán.

Get to know the winners

This year's awards were given in two categories — Emerging Manager and Established Manager, to recognize the funds' dynamic work in the program.

2023 SBIC of the Year - Emerging Manager

Name of Fund: Stonehenge Community Impact Fund, LP

Fund Manager: L’Quentus Thomas, Senior Managing Director

Location: Columbus, Ohio

2023 SBIC of the Year - Established Manger

Name of Fund: Balance Point Capital Partners, LLC

Fund Manager: Seth Alvord, Managing Partner  

Location: Westport, Connecticut

To learn more about the companies, click here.

Exporter of the Year

The SBA also announced that North Carolina-based Sciencix as the 2023 Small Business Exporter of the Year.

“With a growing list of clients around the globe, Sciencix has put SBA’s trade tools to work to grow and diversify their revenue and reap the many other benefits of international trade,” said Guzmán.

Founded in 1985, Sciencix manufactures high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry parts, with uses including drug testing, contamination analysis, pesticide detection, and more.

Headquartered in North Carolina with a manufacturing facility in Minnesota, Sciencix Owner Raj Bhandari, Operations Manager Ranjan Karki, and Global Marketing Director Lisa Bamford oversee the company's team of 25 employees.

“We are pleased to recognize Sciencix as the 2023 Small Business Exporter of the Year. The company’s hard work and passion have led them to find success both domestically and abroad, and we are pleased to see that funding from the SBA’s STEP grant program played a role in growing their international sales,” said Gabriel J. Esparza, associate administrator for International Trade. 

With the support of the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), an SBA resource partner, Sciencix secured $24,000 in SBA State Business Expansion Program (STEP) grants in 2021.

As a result, exports now account for a third of Sciencix's total sales, representing a 10% increase over 2020, the year before STEP funding was secured.

Today, its products support research laboratories in more than 100 countries on all continents.

“As we mark National Small Business Week this year, I am delighted to congratulate Sciencix owner Raj, and team leaders Ranjan and Lisa, for using the tools and resources available to them to grow their innovative business worldwide. Their powerful example shows how helping America’s small businesses start or grow their exports can create opportunity while driving competition and innovation,” said Guzmán.

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