Mandatory minimum length: None specified by SBA
Mandatory maximum length: None specified by SBA
Recommended length: To ensure you include enough detail aim to write more than one page.
Topics You Should Address in Your Narrative Statement of Economic Disadvantage:
1. How economic disadvantage harmed or constrained your education
2. Economic disadvantage you experienced at past jobs as an employee
3. How you and your business have experienced economic disadvantage in the American marketplace
Other Related Tips:
- “Disadvantaged” does not mean “destitute.” Your narrative statement must discuss financial hurdles, challenges, and obstacles that have held you back from success and growth, but it should not imply that your company is on the verge of imminent collapse or that you are financially irresponsible.
- All experiences described must have occurred in the United States and not in other nations.
- Provide enough detail about each example for credibility, including names, dates, places, dollar amounts, contract numbers, etc.
The GCS Inc. narrative statement of economic disadvantage writing guide containing real and SBA-approved examples is available for purchase and immediate secure access via email through our shop, www.8aapplication.com
For more information or writing help, GCS Inc. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of luck to you and your disadvantaged small business as federal fiscal year 2013 begins on October 1st!
One of our clients recently provided us with an SBA 8(a) application narrative he generated himself using an automated software product, and to our horror, the resulting narrative developed by the software system contains numerous remarks and data points that blatantly violate a wide array of SBA 8(a) program rules!
The software product was supposedly intended to help disadvantaged business owners by automating the narrative writing process for them and thus saving them time, yet the narratives generated by this software system can potentially ruin an entire 8(a) application by providing the SBA with remarks that defy 8(a) program rules and extraneous comments that completely invalidate the personal disadvantage examples provided.
Use caution if you decide to use a software product to automatically create your 8(a) narrative for you–the resulting narrative might not represent you or your experiences in a positive light.
At this time we cannot recommend any automated 8(a) narrative writing software products to you because the risk posed by these systems is just too great.
Nothing compares to a personal 8(a) narrative you thoughtfully craft yourself, one that describes in honest detail the real discrimination, disadvantage, and economic hardship you have faced in your education and career.
Take the time to compose your SBA 8(a) narrative carefully, thoughtfully, and deliberately–the benefits of 8(a) certification make it worth your time and effort, and you want to give the SBA an honest, personal narrative that realistically portrays the challenges you have faced as a business owner.
This post, originally authored in 2010, has been updated for 2014.
Yes, Caucasian woman owned businesses can get 8(a) certified, but it is extremely rare.
A Caucasian woman business owner can get 8(a) certified if she can conclusively demonstrate to the Small Business Administration that she has suffered chronic, pervasive discrimination and social disadvantage that has harmed her education and her career, including her small business ownership. (This answer assumes that the applicant meets all of the other 8[a] program criteria, such as economic disadvantage and length of time in business.)
A Caucasian woman 8(a) applicant will have to provide the SBA with a lengthy and detailed social disadvantage narrative containing multiple specific incidents and/or patterns of discrimination from her life, her education and her career. Without multiple examples of discrimination, the SBA will not likely deem the applicant to be “socially disadvantaged.”
The narrative will have to be supplemented with additional evidence of discrimination, such as loan denial letters, payroll records, performance reviews from past jobs, or other documentation. (You do not, however, need to supply the SBA with court records. )
Here is a recent list published by the SBA of forms of evidence the SBA will accept to supplement your personal disadvantage narrative; you can view the most recent list online at www.sba.gov:
- payroll records
- personnel records
- rejection letters on job applications
- documents relating to rejected contract offers, i.e., bid abstracts, solicitations, etc.
- meeting records or related records that document conversations, negotiations, telephone calls, etc.
Again, the key to 8(a) eligibility for a Caucasian woman business owner is to provide the SBA with multiple documented examples of discrimination in business, in career and in education.
One form of documentation a Caucasian woman applicant must provide the SBA is a personal narrative explaining how repeated incidents and patterns of discrimination have harmed her advancement in education, career and business.
The term the SBA uses to describe its burden of proof for Caucasian woman business owners is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard, and this standard of evidence is very high.
A recent court case summarized by attorney Steven Koprince, however, offers hope that more Caucasian women might get their businesses 8(a) certified in the future; however, the SBA has not yet shown any tangible evidence of changing its behaviors when it comes to how the agency treats 8(a) applications from Caucasian women.
If you are confused about the Small Business Administration 8(a) application narrative requirements and cannot determine what information you are supposed to provide as a part of your 8(a) application, take a look at this quick, visual decision matrix developed by Government Certification Specialists Inc. to find out which narratives you are supposed to include inside your application:
This 8(a) narrative flowchart asks you a few basic questions and in turn determines which 8(a) narratives you are required to provide to the SBA.
While you are certainly encouraged to write your own 8(a) narrative, Government Certification Specialists Inc. is available to do the writing for you if you are tied up running your own business or need some 8(a) narrative help.
We will ask you a series of personal questions to elicit biographical data about your background, then our professional technical writers will compose a multi-page, richly detailed narrative that accurately describes your experiences and meets Small Business Administration 8(a) program criteria.
If you prefer to write your own 8(a) narrative, but you still want some samples and a detailed guide to help you, try the SBA 8(a) Narrative Kit by GCS Inc. that is available for purchase and immediate download at www.8anarrative.com.