5:00 pm Registration and welcome coffee
6:00 pm Introduction by Francisco Veloso
6:05 pm Panel Discussion by Karen G. Mills and Ramana Nanda
6:45 pm Q & A
7:00 pm Drinks Reception
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. They are the biggest job creators and offer a path to the American Dream. But for many, it is difficult to get the capital they need to operate and succeed. In the Great Recession, access to capital for small businesses froze, and in the aftermath, many community banks shuttered their doors and other lenders that had weathered the storm turned to more profitable avenues. For years after the financial crisis, the outlook for many small businesses was bleak. But then a new dawn of financial technology, or “fintech,” emerged. Beginning in 2010, new fintech entrepreneurs recognized the gaps in the small business lending market and revolutionized the customer experience for small business owners. Instead of Xeroxing a pile of paperwork and waiting weeks for an answer, small businesses filled out applications online and heard back within hours, sometimes even minutes. Banks scrambled to catch up. Technology companies like Amazon, PayPal, and Square entered the market, and new possibilities for even more transformative products and services began to appear. In Fintech, Small Business & the American Dream, former U.S. Small Business Administrator and Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, Karen G. Mills, focuses on the needs of small businesses for capital and how technology will transform the small business lending market.
Karen Gordon Mills is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School and a leading authority on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation. She was a member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, serving as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration from 2009 to 2013, and is an expert on the economic health and well-being of the nation’s small businesses.
Mills earned an AB in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She is a recipient of the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, and is a frequent guest on news outlets, including Bloomberg radio and TV, and opinion writer, with recent placements in Fortune, Forbes, The Hill, Harvard Business Review and American Banker..