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Small Business Administration

Helping female entrepreneurs succeed


To further their mission of helping small businesses succeed, the Small Business Administration (SBA) needed a learning platform focused on female entrepreneurs. As a subcontractor to Fearless, we were brought in to deliver a technical solution that maximizes the use of an existing open-source-software product without limiting the flexibility needed to deliver a unique user experience.

A woman sitting at her desk and using an online learning website.

The challenge

Female entrepreneurs start and own nearly half of all businesses in the U.S., employ 9.4 million workers, generate $1.9 trillion in revenue, and represent all industries. To help elevate their success, the SBA launched Ascent, a free online learning platform based on an existing open-source content management system (CMS) called Brightspot. A critical challenge was leveraging Brightspot in such a way as to not only avoid constraining the design of the user experience to what’s available “out-of-the-box,” but also to avoid the nightmare of having to maintain a “custom-off-the-shelf-software” product.

The solution

As a subcontractor to Fearless, our team provided additional technical leadership around how best to address this challenge. In particular, we helped architect and engineer a custom API wrapper that programmatically makes calls into Brightspot, thereby leveraging its full feature set in an independent way. This approach gave them the power to create a curated learning experience for female entrepreneurs.

The results

  • Demonstrated via a spike solution that a customized API would not only work with Brightspot, but would also provide a robust front-end development resource for the SBA
  • Delivered 11 modules of working content, including video, audio, downloadable worksheets, interactive self-assessments, and more
  • Released to the public in January 2021

Let’s deliver together.

However bold the idea or complex the problem, we work with you
to deliver results in weeks, not years.