The SBA's microloan program is meant to provide relatively small loans (an average of $13,000 per borrower) to people who want to set up their own small businesses. This is seen as an important program because small businesses are important sources of jobs in our economy.
The SBA does not loan directly to the borrower. Instead, the SBA makes money available to non-profit intermediary lenders. These are local groups that do not just lend money but also provide technical assistance to people who want to start small businesses.
The purpose of these loans and this assistance is to make it more likely that entrepreneurs will be able to successfully start small businesses. This should help the vitality of the local economies and, by extension, that of the whole country.