Optimal evaluated four Small Business Administration programs using logic models to determine outcomes

Date: September 1, 2020

A logic model provides a visual likeness of the key program pathways linking program components to short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. The purpose of a logic model is to define a program’s theory of change by showing how the program’s underlying assumptions, strategies, resources, activities, and contextual factors are expected to lead to the desired outcomes. Optimal prepared logic models for the four SBA programs: 1) Small Business Development Centers, 2) Microloan Program, 3) Women’s Business Centers (WBC), and 4) SCORE. The SBA developed a framework that emphasizes the importance of developing logic models to provide the foundation for successful program evaluations.

The logic models served as the core tool for the programs’ evaluation. Optimal has worked with SBA to evaluate different programs over the years, including the 7(a) Loan Program, SBDC, SCORE, WBC, the 8(a) Business Development Program, 7(j) Training, Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone), and other programs. Optimal is familiar with the programs’ resources, activities, outputs, outcomes, key performance metrics, and strategic performance objectives. Optimal developed further insights on the programs’ intended outcomes and impacts. Optimal continues to build on existing logic models for these programs, further refining them based on SBA suggestions and the recent legislative mandates.

For more details review the SBA Framework and Guidelines for Program Evaluation.


Optimal Solutions Group, LLC 

Founded in 2000, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC, is a nonpartisan public policy research and data analytics firm located at the University of Maryland’s Discovery District in College Park.  Optimal employees have varied backgrounds in such fields as public policy, computer science, data science, economics, education, health, housing, sociology, statistics and information management.