The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is partnering with credit card company Visa to host a hackathon for Small Business Week later this month.  The event will take place over the course of a week and feature a $10,000 prize for the winner.  According to Fedscoop, the idea “according to the challenge website, is for participants to build a “game changing new tool” to help small businesses with their financial management.”

Hackathon participants will use SBA data, Visa application programming interfaces (APIs) and more to build tools that can help small businesses find banking options, optimize cash flow and more. Available SBA datasets include ones on disaster lending, lending institutions in various regions and more. Visa, meanwhile, as a specific small business API within its developer portal.

This will be the first time the SBA will host a hackathon event during Small Business Week and, in my opinion, is much needed.  While I still think Small Business Week should be held during Small Business Saturday to maximize its effect, I do believe events like this are a great way for the organization to engage its potential clients.  After a recent article we wrote about 80% of small businesses never visiting their local SBA office, it is clear the only way things will change is if the government agency goes out to connect with small firms.