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Eversheds Sutherland and the Small Business Investor Alliance look forward to hosting the 21st Annual BDC Roundtable on September 17 - 18, 2024.

We hope you will join us in Washington, DC alongside BDC executives, regulators, asset managers and fund sponsors as we explore the latest developments impacting the BDC industry. Registration will open this summer.
To see highlights from the 2023 Roundtable, please view this recap.

About Business Development Companies

In 1980, when the U.S. was dealing with high unemployment and an energy crisis, Congress created the BDC structure to boost economic growth by increasing access to capital for American businesses. BDCs are a job-creating engine that provide access to capital to middle market companies that are not yet large enough to access broad capital markets, but require more capital for growth than banks can provide. By investing in either debt or equity of small and mid-sized businesses, BDCs enable nascent companies to purchase things such as land, equipment, and factories. This financing helps the businesses expand and create jobs. The more capital there is available to BDCs means more American small businesses have the opportunity for growth.


BDCs invest in private businesses that are not ready or do not intend to be publicly traded themselves but need access to capital.

The BDC industry continues to grow rapidly and as of 2023 there were 139 BDCs with over $312 billion in AUM investing in small- and medium-sized businesses across the country. BDCs are currently held by the following types of investors:

    • 50% Individuals
    • 30% IRAs
    • 20% Institutions

Created in 1980 with overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support, Business Development Companies (BDCs) are job-creating engines that provide access to capital for American small- and medium-sized businesses. 

Federal Regulation & Compliance

Business development companies are closed-end investment companies that have elected to be regulated as BDCs under the Investment Company Act of 1940, and are therefore regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Externally-managed BDCs must be advised by a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Unlike other investment companies, BDCs function like traditional operating companies and are also subject to the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the listing standards of the national securities exchange on which their shares of common stock are listed, if any.


The benefit of partnering with a BDC is two-fold: All types of BDCs fill the access to capital gap for thousands of smaller businesses, and public BDCs unlock attractive investment opportunities for everyday individual investors – in other words, you do not need to be extremely wealthy or an investment professional to benefit from investing in the long-term growth of small private companies, simply buy BDC stock.


By The Numbers

There are currently 139 BDCs with over $312 billion in AUM investing in small- and medium-sized businesses across the country.

There are 48 publicly traded BDCs with $141 billion in aggregate assets, allowing ordinary investors a chance to purchase shares in the growth of middle market America.

There are 50 private BDCs with $40 billion in aggregate assets.

There are 41 non-traded BDCs with aggregate assets of $130 billion

BDC Investing

As investors seek more yield-oriented investments, business development companies have become increasingly popular, particularly for asset managers who can seed a new portfolio with performing investments.  The BDC structure also offers retail or Main Street investors the opportunity to invest in smaller U.S. companies that otherwise only high net worth investors would be able to access. This helps to close both the investment opportunity gap and the capital gap. BDCs have provided good returns to investors compared to traditional fixed income investments. Non-traded BDCs are sold through broker-dealer channels similar to non-traded REITs, and private BDCs, which are typically launched by a manager with access to qualified and accredited investors and is sold through a private placement.

BDCs invest more than 70% of their total assets in “eligible portfolio companies,” which are generally defined as public and private U.S. operating companies valued at under $250 million.

BDCs and the Small Business Investor Alliance

The Small Business Investor Alliance is recognized as the “go-to” resource for Congress and regulators on issues pertaining to BDCs and their investors. In March 2017, after SBIA’s multi-year education campaign “BDCs Work for America,” legislation modernizing BDC regulation was signed into law. The legislation allows the BDC industry to provide billions of dollars in additional growth capital to American small businesses through streamlined regulations and an optional increase in the leverage ratio. Every year, SBIA engages in hundreds of meetings with regulators and members of Congress to educate policymakers on the impact of BDCs.

BDC News Feed

BDC Success Stories

Encore Dredging Partners – League City, TX

Encore Dredging Partners (EDP) was founded to be the premier mid-sized cutter suction and mechanical dredging services provider focused on navigable waterways throughout the United States. With over 75 years of combined dredging and marine infrastructure services experience in the leadership team, EDP delivers quality services to a diverse client base of private owners and…

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Sokol & Company – Countryside, IL

Sokol & Company was founded in 1895 and headquartered in Countryside, Illinois. Sokol is a SQF Level III certified wet-fill manufacturer of food ingredients and retail-ready food products. Sokol serves a nationwide group of food manufacturers, retail brands, and retail grocers and produces sauces, dressings, marinades, glazes, frostings, pastes, ice cream ribbons and bases, fudge,…

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National Trench Safety – Houston, Texas

National Trench Safety is the largest independent provider of trench shoring and safety solutions in the U.S. The company offers rentals of underground equipment and trench safety products – including excavation braces, aluminum trench boxes and road plate – that are used for infrastructure maintenance and construction across a wide range of end markets. Founded…

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Genex Services – Wayne, Pennsylvania

Now an Enlyte Company Genex was founded in 1978 with the same directive it operates under today – helping injured workers return to their jobs in a safe and efficient manner through compassionate case management, thus reducing health care costs and disability expenses for customers. Now part of Enlyte — the parent company of Mitchell,…

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Momentum Telecom – Birmingham, Alabama

Momentum Telecom was founded in 2001 as a business telephone provider.  It has since expanded through several key acquisitions to become one of the top providers of fully integrated data and voice services to broadband providers as well as a leading provider in the hosted VoIP industry. Stellus Capital Investment Corporation has been investor in…

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Televerde – Phoenix, Arizona

Televerde is a global demand generation company that provides sales and marketing solutions to help clients generate demand and nurture leads. Services include Marketing Technology Services, Strategic Engagement Planning, Data Intelligence, Demand Generation & Teleservices, and Inside Sales. The company started out in a small trailer based at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Phoenix prison…

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Easy Ice – Marquette, Michigan

Easy Ice is a provider of ice machine service contracts serving over 8,000 customers across 46 states. Easy Ice is the only national company offering a comprehensive subscription service for commercial ice machines that includes all repairs, preventative maintenance and more. “We are thrilled to have Saratoga continue as our strategic partner with an increased…

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Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing – Houston, TX

Located in the 29th Congressional district of Texas, with offices and operations in other Congressional districts in Texas and Oklahoma District Representative, Sylvia Garcia Centre Technologies (Centre or the Company) ( is a mission critical information technology solutions provider primarily focused on small and medium sized businesses. Centre’s suite of solutions is a unique combination of…

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Centre Technologies – Houston, TX

Centre Technologies (Headquartered in Houston, TX) Located in the 29th Congressional district of Texas, with offices and operations in other Congressional districts in Texas and Oklahoma District Representative, Sylvia Garcia Centre Technologies (Centre or the Company) ( is a mission critical information technology solutions provider primarily focused on small and medium sized businesses. Centre’s suite of…

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OnAsset Intelligence – Irving, Texas

OnAsset Intelligence is the global leader in supply chain asset management. While most asset tracking technologies focus on tracking a vehicle, trailer, or container — the proxy for what shippers care about — OnAsset’s family of technologies work together to monitor individual items within a shipment. Complete business intelligence from the dock door, to the…

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