(WASHINGTON) – The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced grant funding and the historic launch of 20 new Women’s Business Centers (WBC) across America to serve rural, urban, and underserved communities alike.
The opening of the 20 new WBCs is the largest single expansion of WBCs across America in its 30-year tenure, and these centers will be pivotal to the success of women-owned businesses as they continue to recover during this time.
The WBCs will be hosted in rural and underserved markets and widen the footprint and partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
“Over the past several months, we have seen Women’s Business Centers provide aid to our nation’s innovative and determined entrepreneurs, allowing countless small business owners to pivot with confidence to stay afloat during the pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Expanding the WBC program is part of this Administration’s longstanding commitment to the success of female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses. Adding these new Women’s Business Centers to the already existing network of centers across America will boost timely resources to our nation’s female economic drivers, providing them with local training and counseling.”
SBA’s WBCs are a national network of 136 centers that offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing, and procurement.
“Opening the doors to the new Women’s Business Centers is crucial to the vitality of women-owned small business owners. This network expansion will provide female entrepreneurs with the resources they need to start, grow, and expand their businesses,” said Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development Allen Gutierrez. “We look forward to the continued success of the WBC program as it contributes to the overall health of our economy and creates jobs in their local communities.”
In addition to opening these 20 new WBCs, SBA will launch Ascent, a free digital e-learning platform geared to help women entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses. A live webinar is scheduled for Thursday, January 7, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET. Register here.
The 20 WBCs will begin opening on January 1, 2021, in the following states:
1. Regional Economic Assistance for Communicating Hope (REACH) Catalyst Women’s Business Center – Clanton, Alabama
2. Chicanos Pro La Causa, Inc. (CPLC’s) Women’s Business Center – Phoenix, Arizona
3. El Pajaro Regional Women’s Business Center – Monterey, California
4. Mission Community Women’s Business Center serving Kern County – Bakersfield, California
5. Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) Savannah Women’s Business Center – Savannah, Georgia
6. Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) WBC South – Portland, Maine
7. Women’s Business Center at Jackson State University (HBCU) – Jackson, Mississippi
8. New Growth Women’s Business Center, West Central – Springfield, Missouri
9. Missoula Women’s Business Center – Missoula, Montana
10. GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center (GNWBC) – Omaha, Nebraska
11. Women’s Enterprise and Development, Mid-Hudson – Hudson, New York
12. Winston Salem State University (WSSU) Women’s Business Center (HBCU) – Winston Salem, North Carolina
13. Women’s Business Center of Central Appalachia – Portsmouth, Ohio
14. Women’s eBusiness Center of Excellence – Erie, Pennsylvania
15. The Women’s Business Center South – Memphis, Tennessee
16. South Carolina Women’s Business Center – Charleston, South Carolina
17. South Dakota Women’s Business Center (East) – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
18. Women’s Business Center of Montgomery County, East Harris County, and West Chambers County – Houston, Texas
19. Women’s Business Center of Richmond – Richmond, Virginia
20. Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Southwest – La Crosse, Wisconsin
To learn more about SBA’s programs and services for women entrepreneurs, visit online at www.sba.gov/women, and to find other WBC locations and SBA resources, visit www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance.