ICYMI: On Equal Pay Day, See What Americans Are Saying About SBA Efforts to Empower Women Entrepreneurs

With 140 Women’s Business Centers Around the Nation, Agency’s Investment in Women-Owned Small Businesses Is at Its Highest Levels

Washington, March 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Equal Pay Day and during Women’s History Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is highlighting its support of women entrepreneurs and an array of resources to help them fulfill their dreams of opening their own thriving businesses. Women entrepreneurs have shown how critical their contributions are to the American story and the historic growth of President Biden’s economy. Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman has made increasing equity for women entrepreneurs a priority through the SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership and investments to expand its network of Women’s Business Centers (WBC) to 140, the largest number of WBCs in SBA history.

See below for recent coverage, a video message from Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, information about SBA’s Women’s Business Summit, and other information about SBA’s efforts to support women business owners:


WLBT | Women’s Business Center at JSU helps fulfill the dream of entrepreneurship: “Sydney Brown is the director of the center and agrees that this center is a vital tool in supporting and helping women launch their dream businesses. He says the center also provides business services such as one-on-one counseling, training, networking, free workshops, and technical assistance for women seeking federal contract dollars for their small businesses. ‘We can offer our expertise to them, and they don’t have to go out and pay for the service. For example, if someone needs help with a business plan, someone in the private sector can charge them $1,000 and $2,000 to get a business plan done, but we provide our services free of charge.’ (Almesha) Campbell (Assistant Vice President for Economic Research and Development at Jackson State University) and (Sydney) Brown (director of the WBC at JSU) say the success stories are rolling in.”

ST. GEORGE NEWS | Southern Utah Women in business can find support at the Women’s Business Center of Utah: “Southern Utah women who own a business, or are interested in starting one can find support, training and free one-on-one business advice at the Women’s Business Center of Utah. The statewide program is almost 25 years old, but Cedar City’s center, serving Utah’s 14 southern counties, including Washington and Iron Counties, opened its doors in January 2019. Debbie Drake is the Women’s Business Center of Utah’s southern program director. ‘So, I travel a lot,’ she said. The Women’s Business Center of Utah offers resources and access to business advisers, as well as online and in-person business training. Drake noted that while their advertising focuses on services for women, 10% of their clientele are men.”

SPECTRUM NEWS 1 | Women's Business Center of CLT on International Women's Day: “If you’re a woman looking to go into business, look no further than the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte. Executive Director Rocio Gonzalez says last year they helped 1,300 clients, ranging from those starting a business to those already operating. Gonzalez says it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, they can offer resources to help. It's something she wants to stress on International Women’s Day.”

Message from Assistant Administrator Natalie Madeira Cofield

Watch Assistant Administrator Cofield's video on Twitter

“Women’s History Month is so important because women still must work hard to ensure they have an equitable seat at the table. Women’s History Month is also extremely important from an economic perspective because women are the fastest-growing entrepreneurial demographic in the country,” said Assistant Administrator Cofield. “We know the COVID-19 pandemic really impacted women entrepreneurs significantly. That is why at SBA, under the leadership of Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the highest-ranking Latina in the Biden-Harris Administration, I couldn’t be more proud of the achievements that we’ve made over the course of the last year.”

What’s Next for the SBA: 2022 Women’s Business Summit

On March 28-30, 2022, in honor of Women’s History Month, the SBA will host its 2022 Women’s Business Summit, co-sponsored by the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. The event will consist of virtual panels, “Ask an Expert” workshops, and fireside chats to help women-owned small businesses build, scale, and grow. In-person salon/listening sessions will also be held by local and regional hosts.

Registration is required to attend the virtual events of the summit. To register, visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-women-business-summit-registration-253276836837.

Last month, the SBA announced new funding opportunities for new WBCs. The first was the availability of $1.5 million for 10 new grant opportunities for established Minority Serving Institutions aspiring to host a Women’s Business Center (WBC) to provide local outcome-oriented business services for women entrepreneurs. The second was $150,000 for established and aspiring WBC host organizations to provide outcome-oriented business services for women entrepreneurs in Alaska. This would be the first WBC in Alaska in over a decade and, once it is opened, the SBA would officially have a WBC in all 50 states.

Fast Facts on the SBA’s Support and Development of Women Small Business Owners

  • SBA currently funds and supports the largest WBC network in the history of the agency, with 140 centers in 49 states and Puerto Rico. WBCs 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.
  • Since March 2021 alone, 24 new centers have opened including three WBCs affiliated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and two in Puerto Rico. The new centers were established in diverse communities to reach women entrepreneurs where they are.
  • OWBO’s WBC network helped over 88,000 businesses and supported more than 86,000 jobs in 2021 as well as assisted over 3,000 startups and provided 1.4 million capital transactions that have led to financial capital infusion, scale, and growth.
  • In 2021, OWBO also oversaw a historic allocation of recovery-related grants to women business owners, funding 14 Resiliency and Recovery Demonstration Projects for a total of $2.7 million to help them survive the economic crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about SBA’s programs and services for women entrepreneurs, visit www.sba.gov/women. To find other WBC locations and SBA resources, visit www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

About the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)

The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s (OWBO) mission is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support. Since it was established in response to an Executive Order in 1979, OWBO has provided training, counseling, technical assistance, access to credit and capital, as well as marketing opportunities to women. 


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