Small Business Resources for Women
Women entrepreneurs are changing the face of America's economy. In the 1970’s, women owned less than five percent of the nation’s businesses. Today, they are at least equal owners of nearly half the nation’s businesses and are majority owners of about a third of all small businesses.
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Women's Business Centers
SBA serves women entrepreneurs nationwide through its various programs and service, some of which are designed especially for women. Many of these are overseen by SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership.
Women’s business ownership representatives in every SBA district office coordinate services for women, helping them access appropriate training, counseling, mentoring, federal contracting opportunities, financing, and more. They can also provide information on other local resources, including SBA resource partners and lenders.
The SBA’s Women Business Centers are a nationwide network of 114 community based centers that provide business training, counseling, mentoring and other assistance geared to women, particularly those who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
To meet the needs of women entrepreneurs, the WBCs offer their services at convenient times and locations. Some offer child care during training and many provide assistance and materials in different languages, depending on the needs of the individual communities they serve. Classes are either free or offered at a small fee, and scholarships are often available to those who need them. A number of WBCs also provide courses and counseling via the Internet, mobile classrooms and satellite locations.
Both SBA district offices and women’s business centers offer mentoring roundtables. If there is not an existing roundtable nearby, women’s business centers may be able to help women entrepreneurs set them up.