The New Centers Will Increase Opportunities and Recovery Solutions for Women Entrepreneurs throughout the Island
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today the launch of two Women’s Business Centers (WBC) in Puerto Rico, hosted by Ana G. Méndez University, Gurabo Campus (UAGM-Gurabo), and Friends of Puerto Rico. The new centers will carry out the mission of helping women-owned small businesses throughout Puerto Rico start, grow, and expand their businesses and reflect the agency’s priority to increase access for women entrepreneurs to resources in socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
“Latina entrepreneurs are among the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segments in the nation. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and as the nation recovers, it is SBA’s priority to ensure that women in Puerto Rico have equitable access to resources and support to start, scale, and grow much-needed businesses within their communities,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, SBA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO). “The SBA’s WBC program is that catalyst for the growth of in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services for women entrepreneurs.”
The WBC, sponsored by UAGM-Gurabo, will provide services in the Central Eastern Region of Puerto Rico in Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Barranquitas, Caguas, Cayey, Ceiba, Cidra, Comerío, Gurabo, Humacao, Juncos, Las Piedras, Naguabo, Orocovis, San Lorenzo, Guayama, Arroyo, Patillas, Maunabo and Yabucoa. The second WBC, sponsored by Friends of Puerto Rico, will serve San Juan and Bayamon.
The SBA’s Women’s Business Centers are a national network of more than 135 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.
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to 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.