The latest SBA investment triples the number of Women’s Business Centers at HBCUs in support of women entrepreneurs
Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced the selection of five new Women’s Business Centers (WBC) operated by established Minority Serving Institutions (MSI).
The announcement highlights the Agency’s commitment to creating funding opportunities that increase equity for small business owners – a priority under Administrator Guzman. Through the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), the WBCs will help entrepreneurs pivot, grow and navigate new opportunities created through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, such as competing in the burgeoning industries solving climate change and growing clean-energy supply chains that will help expand global exporting.
“Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, our nation has seen a historic small business boom with 2021 new business applications 20% higher than any year on record,” said Administrator Guzman. “And women – especially women of color – continue to lead the way with the highest startup rates. The SBA is committed to creating inclusive entrepreneurial support ecosystems so that any of our new – as well as our established – women entrepreneurs can successfully pursue their American dreams of starting, growing and building resilient businesses. And with SBA’s opening of five new Women’s Business Centers at Minority Serving Institutions across our country, we can help improve outcomes so they can do what they do best – create jobs, power our economy, and build a better America through entrepreneurship.”
Below is the full list of new WBCs hosted by MSIs:
- California State University, Fresno Foundation
- CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation on behalf of California State University, Fullerton
- Miles College Center for Economic and Social Justice
- National Institute of Minority Economic Development, Inc. on behalf of Bennett College
- Rockville Economic Development on behalf of Bowie State University
“We continue to see gaps in access to equitable resources for the growing community of women entrepreneurs. Under the leadership of Administrator Guzman, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership looks forward to continuing to create initiatives to ensure that SBA resources reach every woman entrepreneur no matter their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or location,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator, SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership.
This historic funding announcement builds on strategies outlined in the recently released SBA Equity Action Plan and the Biden-Harris Administration’s equity agenda.
The selected MSI WBCs will support technical assistance to women entrepreneurs; assist nascent entrepreneurs in business plan development and accessing capital; provide educational experiences for MSI students interested in entrepreneurship; offer outreach services and activities, including training, workshops, and information dissemination to MSI students; and support the development and dissemination of curricula, training materials, guides, and evidence-based practices that can be used to enhance entrepreneurship education.
Since March 2021, 30 new Women’s Business Centers have opened. Among the newest WBCs are now 10 affiliated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and three at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) – tripling the number of WBCs at HBCUs and HSIs – and two in Puerto Rico. This announcement marks the continued expansion by OWBO to support the largest WBC network in the history of the SBA.
In March 2022, OWBO announced the expansion of its national WBC network to all 50 states and Puerto Rico after it launched its 141st WBC in Anchorage, AK. Of note, this is the first WBC to operate in Alaska in over a decade. This announcement will bring the total number of Women’s Business Centers to 146.
By broadening access to capital pipelines, the SBA has also directly invested in women entrepreneurs through critical programs such as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund ($7.5 billion distributed to women-owned businesses), 7(a) loan program ($5 billion), and 504 program ($712 million) while awarding over $27 billion in government contracts to women-owned firms.
To find other WBC locations and additional 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, 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 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.