Recently the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the launch of 20 new Women’s Business Centers (WBC) and a free digital e-learning platform geared to help women entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses, called Ascent.
About the 20 New WBCs:
- The opening of the 20 new WBCs is the largest single expansion of WBCs across America in its 30-year tenure, with the purpose of helping 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).
- 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.
- Ascent provides tips on preparing and recovering from disasters, strategic marketing and business financial strategy development.
- Ascent is a joint initiative between the White House, the SBA, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
- Ascent offers several key content areas to assist women business owners with strategies towards growth and success, including Disaster & Economic Recovery, Strategic Marketing, Your People, Your Business Financial Strategy and Access to Capital.
Supporting Women-Owned Small Businesses During This Time
Women entrepreneurs start and own nearly half of all businesses in the United States, employ 9.4 million workers, and generate $1.9 trillion in revenue and represent all industries. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic women, however, are less likely than men to say there will be improvement in their local and national economy this year, according to Bank of America’s Small Business Owner Report. In addition, women are more likely to own businesses in industries that are getting are getting harder hit by the pandemic, such as restaurants and retail shops.