Funding aims to help improve innovative projects aiding women-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The U.S. Small Business Administration issued 14 grant awards of up to $200,000 each to organizations in 13 states as part of the Women’s Business Centers (WBC) Resiliency and Recovery Demonstration Grant under the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO). The purpose of the grants is to establish or continue innovative projects that aim to improve service delivery, training, and support provided to women-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19.
“The growth and recovery of women-owned small businesses is essential to our nation’s economy. During the pandemic, our Women’s Business Centers have played an integral role in meeting the needs of women entrepreneurs during an especially challenging time. As resource providers, they too have been impacted by the changing business landscape and have had to pivot to meet community needs,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. “With this funding, we will support WBCs that have established innovative programming to increase outreach to aspiring and active women entrepreneurs nationwide. We are proud to support organizations who have deep connections to small, diverse, and rural communities across the country and who understand their unique needs.”
This grant program was open to existing SBA-funded WBCs. Approximately $2.7 million in total funding was available for this program. Successful respondents demonstrated innovative approaches to service delivery to address the needs of women business owners adversely affected by COVID-19. Proposals included detailed plans to continue or establish projects to improve service delivery, training, and support to women-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic. Applicants were required to also provide counseling, technical and financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments, and mentoring services to women interested in starting or growing a small business.
The project awards will be made for a one year of performance.
The WBC Resiliency and Recovery Demonstration Grant awardees are as follows:
- WISE Women’s Business Center, Syracuse, New York
- Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship Women’s Business Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
- weVENTURE Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech Bisk College of Business, Melbourne, Florida
- Benedict College Women’s Business Center, Columbia, South Carolina
- WEOC Women’s Business Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana
- WomenVenture WBC, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Albuquerque Women’s Business Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Arkansas Women’s Business Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
- Mi Casa Women’s Business Center, Denver, Colorado
- California Capital Women’s Business Center, Sacramento, California
- Women’s Economic Ventures Women’s Business Center, Santa Barbara, California
- Idaho Women’s Business Center-Twin Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s 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.