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Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship Awarded Grant To Empower Women and BIPOC Entrepreneurs

Gaby M. Rojas

The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship has been awarded a Social Entrepreneurial and Enterprise Development grant (SE2D) from The New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives (NJOFBI) to continue its mission to help women and BIPOC entrepreneurs succeed. The New Jersey Office of Faith-Based Initiatives has identified the WCEC Women’s Business Center as a go-to resource and key community-based organization that offers critical resources, such as business counseling and technical assistance for small business owners representing underserved communities.

The goal of the SE2D Project is to support Faith and Community Based Organizations (FBCOs) to develop, design and launch innovative programs that will empower entrepreneurs from marginalized communities and address the socioeconomic conditions that negatively impact women and BIPOC small business owners. It has been widely reported that women and BIPOC entrepreneurs are disproportionately affected by a lack of access to the professional resources and capital necessary to start a new business or scale up an existing enterprise. New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives Executive Director, Eddie LaPorte champions the WCEC for its commitment to helping small business owners who often face barriers to success. “The WCEC has been a leader in the entrepreneurship space for women and BIPOC small business owners. The OFBI supports their efforts in helping these businesses enhance their business infrastructure so that they’re positioned to gain access to capital and the resources they need to thrive.”

The WCEC will use the OFBI SE2D grant to expand its eCommerce Expansion Program. The WCEC was recently featured as a success story by GoDaddy for its use of the Main Street Online tool, developed by Main Street America in partnership with GoDaddy. The e-commerce tool is a no-cost interactive assessment that provides recommendations for small businesses to develop effective e-commerce strategies. The eCommerce Expansion program has achieved success in providing women and BIPOC small business owners with the tools needed to transition to e- commerce models, increase brand recognition and boost sales. The WCEC has also partnered with Fiverr, the leading global marketplace for digital services. Fiverr is offering a Logo Maker Scholarship for select women-owned businesses participating in the eCommerce Expansion program, providing scholarship awardees with premium logos and assistance with branding.

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