MIL-OSI USA: SBA Announces $30 Million in Grant Funding for New Women’s Business Centers

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Source: United States Small Business Administration

WASHINGTON – Today,  Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s more than 33 million small businesses, announced four funding opportunities for Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) totaling $30 million. This includes funding to support further expansion of the WBC network, the opening of a WBC in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and first-time specialized funding for WBCs that specialize in federal contracting and child care businesses.

The SBA is also announcing that WBC funding will now be available to organizations that provide mostly or entirely virtual counseling and training services to women-owned small businesses across the country – recognizing the increasing importance of digital services and expanding the SBA’s reach to entrepreneurs who may not have convenient access to the current WBC network, including women in rural communities, tribal lands, and military families.

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the SBA’s expanded network of WBCs is meeting new and established women business owners where they are and working to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in funding and growing their businesses,” said Administrator Guzman. “With this funding expansion for WBCs, the SBA will better meet the increased demand stemming from the high rates of entrepreneurship among women under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Small Business Boom. Additionally, key policy changes will allow the SBA to leverage virtual tools to provide resources to more small businesses, prioritize industry gaps in child care, and further advance women in federal contracting.”

These specialized WBCs will join an unprecedented network of 152 in-person WBCs in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Eligible applicants must be non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status that provide entrepreneurial development services to women, specifically women in areas that have been socially and economically disadvantaged within the U.S. and its territories.

Eligible organizations that are selected will be awarded up to $150,000 to open and operate a WBC.

The four funding opportunities include:

  • Funding to support women business owners in government contracting, specifically to assist them with application readiness for certification in the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) Programs, procurement assistance, and entrepreneurial development. 
  • Funding to provide entrepreneurial development services to women-owned small businesses focused on providing child care services
  • Funding to provide general entrepreneurial development services to women, with an emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs in locations outside of the geographical areas of existing WBCs within the United States and its territories and the option to provide mostly or entirely virtual services.
  • Funding to support the opening of a WBC in the U.S. Virgin Islands

“Every new WBC helps open doors for women entrepreneurs who need access to training and practical assistance to stand up and grow their small businesses,” said Christina Hale, Assistant Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. “By investing in women’s economic potential, the SBA is fostering innovation, creating jobs, and strengthening our communities.”

There will be a virtual WBC Applicant Workshop to provide more information to organizations interested in these grant opportunities. Details on this event will be listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Questions about these grant opportunities should be directed to the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership at owbo@sba.gov.

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About the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)

The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (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. 

To learn more about SBA’s programs and services for women entrepreneurs, visit  www.sba.gov/women. To find other WBC locations and 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.

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