Women-owned businesses get boost from SBA program

Women-owned businesses, especially those owned by black women, are increasing dramatically in the United States today and have gained a foothold in the economy.

However, they still face challenges, including obtaining small business loans. However, the Biden administration is working to give women entrepreneurs the help they need.

Last week, the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Isabelle Casillas Guzman announced the availablity $1.5 million for 10 new grant opportunities for established minority-serving institutions aspiring to host a Women’s Business Center (WBC) to provide results-driven local business services to women entrepreneurs.

Eligible grant applicants include HBCUs, Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions (NHSI), and Alaska Native Serving Institutions ( ANSI) and non-profit organizations.

“Our office looks forward to supporting initiatives to ensure that multicultural women and the academic institutions that support them across the country have access to resources and support to advance entrepreneurial opportunities and readiness,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield. , deputy administrator of the SBA at Forbes.

Women-owned businesses also face seed funding challenges to start a business, but have a better track record of success, long-term, than male-led startups. The Boston Consulting Group reports that women-owned businesses that pitched ideas seeking seed capital received at least $1 million less than male business owners. However, the report adds that women-owned businesses generated more revenue over the long term, earning 10% more revenue over a five-year period.

According to Forbes, in 2019, 50% of businesses were run by women of color, however, between 2014 and 2019 the average revenue for businesses run by women of color decreased by approximately $2,000. The average revenue of businesses run by non-minority women over the same period increased by more than $20,000.

The WBCs offer a range of business resources including one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops and mentoring for women.

Since last March, two dozen WBCs have opened, including three affiliated with HBCUs and two in Puerto Rico. Currently, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) funds and supports the largest network of WBCs in the United States with 140 centers in 49 states.

The period for accepting applications will continue until March 14, 2022.

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