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AWBC Applauds Record Expansion of Women’s Business Center Program Funding

Recently, the U. S. Small Business Administration announced two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to expand the Women’s Business Center (WBC) program. The WBC Program is the central pillar for women’s entrepreneurial development dating back to landmark legislation, H.R. 5050 passed in 1988. One grant opportunity supports 15 new WBCs affiliated with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The other supports two regionally-determined WBCs in the District of Columbia (DC) and Oregon. 

These grant notices are the byproduct of persistent advocacy by the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC). AWBC works to ensure the nation’s 13 million women-owned small businesses have equitable access to business technical assistance. President Biden’s commitment in March 2023 to add 15 WBCs to the national network recognizes this need. In applauding this announcement, AWBC’s CEO, Corinne Goble, released the following statement: 

“This funding announcement is expected to bring the national network of WBC grants to 160 annual awards. This is the largest network this program has seen to date. We thank the many supporters of this critical program in Congress for appropriating funds that match the explosive growth of women business owners. We are also grateful for the swift deployment of these dollars by the Biden-Harris Administration and SBA Administrator Guzman. They have worked with AWBC to ensure the program remains effective and efficient. AWBC is committed to ensuring that applicants for these funds have track records of success and a vision aligned with the Congressional intent of the program.”

Women’s business funding

Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) are part of a national network of entrepreneurship centers throughout the United States and its territories. WBCs are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs represent a successful public-private partnership between the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and non-profit entrepreneurial development organizations across the country. They provide free to low-cost counseling and training for individuals to start, grow and expand their small business.

WBCs and SBA encourage prospective applicants for this funding to participate in workshops in preparation for this opportunity. The workshops include SBA training provided at the AWBC 2023 Annual Leadership Conference. The conference takes place July 24 – 27, 2023 in Washington, D.C. It will convene Women’s Business Center leaders, resource partners, educators, affiliates and fellow champions of women’s entrepreneurship. It will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the WBC program and 25th anniversary of AWBC as an organization supporting the network of WBCs across the nation.

About the Association of Women’s Business Centers

AWBC (www.awbc.org) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in its 25th year supporting the national network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) with programming and advocacy. The WBC program, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, is in its 35th year of operation. The partnership spans 145 WBCs throughout the United States leveraging WBC grants. These centers have proven successful in providing business training, counseling, mentoring and access to capital to women entrepreneurs. 

Check out these grant opportunities to get more options to keep it green.

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