The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrated the launch of the Idaho Women’s Business Center (WBC) at a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 19 at the Idaho State Capitol.
Hosted by the Idaho Hispanic Foundation, the new WBC will open two locations in Treasure Valley and Magic Valley, with plans to secure an additional location in Idaho Falls. The University of Idaho will serve as a co-partner to the Idaho WBC.
“Today’s a very important day. Today we had the inaugural ceremony for the reestablishment of the Idaho Women’s’ Business Centers. Part of that is starting out with three offices – in Twin Falls, Nampa and Boise; and, in a couple months we’ll have one in Idaho Falls. We are so excited to be able to reach out to all women and cultures and communities,” Idaho WBC Executive Director Diane Beven, Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said. “We want to have a special focus on our women in rural Idaho. We know that they’re living their dream and they have struggles and we want to outreach and go to where they are and help connect them with the resources they need to help their business thrive.”
The SBA WBCs are a national network of more than 100 centers that offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing and procurement.
“For the sake of Idaho’s economy, we need more women starting and scaling businesses. These are the companies that bolster local economies and rural economies across our state. I’m thrilled to see that Idaho ingenuity and collaboration is bringing a WBC back to Idaho in this unique form to serve more women and more communities,” National Women’s Business Council Member and Red Sky Founder and CEO Jessica Flynn said.
During fiscal year 2018, the WBC program counseled and trained nearly 152,000 entrepreneurs nationwide. According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, there are 9.9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. They employ more than 8 million workers, provide more than $264 billion in wages and salaries to employees and contribute $1.4 trillion in sales to the national economy.