AWBC APPLAUDS RECORD EXPANSION OF WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER PROGRAM

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Washington, D.C., July 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This week 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) and 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) to ensure the nation’s 13 million women-owned small businesses have equitable access to business technical assistance. The recognition of this need was echoed in President Biden’s commitment in March 2023 to add 15 WBCs to the national network. 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 – 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 who 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 Centers (WBCs) are a part of a national network of entrepreneurship centers throughout the United States and its territories, which 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.

Prospective applicants for this funding are encouraged to participate in workshops to prepare for this opportunity, including SBA training provided at the AWBC 2023 Annual Leadership Conference, taking place July 24 – 27, 2023 in Washington, D.C. This conference will convene Women’s Business Center leaders, resource partners, educators, affiliates, and fellow champions of women’s entrepreneurship in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the WBC program and 25th anniversary of AWBC as an organization supporting the network of WBCs across the nation.

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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 and spans 145 WBCs throughout the United States leveraging WBC grants. These centers have proven success in providing business training, counseling, mentoring, and access to capital to women entrepreneurs. 

CONTACT: Ashlyn Roberts Association of Women's Business Centers 8123634434 [email protected] 

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