Array of Resources for Female Entrepreneurs
The SBA Marks Women's History Month with an Array of Resources
By U.S. Small Business Administration on March 04, 2022
This Women's History Month, the SBA is proud to share programs and resources that help women entrepreneurs establish themselves in the marketplace - and better compete once they get there.
Women entrepreneurs have made great strides in leveling the playing field of business ownership, an accomplishment worth celebrating this Women's History Month. In fact, there are more than 11 million women-owned businesses in the country, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. These firms are responsible for billions of dollars in annual revenue to the economy. But though their contributions are substantial, women-owned businesses still represent a smaller share of the small business community - a reality made even more complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these challenges, there have never been so many reasons for optimism. A recent study shows that there are more new women entrepreneurs now than at any time over the past 25 years. There are also more resources to set them up for success. Alice Kao, co-founder and CEO of Sender One Climbing LLC. in Santa Ana, California, is an excellent example of what can happen when a business owner takes advantage of those resources. When COVID-19 threatened to stall Sender One's ascent to the peak of the business mountain, Alice turned to the SBA. She applied for both Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, and she capitalized on two rounds of payment forgiveness granted by her 7(a) loan. This allowed her to convert her facilities into distance learning spaces as she rode out the pandemic.
This March, the SBA reaffirms its commitment to helping women-owned small businesses - like Sender One Climbing - start, grow, expand, and recover.
- Women's Business Centers: Women still face unique obstacles in the business world. The Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) helps them navigate those obstacles through its Women's Business Centers (WBCs). WBCs offer business training and counseling, as well as programs on how to win federal contracts and access capital. With over 130 locations, there is likely a WBC near you.
- Lender Match: Even the most promising business concepts need help getting off the ground. That is where the right funding makes all the difference. SBA-backed loans make it possible for businesses, especially disadvantaged ones, to access the credit and capital they need. The SBA also offers some grant programs for businesses in specialized fields.
- Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program: Did you know the federal government has a 5% contracting goal for women-owned small businesses? The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program helps the government hit that target. With economic disadvantage standards similar to the 8(a) Business Development program, this initiative makes it easier for women-owned small businesses to compete for federal contracts.
- Online Learning Platform: The SBA's online learning platform empowers and equips small business owners with necessary knowledge and tools. It has something for every stage of an entrepreneur's experience including Ascent, a free online learning platform for women interested in growing their small businesses.
During Women's History Month, celebrate women entrepreneurs and learn more about SBA's programs and services that support women in business at sba.gov/women.