Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced the launch of the 141st Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Anchorage, AK that will be operated by the Seattle Economic Development Fund. With this new WBC, the SBA will have officially opened a WBC in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
“Women are leading America’s entrepreneurial renaissance, and, under the Biden-Harris Administration, the SBA has delivered billions of dollars in financial assistance, expanded our services, and extended our reach to help more women entrepreneurs seize the opportunities of our nation’s growing recovery and realize their American dream of starting and growing a successful business,” said Administrator Guzman. “With the addition of our Alaska Women’s Business Center, our WBC network now spans all 50 states and Puerto Rico for the first time in the SBA’s history, which is a milestone achievement against our mission to advance equity and reach more women entrepreneurs with services that make a difference. Congratulations to the Seattle Economic Development Fund for their partnership with the SBA to expand this network and help build even more momentum for women entrepreneurs in Alaska.”
“Having a Women’s Business Center in every state in the union and Puerto Rico demonstrates the commitment of Administrator Guzman to provide women entrepreneurs across the nation access to the resources and supports they need to grow and excel,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO). “As our first WBC to serve the state of Alaska for the Agency in over a decade, we look forward to the accessibility and community this center will provide women as they navigate entrepreneurship.”
This announcement highlights the Agency’s commitment to creating funding opportunities that increase equity for small business owners – a priority under Administrator Guzman. Based in Anchorage, the newest center will help increase opportunities and recovery solutions for women entrepreneurs and continue the SBA’s outreach efforts to diverse communities, such as rural-based and Native American and Indigenous-owned small businesses. Since March 2021 alone, 24 new Women’s Business Centers have opened. Among the newest WBCs are three affiliated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and two in Puerto Rico.
Along with SBA’s extensive resource partner network, Women’s Business Centers are part of an Agency-wide effort to offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring to entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing, and procurement. In addition, the WBC network will help entrepreneurs pivot, grow, and navigate new opportunities created through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, such as contracting, competing in the burgeoning industries solving climate change and helping expand global exporting.
Currently, OWBO funds and supports the largest WBC network in the history of the SBA.
To find other WBC locations and additional SBA resources, visit www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance.