Women’s Entrepreneurship: A Catalyst for Economic Growth

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Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the remarkable women who are powering our nation and our economy forward by starting innovative businesses, creating jobs, offering the products and services that define our local neighborhoods, and solving global problems. From small boutiques to tech startups, women continue making an impact in the business world. In 2023, women opened more than 1,200 new businesses each day. Within the Great Plains region, spanning Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, there exist a collective ownership of almost half a million businesses by women.

Investing in women entrepreneurs is a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda. To that effect, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman has made it one of her top priorities to address gaps in access to capital for the smallest, underserved businesses, including businesses owned by women. In fiscal year 2023, SBA-backed loans to women-owned small businesses were up nearly 70 percent under the Biden-Harris Administration, totaling $5.1 billion in lending to women-owned businesses. 

In addition to connecting women entrepreneurs with critical funding to start or grow their business, SBA offers a range of tools for business success including the resources below. 

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  • Resource Partners: SBA has built an extensive support network of resource partners that provide a wide range of services for women entrepreneurs.  SBA’s network of Women’s Business Centers (WBC) provides training, coaching, and mentoring to entrepreneurs in local communities across the country. Other resource partners, such as SCORE, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), and Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) offer mentorship and no- or low-cost counseling and training. 
  • Federal Contracting: The SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development tracks the government’s goal of assuring that five percent of all federal contracting dollars are awarded to women-owned small businesses. The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB Program) is fully operational and helps provide a level playing field for women business owners. The federal government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Program.    
  • Ascent: Launched in 2021, Ascent is a free online learning platform to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The platform includes informational videos, discussion guides, and self-assessments to support women through their business journeys. 

Being a small business owner, I empathize with the obstacles and potential for growth that women entrepreneurs encounter. I recognize that owning a business not only brings success to women but also benefits their families and communities. SBA is committed to empowering and uplifting women-owned businesses as they continue to break down barriers and achieve success in business. During Women’s History Month, celebrate women entrepreneurs and learn more about SBA’s programs and services that support women in business by visiting www.sba.gov/women.  To stay up to date on SBA news and upcoming events, follow us on social media.  

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SBA Great Plains Region

X/Twitter: @SBAGreatPlains 

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LinkedIn: @sbagreatplainsregion

Mindy Brissey is the SBA’s regional administrator overseeing the agency’s programs, offices, and operations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

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