15 New Women’s Business Centers Will Aid Female Entrepreneurs
President Biden announced Monday that the Small Business Administration will add 15 Women’s Business Centers whose mission is to assist female business owners via financing, business development, training and mentoring. There are currently 145 of the centers.
Biden made the announcement Monday, March 27, at the White House as part of the Small Business Administration’s second annual Women’s Business Summit. The summit, which concludes Wednesday, was timed to coincide with Women’s History Month.
A White House-issued fact sheet about the president’s announcement stated that the Biden administration has invested close to $70 million in the Women’s Business Centers network, with this program now reaching into every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The infusion of funds has tripled the number of Women’s Business Centers at historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and other minority-serving institutions. (Another key SBA program that helps female entrepreneurs is the agency’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, a significant resource for female franchisees; the Office of Women’s Business Ownership prioritizes assistance to women from disadvantaged backgrounds.)
Statistics about Women-Owned Businesses
The fact sheet also contained information regarding recent U.S. entrepreneurship, some of it singling out female business ownership. The figures state that:
- Women own 12 million U.S. businesses and employ more than 10 million workers.
- In 2022, annual earnings for American women-owned businesses rose nearly 30%.
- Women-owned manufacturing businesses notched a 35% increase in annual earnings.
- The SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs delivered more than $10 billion to women-owned small businesses in 2021 and 2022. The 7(a) loan program provides funding to cover long- and short-term expenses vital to business growth. The 504 program offers affordable long-term fixed-rate financing for assets that create jobs and facilitate business growth.
- Women-owned small businesses were awarded in excess of $26 billion in federal contracting dollars for the third straight year.
- A record 10.5 million new small business applications were filed in 2021 and 2022.
Women’s Business Summit Agenda Includes VIPs
After Biden’s speech, SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman was scheduled to moderate a discussion by Spanx founder Sara Blakely; Payal Kadakia, former CEO and founder of ClassPass; Melissa Butler, CEO and founder of The Lip Bar; and Natalie King, founder and CEO of Dunamis Charge, an electric vehicle charger manufacturer.
Continuing through Wednesday, March 29, the Women’s Business Summit has an agenda that includes discussions with government officials, business leaders and female entrepreneurs. Diverse industries such as technology, manufacturing, child care and other services will be represented.