The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched a Women’s Business Center (WBC) here that will be operated by the Urban League of Rochester, N.Y. Inc. (ULR). The new center will carry out the mission of helping women-owned small businesses throughout Upstate New York start, grow and expand their businesses.
“The SBA is committed to helping advance opportunity for all, including for our underserved entrepreneurs who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “Women and people of color are starting businesses at the highest rates but face historic barriers to their growth and resilience. With the launch of every new Women’s Business Center, we are advancing equity and focusing needed resources on creating strong enterprises.”
The continued expansion of the SBA’s WBCs will play a critical role in addressing historical inequities and barriers, in addition to bridging opportunity gaps so more of America’s potential entrepreneurs can build connections, find resources, secure access to capital and pursue transformative opportunities, officials said.
“A core part of our office’s mission is to support the development and growth of women entrepreneurs, especially those who have been historically underserved,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, assistant administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership of the U.S. SBA. “As a native of Rochester, N.Y., I know this region has experienced economic challenges that make the expansion of our network and its services within this community much needed and vital. We look forward to continuing to do our part to help grow the small business ecosystem, creating opportunities for women in business.”
ULR will receive a renewable grant award of $150,000 annually to operate the Women’s Business Center. The center will be the SBA’s 140th to offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing and procurement.