The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District Office is proud to announce that two new Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) will soon be opening in Washington state. The Thurston County Economic Development Council (EDC) in Lacey, Wash., and the Spokane Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) in Spokane, Wash., were selected as the recipients for the Women’s Business Centers.
Women’s Business Centers represent a national network of nearly 100 educational centers designed to assist women start and grow small businesses. The WBCs operate with the mission to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the world of business. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.
“SBA is honored to have the Thurston Economic Development Council and Spokane Neighborhood Action Program as new partners in helping female entrepreneurs in Washington state achieve their dreams of owning a small business,” said SBA Seattle District Office Director Nancy Porzio. “Reaching out to underserved communities to assist aspiring small business owners is one of SBA’s most important missions.”
The Thurston EDC’s Business Resource Center (BRC) and the Women’s Business Center will work together to provide entrepreneurial and small business counseling to women business owners throughout the region. For more than 20 years, the Business Resource Center has provided services to entrepreneurs to increase their success at creating and retaining jobs and increasing company revenues. The sole mission of the Thurston BRC is to provide counseling and training to entrepreneurs of all stages of business ownership in order to create a viable and diverse economy thereby increasing opportunities for full employment, with services targeting women, minorities and entrepreneurs in rural communities.
SNAP is the local and regional advocate for the most vulnerable people living in the Spokane and Inland Northwest areas. As the Spokane area’s Community Action leader, SNAP takes the lead in educating and empowering our low-income neighbors. The largest private human-services agency in Spokane County, SNAP’s staff focuses on serving the whole family with a commitment to providing a wide range of accessible services for those living in poverty, including mentorship, resources and lending to the small business community.
Both the Thurston EDC and SNAP are expected to have their Women Business Centers opened by the end of the year.