The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support. 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 vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.
About our office
Since it was established in response to an executive order in 1979, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership has fostered the participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy, especially those who have been historically under-served or excluded.
OWBO’s programs provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities, including federal contracts.
In 1988 the SBA established the Women’s Business Center Program to better help women overcome continuing barriers to success. Today there are Women’s Business Centers in almost every state, providing training in finance, management, marketing, and the Internet, as well as offering access to all of SBA’s financial and procurement assistance programs.
Donald Malcolm Smith
Deputy Assistant AdministratorRead Donald Malcolm Smith's bio
Training and counseling
Women’s Business Centers serve a wide diversity of geographic areas, demographic populations, and economic environments. Many centers offer training and counseling in a number of languages and dialects, helping reach underserved markets with a variety of unique and innovative programs.
The return on investment of the program is high, as businesses that receive assistance from WBCs have significantly better survival rates than those that don’t receive similar support. These successful businesses directly affect the communities in which they are located by bolstering the local economies.
Federal market opportunities
The SBA has a number of initiatives to help women secure better access to procurement opportunities. These include online procurement training, training through its resource partners; matchmaking events, which target both the federal and private procurement arenas; and the 8(a) Business Development Program. The SBA also works with federal agencies to increase contracting opportunities and achieve the government’s 5 percent contracting goal for women-owned small businesses.
SBA has several training and funding opportunities available specifically for women-owned businesses.
There are SBA district offices in every U.S. state and a number of its territories. Local SBA staff can help find other SBA resource partners at thousands of locations, too. To learn more about the SBA’s programs and services for women, contact an SBA district office.
Office of Women's Business Ownership
409 Third St. SW, Suite 6600
Washington, DC 20416