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SBA Celebrates Women’s History Month

Release Date: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Release Number: 
17-02 SADO
Contact: 
Nina Ramon | 210-403-5920

SAN ANTONIO – It was just 38 years ago when the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began to dedicate resources and services to improve and increase women entrepreneurs, who now lead some of America’s most powerful and lucrative, job-creating firms.

   The SBA established the Office of Women’s Business Ownership in response to a 1979 executive order signed by President Jimmy Carter.  Prior to 1979, the term “woman entrepreneur” was rarely used. Today, there are 9.8 million women-owned firms in the United States that generate $1.4 trillion in receipts.  That’s more than the annual GDP of Russia, South Korea, Spain or Mexico.  Texas has the second highest number of women-owned firms with 866.7 thousand.  Their numbers continue to grow.

   “It’s easy to see that women entrepreneurs are extraordinary, they take any challenge as a creative opportunity and despite the challenges women have faced throughout history, it’s encouraging to see how far women entrepreneurs have come.” said Annie Hudspeth, San Antonio District Office’s District Office Technical Representative. “Women are rapidly overcoming entrepreneurial barriers that once held them back such as access to capital”

   In SBA’s San Antonio District which covers Texas 55 counties, women were granted SBA-backed loans worth $59 million in Fiscal 2016, a 164 percent increase over Fiscal 2009 loan volume.  Nearly 2,400 women were approved for a total of $649 million to start or expand a business in the last eight years.

   In 2011, the Women-owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB) was implemented to expand the number of industries where WOSB were able to compete for federal contracts. This program enables Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) to compete for contracts that are set-aside in industries where women-owned small businesses are underrepresented. Since the WOSB program was implemented, San Antonio District women-owned firms have been awarded $3 billion in federal contracts.

   Business counseling and training is a huge part of growth.  Through SBA’s Women’s Business Center Program which was established in 1988, SBA nationwide was able to serve 2.3 million women in the last five years. These centers help women entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. Each provides training in finance, management, marketing, and the Internet, as well as offering access to all of the SBA’s financial and procurement assistance programs.

   “Having a space and programs that serve the unique needs of women entrepreneurs is crucial to fostering economic development in our community,” said Margot Slosson, Women’s Business Center Director. “At the LiftFund Women’s Business Center, we help business owners with everything from business planning to marketing strategies through our one-on-one consultations services and group trainings. In the last fiscal year, we helped 21 entrepreneurs open their businesses and supported our clients in obtaining over $538,000 in capital infusions to launch and grow their ventures.”

   The LiftFund Women’s Business Center hosts numerous events and workshops throughout the year to include their 4th Annual Women Supporting Women Conference, an event that celebrates and highlights the contributions of women. This free event is designed to encourage and nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst women in Central Texas.

   Entrepreneurship has become so much more than making money, but rather building societies that value competition and compassion.  And the San Antonio District Office is proud to serve the Central-South Texas small business community – we are here to help you start up, grow and succeed.

 

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The SBA San Antonio District Office located in the heart of San Antonio in the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building, across the street from the Alamo, with a service area that spans across 55 counties within Texas.

The counties served are: Atascosa, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Comal, Concho, Crockett, De Witt, Dimmit, Edwards, Fayette, Frio, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Irion, Jackson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, La Salle, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Live Oak, Llano, Mason, Maverick, McCulloch, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Real, Refugio, San Saba, Schleicher, Sutton, Tom Green, Travis, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Webb, Williamson, Wilson, and Zavala.