WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced today the launch of a new Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Rochester, NY, which 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.”
From day one, President Biden has emphasized a whole-of-government approach to prioritizing equity. Under Administrator Guzman’s leadership, the continued expansion of the SBA’s WBCs will play a crucial 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.
"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, U.S. Small Business Administration. “As a native of Rochester, NY, 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.”
To operate the new WBC, ULR will receive a renewable grant award of $150,000 annually. ULR was founded in 1965 as a community-based, nonprofit affiliate of the National Urban League, providing advocacy and direct services to low-income and minority individuals within the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding counties. Its mission is to enable African Americans, Latinos, the poor, and other underserved communities to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power, and civil rights. ULR has provided business development services for over 30 years.
The new Rochester WBC will become the SBA’s 140th Women’s Small Business Center 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. To find other WBC locations and additional SBA resources, visit www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance.
About the Office of Women’s Business Ownership
Since it was established in response to an Executive Order in 1979, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s (OWBO) mission is to empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support. To learn more about SBA’s programs and services for women entrepreneurs, visit www.sba.gov/women.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.