SBA to Honor America’s Fastest-Growing Entrepreneurial Segment this Women’s History Month

In 1987, at the time of the first official Women’s History Month, there were 4.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then: The number of women-owned firms now exceeds 11 million. There is no denying that women entrepreneurs are among the fastest growing groups in the country. According to the latest available data from the National Women’s Business Council, women-owned employer firms grew more than three times the rate of their men-owned counterparts between 2012 and 2019, and the opportunity for continued growth is a welcomed trend.

This Women’s History Month, the SBA celebrates the milestones reached by women entrepreneurs across America. But we also look forward to sustained growth and progress among women-owned businesses. That starts with the resources below.

  • Resource Partners: Whether starting, growing, expanding, or recovering a business, women face unique challenges in the marketplace. Nobody understands that better than the advisors at the SBA’s Women’s Business Centers (WBCs). Overseen by the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, WBCs are a network of community-based centers that provide business counseling and training to their clients. There are more than 130 WBCs in the U.S., each dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs navigate the small business landscape. Other resource partners, such as SCORE, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC), and Community Navigators offer mentorship and no- or low-cost counseling and training.
  • Ascent: Launched in 2021, Ascent is a free online learning platform to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The platform includes major topic areas called “Journeys.” Current journeys include Disaster & Economic Recovery, Strategic Marketing, Managing Sales, and more. To join the hundreds of thousands of women entrepreneurs who have already accessed informational videos, discussion guides, and self-assessments, visit the Ascent website.
  • Funding: SBA loan programs can help women entrepreneurs start and sustain growth. The loan programs reduce lender risk, making them ideal for individuals who don’t qualify for traditional routes of funding. Use SBA’s Lender Match tool to search for potential lenders in your area. Likewise, if it’s an investor you seek, the SBA can help you get set up through a Small Business Investment Company.
  • Contracting Opportunities: Women are more underrepresented in some industries than others. To change that, the federal government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program. The WOSB helps the government hit its target of setting aside 5% of all contracting dollars for women-owned small businesses.

The SBA is excited to be a driver as women entrepreneurship continues to expand. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to see how the SBA is commemorating Women’s History Month, and visit to explore events for women entrepreneurs throughout March.

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