How Does the SBA Help Women Entrepreneurs Fulfill Their Dreams of Owning a Business?

By Claire Ehmann, Acting Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade & 
Christina Hale, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women's Business Ownership 

Despite experiencing exponential growth in recent decades, women entrepreneurs still face countless obstacles when trying to start a new business – obstacles that their male counterparts either don’t face or have an easier time overcoming. This is where the SBA comes in. One way we’re helping women take the leap into business ownership is by ensuring women entrepreneurs and small business owners can tap into SBA’s counseling networks to rebuild and continue to lead.   

Under the leadership of Administrator Guzman, SBA invested nearly $70 million to expand the national network of Women’s Business Centers to 47 states and Puerto Rico, bringing the total number of WBCs to 135. And this number is just growing with more WBCs coming in the near future. SBA has increased its outreach and through these efforts there are also three times as many WBCs at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), HSIs (Hispanic-Serving Institutions), and MSIs (Minority-Serving Institutions). We are proud to have created the largest-ever SBA network serving women entrepreneurs to help women retool and scale.

Our WBCs are at the core of the SBA’s assistance to America’s women business owners, meeting them where they are and providing them extensive on-the-ground resources to start, grow, and expand their enterprises. WBCs are crucial in meeting the Biden-Harris Administration goal of leveling the playing field for all communities in our country, allowing everyone to have the opportunity to succeed and thrive.

We also know that access to digital and online training platforms remains critical in supporting women entrepreneurs. Knowledge is power and the SBA has an on-demand online training program – the Ascent platform – specifically designed to help women-owned small businesses scale. Ascent offers practical and tactical information on all aspects of running a small business, including expansion beyond our borders. Its new Growing Global module is designed to help women explore expanding their businesses through international trade.

This is only the first step a woman may face in her journey of business ownership, but it might be the most important step. Decisions that are made early on often make the difference in the success a business may have and how far it can expand in the future.  

About the author