This month, the SBA’s revamped Ascent program added two new learning topics for women business owners , Opportunity Assessment and Opportunity & Innovation. This new content offers insights on how to best generate ideas and find fresh avenues for business growth in our complex post-pandemic economy.
Launched in January 2021, Ascent is our online learning program for women business owners that delivers training and tools in a timely and convenient manner. Hundreds of thousands of women entrepreneurs have already accessed Ascent’s informational videos, discussion guides, and self-assessments in 2022 to support them through their business journeys — at no cost. Participants will also learn from the testimony of business owners who have completed their journey.
What we know is that women-owned small businesses are among the most impactful contributors to our nation’s economy. Women entrepreneurs start and own 45% of all businesses in the United States, employ 9.4 million workers, generate $1.9 trillion in revenue, and represent all industries. While the majority of women-owned businesses are often sole proprietorships, they have great potential for growth. It’s why Ascent was revamped and loaded it with valuable information and data to help them grow their businesses.
Divided into major topic areas called “Journeys”, the latest incarnation of Ascent was developed by experts in women's entrepreneurship. Current journeys include Disaster & Economic Recovery, Strategic Marketing, Your People, Your Business Financial Strategy, Access to Capital, Government Contracting, Partnerships, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Managing Sales, and Growing Globally. The two new Journey themes are:
- Opportunity & Innovation—Helping entrepreneurs identify and capitalize on new growth opportunities, and drive innovation that aligns with customer needs.
- Opportunity Assessment—Offering strategies to evaluate new opportunities for business growth from a wide lens.
As women are the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segment in the nation, Ascent seeks to advance them on their professional journeys with the skills and tools necessary to maintain and grow their businesses. It is also our goal to transform the SBA’s learning ecosystem to ensure it is timely, relevant, and easily accessible to women-owned small businesses across the country.
Women business owners can learn more about Ascent or register for free access at Ascent.SBA.gov. For additional opportunities on how women entrepreneurs can start, grow, and recover, we always encourage entrepreneurs to reach out to us via SBA.gov or to contact their local SBA District Office.