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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

By Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator
Published: March 8, 2018 Updated: March 8, 2018

SBA salutes women entrepreneurs on International Women’s Day and announces expansion of Women’s Business Centers

Last summer I met an entrepreneur who told me her business simply would not exist without the loan she got through the SBA.

Her name is Dianne, and she never thought she’d be an entrepreneur – she was very comfortable with the corporate career she had had for 20 years. Then she got “downsized.” She suddenly found herself with no job and no income, but a need to make money and a desire to control her own fate. So she opened a smoothie franchise – and the SBA loan she got enabled her to purchase equipment and pay the franchise fee. She started with one store, and her success with that enabled her to expand. She now owns nine stores. She is not only creating jobs in her community in Michigan, she is inspiring others who wonder if they, too, could be entrepreneurs.

On this International Women’s Day, I’d like to salute all the women like Dianne – the go-getters who take a risk in pursuit of their passions and who see setbacks as springboards to something bigger and better.

And the U.S. Small Business Administration is here to help them.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know that sometimes you just need a helping hand – whether it’s advice or funding or encouragement from someone who has been there. The SBA is the nation’s go-to resource for entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a business. While many people associate the SBA with loans, our 68 district offices and network of resource partners also provide counseling for anyone who needs advice they can trust.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I’d like to make special note of the Women’s Business Centers – and announce that they are expanding in an effort to help even more women succeed as entrepreneurs.

The network of 107 Women’s Business Centers provides training, coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs in communities around the country. Some of the topics include how to become a certified woman-owned small business, how to use social media as a marketing tool, and how to export products. And they are always developing new courses based on the needs of their communities.

The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, which oversees the program, is providing up to 13 new grants to non-profits that want to offer these services to female entrepreneurs. The SBA is working to open seven new WBCs and provide new grants to support the efforts at six existing centers. Many have submitted applications, and grant recipients will be announced at the end of March.

In 2017, the SBA’s network of WBCs counseled and trained over 148,000 clients. We hope that expanding the program will help even more women launch or grow businesses and create jobs.

Dianne reinvented herself as a small business owner – a process she says was scary and exciting and a lot of hard work, but worth it because being an entrepreneur puts her in charge of her own destiny. Whether it’s through guaranteed loans like Dianne got or counseling through our WBCs or other resource partners, the SBA is working to create more of these success stories.

About the Author:

Linda McMahon
Linda McMahon

SBA Administrator

Linda McMahon serves as the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As a member of President Trump’s cabinet, she advocates on behalf of the 30 million small businesses in America, which employ nearly half of all American workers and account for 56.8 million jobs.