White House plans to establish Women's Business Centers in all US states
The Biden administration is set to announce the expansion of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) network, which will open 15 new centres by September, bringing the total to 160 nationwide. The WBCs are designed to help women-owned small businesses overcome the obstacles they often face when starting or expanding a business. The centres offer various resources, such as business training, counselling, federal contract support, and financing opportunities. The Biden administration has invested approximately $70 million into the network, with plans to triple the number of WBCs at minority-serving institutions and expand WBCs to every state, the nation’s capital, and Puerto Rico. The announcement comes amid a surge in small business applications, with 10.5 million Americans submitting new applications in the past two years, the most significant increase on record. Female entrepreneurs own 12 million businesses in the US and created almost half of the new businesses started in 2021. Despite this, women-owned businesses still face barriers to growth, such as difficulty obtaining funding and securing federal contracts. To address this, the SBA has expanded its North American Industry Classification System code eligibility and launched the Ascent e-learning platform, providing free resources and guidance to female entrepreneurs. The Women’s Business Summit, which includes a panel discussion with SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and the founders of Spanx, ClassPass, the Lip Bar, and Dunamis Charge, will also take place on Monday.