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SBA Programs for Women

The SBA’s primary channel to women is through the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO). This organization is the only federal office set up to specifically assist women in business and to do so, it provides programs and support for them. The OWBO manages a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), which offer technical assistance and counseling for women, especially those who are economically or socially disadvantaged, in an array of topics.

The OWBO offers:

  • Technical, financial, and management information to potential, new, and existing women business owners;
  • Business training skills and counseling through its 54 training centers in 28 states and the District of Columbia; and
  • A one-year mentoring program through the Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial training (an organization created by the SBA).

How does the SBA help women with equity financing?

The Specialized Small Business Investment Companies (SSBICs) are organizations that typically focus on entrepreneurs who are socially or economically disadvantaged; thus, SSBICs may give women applicants some special consideration.

The Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Companies (MSBI’s) are investors who give preference to minorities; if at least 51% of a business is owned by minorities, there is a good chance that the MSBIs will give it preference.

How do Federal grants help women?

Women entrepreneurs are the largest beneficiary’s of government generosity for special encouragement. Federal grants are extended to non-profit organizations that offer training, counseling and other technical assistance for women groups.

What are some other resources for women?

Two major partners of the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership are: National Women’s Business Council and Gateway for women-owned businesses selling to the government.

Some other resources and organizations to consider are:

National Association for Women’s Business Owners, National Association for Female Executives, Association of Women’s Business Centers and National Foundation of Women Business Owners.