SBA announces largest expansion of women’s business centers in 30 years

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Press Release) – The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced grant funding and the historic launch of 20 new Women’s Business Centers (WBC) across America including a new center coming to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in early 2021. The opening of the 20 new WBCs is the largest single expansion of WBCs in its 30-year tenure, and these centers are pivotal to the success of women-owned businesses as they continue to recover during this time. The WBCs will predominantly be hosted in rural and underserved markets.


“Over the past several months, we have seen Women’s Business Centers provide aid to our nation’s innovative and determined entrepreneurs, allowing countless small business owners to pivot with confidence to stay afloat during the pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Expanding the WBC program is part of this Administration’s longstanding commitment to the success of female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses.”


SBA’s WBCs are a national network of 136 centers that offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing, and procurement.


According to Jaime Wood, SBA South Dakota District Director, the announcement allows for expansion of the existing SD Women’s Business Center network to the state’s eastern corridor where most of the state’s population is located. “The new center will significantly enhance the ability to get business lifecycle resources further connected to women across the state,” Wood said. “This is a business growth multiplier for South Dakota!”


“Kicking off the new year with a second WBC in South Dakota helps reach more women interested in starting or growing a business,” said Michelle Kane, Executive Director, South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity WBC. “As with the existing SD CEO Women’s Business Center in Spearfish, this new WBC is also hosted by the Black Hills State University Foundation.”


Kane added that she looks forward to helping launch the new center to significantly increase woman small business outreach and if business help is needed immediately, the established SD CEO WBC office in Spearfish is available to assist. “It’s gearing up to be an exciting year for women entrepreneurs in South Dakota,” she said.


“Opening the new Women’s Business Centers is crucial to the vitality of women-owned small business owners,” said Allen Gutierrez, Associate Administrator, SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development. “We look forward to the continued success of the WBC program as it contributes to the overall health of our economy and creates jobs in local communities.”