Women-owned businesses in the U.S. continue to grow, showing exceptional strength in numbers. According to the National Women’s Business Council, women-owned firms comprise approximately 40% of the country’s businesses, with a growth rate nearly five times faster than all other privately held businesses over the last 10 years.
Female entrepreneurship is vital to our country’s economy. Whether you own a business or want to start a business, the following resources offer reliable information on topics ranging from business development to public policy.
Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)
An entity within the U.S. Small Business Administration, OWBO offers a variety of programs, including business training, counseling, obtaining federal contracts and gaining access to funding. In addition, it supervises 130 Women’s Business Centers, which help female entrepreneurs overcome barriers in business. (www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/wbo)
Created by the Thunderbird School of Global Management, the program offers free online business education for women, available in English and Spanish. Coursework is divided into two tracks — starting a business and obtaining financing to grow a business. When the coursework is complete, you’ll be ready to put your ideas into action with a personalized business plan in hand. (dreambuilder.org)
National Women’s Business Council
A nonpartisan advisory committee that provides independent advice and policy recommendations to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress and the President on economic issues that impact women business owners. The council created a platform called Grow Her Business that provides close to 200 resources to help women entrepreneurs succeed. (www.nwbc.gov)
Consider Grant Funding
Grants are another way to bankroll your startup or grow your business. This is a highly competitive source of financing that often comes with strings attached. But, it’s money you won’t have to repay. You can search and apply for federal grant programs at Grants.gov. Many privately owned companies, including several run by women, offer grant money.
At PeoplesBank, we understand the unique financial needs of women entrepreneurs. Through lending initiatives, access to credit and financial management tools, we can help you make the most of your small business.