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National Women’s Business Council Supports Statements from SBA and OWBO Leadership Honoring Women’s History Month


Jordan Chapman

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (March 9, 2022) – To commemorate the beginning of Women’s History Month, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) both shared statements celebrating the tenacity and contributions of women entrepreneurs and the work done to ensure their success.

“At the SBA, we’re committed to supporting our women entrepreneurs who held our nation together throughout the pandemic and, today, are helping to drive our historic economic growth,” said Administrator Guzman. She then highlighted this dedication to women entrepreneurs, citing the elevation of the OWBO to directly reporting to the Administrator, the nearly $70 million invested in support of the Women’s Business Center Network, and the effort to double the number of Women’s Business Centers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority serving institutions (MSIs).

“The path of entrepreneurship has opened doors and provided opportunity and financial independence for strong, visionary women throughout American history,” she continued. “In honor of all the pioneering women entrepreneurs upon whose shoulders we stand, we will continue fighting to ensure every woman entrepreneur can have the opportunity to blaze their own paths and achieve the dream of business ownership.”

“Each year, Women’s History Month offers us the chance to reflect on where we as women have been and where we are headed,” responded National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) Member Rebecca Hamilton. “Administrator Guzman reaffirming her commitment to the economic fortitude of women entrepreneurs, both in her words and in her actions as Administrator, is an excellent way to kick off the month.”

The statement from OWBO recounted steps the office has taken on behalf of women entrepreneurs since last Women’s History Month, including those recounted above and others such as how OWBO:

  • Co-designed the $100M Community Navigator Program, funding 51 organizations across the country
  • On-boarded 24 new Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) across the nation, marking the largest expansion in history
  • Expanded SBA’s network of WBCs to 140 centers, creating the largest network in history
  • Funded 14 Resiliency and Recovery Demonstration Projects for a total of $2.7M to invest in strategies and practices that showed promise in helping women business owners weather the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Made the largest investment in Puerto Rican women’s entrepreneurial ecosystems with funding of two new centers on the island
  • Managed the largest funding disbursement – $44.5M – to the Women’s Business Center network in this history of the SBA
  • Established the first WBC in the historic Greenwood community in Tulsa, OK
  • Announced a historic $1.5M funding opportunity for ten (10) new grant opportunities for established Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) aspiring to host a WBC, marking the first funding announcement of its kind for the office
  • Announced $150,000 to fund a new center in the state of Alaska, and once awarded, the SBA will have a WBC in all fifty (50) states in the nation, another historic first for the office and the agency

“We are proud to join both SBA and OWBO in celebrating the beginning of Women’s History Month,” said Tené Dolphin, Executive Director of NWBC. “They have made strong progress to empower women entrepreneurs over the past year, from expanding the resources available to and number of WBCs across states and territories, to creating new partnerships with HBCUs and MSIs. It is a pleasure to be allies with SBA and OWBO in the quest for equal economic opportunity and given how far both have come over the past year, the sky is the limit for what they might achieve come next Women’s History Month.”


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