The U.S. Small Business Administration will open a new Women's Business Center (WBC) in Sioux Falls in early 2021. The new WBC is one of 20 that the SBA plans to open across the country this year.
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.
South Dakota currently has one WBC, located in Spearfish. According to Jaime Wood, SBA South Dakota District Director, the expansion to the state's eastern corridor allows the SD Women's Business Center network to serve a much larger portion of South Dakota's population. "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!"
Michelle Kane is the director of the SD CEO WBC. "Kicking off the new year with a second WBC in South Dakota helps reach more women interested in starting or growing a business," she said. "Both WBC's will be hosted by the Black Hills State University Foundation and will work closely together to serve the entire state."
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.
Location details and opening plans for the Sioux Falls WBC are in development. A new director will be hired for Sioux Falls and the new center is expected to launch in March 2021.
The opening of the new centers is the largest single expansion of WBCs in the programs 30-year history. SBA considers these centers pivotal to the success of women-owned businesses as they continue to navigate through economic challenges caused by COVID-19.
In addition to the 20 new WBCs, in January, SBA also launched Ascent, a free digital e-learning platform geared to help women entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses. To register for Ascent, visit online at https://ascent.sba.gov.