Boosting black female entrepreneurs.
Whether your business is in growth mode, the start-up phase, or somewhere in between, there's nothing quite like the help of a good business resource group to help the process along. For African American women seeking help with funding, business plans, networking, expansion, and other strategies, the support options are many and varied.
It's no wonder! According to the SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) in Washington, D.C., women are starting new firms at twice the rate that all other businesses are being started. Women currently own about 9.1 million firms in the U.S. These firms employ 27.5 million and contribute $3.6 trillion to the U.S. economy.
With over 90 centers nationwide, OWBO provides companies with assistance and/or training in finance, management, marketing, and procurement. There's even workshops and mentoring programs, during which the entrepreneur is walked through the basics of running a business from start to finish. "Some finish with a business plan in hand, while others are prepared to go out and start their own enterprises right away," boasts Wilma Goldstein, OWBO'S associate administrator.
"African American women need to go with the flow of new business trends," says Robin L. Douglas, president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Westchester and Rockland counties in New York. "We need to teach and learn new buzzwords and work within the definition of those trends."
Bill Edwards, executive director for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), in Arlington, Virginia, concurs that a degree of racial discrimination or stereotyping does persist in the business world, despite the great strides that African American women continue to make. However, he says navigating the stormy waters isn't impossible, thanks to support groups like AEO's Microenterprise Program, which offers lending, training, and technical assistance to entrepreneurs primarily in urban areas with low to moderate incomes.
For women seeking help with their budding or growing businesses, listed above are six national groups, contact information, and a summary of their offerings. Many are based in the Northeast, but most have offices nationwide. Good luck!
Tap these resources and watch your business grow Association for Enterprise Development (AEO) 1601 North Kent, Suite 1101 Arlington, VA 22209 Phone: 703-841-7760 Fax: 703-841-7748 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.microenterpriseworks.org Offers: Financial assistance, training, and technical assistance, as well as a menu of services for startup companies. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) 14th St. & Constitution Ave. N.W., Room 5055 Washington, D.C. 20230 Phone: 202-482-4671 Website: www.mbda.gov Offers: Minority Business Development Centers (MBDC), Business Resource Centers (BRC), and Minority Business Opportunity Committees (MBOC) located nationwide. Each offers a range of business services to minority entrepreneurs. National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) 1411 K St. N.W., Suite 1300 Washington, D.C. 20005 Phone: 202-347-8686 Fax: 202-347-4130 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.nawbo.org Offers: Networking and lead opportunities, business growth and leadership skills, public policy participation. National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCOC) 1350 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 825 Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone: 202-466-6888 Fax: 202-466-4918 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.nationalbcc.org Offers: Networking, public policy, procurement opportunities, technical assistance, and e-commerce. National Minority Business Council Inc. (NMBC) 25 West 45th St., Suite 1007 New York, N.Y. 10036 Phone: 212-997-4753 Fax: 212-997-5102 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.nbmc.org Offers: Networking, business leads, business assistance, educational opportunities, seminars, purchasing exchanges, mentoring, business listings, and related services. Office of Women's Business Ownership & Online Women's Business Center 409 Third St. S.W., 4th Floor Washington, D.C. 20416 Phone: 202-205-6673 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites: www.sba.gov/womeninbusiness and www.onlinewbc.gov Offers: Business training and technical assistance, access to credit and capital, federal contracts, and international trade opportunities.
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2001|
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