Press release from the Western Women’s Business Center:
ASHEVILLE, NC – The Western Women’s Business Center (WWBC) at The Support Center (TSC) announces SBA affiliation at press conference held from 1-2:30p.m. Tuesday, April 12 at the WWBC office located at the A-B Tech Small Business Center on Enka campus.
The SBA-affiliation was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration Women’s Business Center (WBC) Program. This grant will allow the WWBC to expand its suite of business services such as training, coaching, workshops and technical assistance to existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs in western North Carolina to include low-income communities, people of color, veterans and artists. Additionally, capital will be an added component of the services provided through the lending program of The Support Center.
“We are delighted to partner with SBA in expanding our business services to the many women entrepreneurs and dreamers in western NC. We are especially gratified that our initial investment to begin this journey with the partnership of City of Asheville and Buncombe County positioned the WWBC to receive this grant opportunity. In addition to the business services, we have been able to invest over $700,000 in small business loans to women-owned businesses,” said Lenwood V. Long, Sr., President/CEO of TSC. “As an affiliate of the SBA, the WWBC will be able to expand its resources and continue to help women who seek growth not only for their business, but for their entrepreneurial skills.”
“The SBA North Carolina District Office is pleased to announce grant funding to The Support Center (TSC) for a SBA Women’s Business Center in Asheville, North Carolina,” said SBA North Carolina District Director, Lynn Douthett. “Like SBA, TSC’s mission is to assist, counsel and support small businesses to grow and succeed. This Asheville WBC will help women-owned businesses in Western North Carolina to help them achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. We look forward to building a strong partnership with TSC as they expand their delivery of SBA programs and services throughout NC.”
“We are uniquely positioned to offer high quality business training and development services throughout western NC,” said Sharon Oxendine, WWBC Director. “We have helped over 600 entrepreneurs through workshops, technical assistance, coaching and counseling. Our goal with this affiliation is that we can continue to prepare women entrepreneurs to start their business. I am excited about the partnership with the SBA and our mutual goal to support women entrepreneurs who are working to support their families, obtain wealth and determine their entrepreneurial journey.”
The SBA WBC Program was established by the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 to provide grants to private non-profit organizations to aid and encourage the development and growth of small women-owned businesses through long-term training and counseling.
About the Western Women’s Business Center at The Support Center (WWBC):
The mission of the WWBC at TSC is to provide high quality technical assistance, capital and programs that reduce barriers and serve as a catalyst to the success of entrepreneurs, particularly women who are socially and economically disadvantaged, in the western region of North Carolina. In addition to a monthly networking workshop series, the WWBC also offers business plan development, one-on-one business development counseling, and certification assistance for federal programs and referral support for business services. www.thesupportcenter-nc.org/lending/wwbc
About the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov.
About The Support Center (TSC)
The Support Center (TSC)’s mission is to foster economic development in underserved communities by providing capital, business services, and policy research to support small businesses. Since 2010, TSC has invested more than $27.4 million through 381 loans to small businesses across North Carolina helping to create or retain more than 1,018 jobs. www.thesupportcenter-nc.org/