LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ── August 23, 2021 ── The Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC) has been awarded a Resilience and Recovery Demonstration Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Office of Women’s Business Ownership program. The AWBC is one of 14 women’s business centers in 13 states to receive the SBA awards, which aim to improve service delivery, training and support provided to women-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19.
“The Arkansas Women’s Business Center is excited to receive the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Recovery and Resiliency award for Ascend,” said Chauncey Pettis, director of Winrock’s AWBC. “This funding will support existing women-owned businesses negatively affected by COVID-19. Through three accelerator cohorts, Ascend will increase the resiliency and business capacity of 30 Arkansas-based women-owned companies, leading to their ability to expand their businesses and recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19.”
The grant program was open to existing SBA-funded women’s business centers (WBCs), with approximately $2.7 million in total funding available. According to SBA, the AWBC and other awardees demonstrated innovative approaches to service delivery to address the needs of women business owners adversely affected by COVID-19. Proposals included detailed plans to continue or establish projects to improve service delivery, training, and support to women-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic. Awardees will provide counseling, technical and financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments, and mentoring services to women interested in starting or growing small businesses.
“With this funding, we will support WBCs that have established innovative programming to increase outreach to aspiring and active women entrepreneurs nationwide,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. “We are proud to support organizations who have deep connections to small, diverse, and rural communities across the country and who understand their unique needs.”
To read the SBA’s release on the awards, click here.