SBA Announces Grant Funding for New Women’s Business Centers

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced $30 million in funding opportunities for Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), including a new center in the U.S. Virgin Islands and first-time funding for WBCs specializing in federal contracting and child care businesses. The initiative aims to expand virtual services, support socially and economically disadvantaged women, and enhance the SBA’s reach, especially in underserved communities, through an unprecedented network of 152 WBCs across the U.S. and its territories. Read more in the SBA’s press release on this initiative.

Importance of Mentoring In Moving Side Hustle to Main Hustle

Photo from Fast Company

Haunted by the stark statistic that women-owned businesses receive less than 2% of venture capital funding, Emma Grede, CEO of Good American, is taking action through her TV show, Side Hustlers. Co-hosted by Ashley Graham, the reality series sheds light on the transformative impact of mentorship, illustrating how the guidance and connections provided by Grede and Graham are essential in empowering female entrepreneurs to navigate challenges and elevate their side hustles into flourishing ventures. Read more about this topic in their interview in Fast Company.

Tips for How To Network To Grow Your Small Business

This post published by the US Chamber of Commerce provides some helpful advice for small business owners who are looking to expand their local networks. Specifically, the piece shares suggestions such as volunteering with local nonprofits, attending trade shows, exploring digital networking and collaborating with other local businesses for cross-promotion and support. Check out the post to see other tips!

Tips for Women Entrepreneurs

This article from AllBusiness provides advice for women entrepreneurs from successful female business owners. The piece includes 21 tips that cover a range of topics such as cultivating storytelling skills, bringing a fresh perspective, finding purpose, taking control, avoiding self-discrimination, hiring passionate staff, charging appropriately for services, and surrounding oneself with supportive people. Many of the tips emphasize the importance of amplifying women’s unique strengths, including communication, empathy, and problem-solving abilities, in building successful businesses.

Tips For Building A Network Of Like-Minded Businesswomen

In this recent article in Forbes, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council shared advice on how to build a network of women for support. Some suggestions included seeking opportunities to collaborate and finding mentors and colleagues who you can be yourself around.

Whether or not their suggestions are ones that work for you, remember that while women are still an underrepresented group in the business world, leaning on other women for advice and support can be critical for our success and sanity. Check out the link to the article above to see all tips that were mentioned.

Extra Education Supports Becoming An Entrepreneur

According to this piece in Fast Company, during 2021 alone, over 5 million new companies were registered in the US alone which is an increase of 23% over the previous year. While some of this increase can be attributed to the impact of the global pandemic, research is suggesting that education is playing a role as well.

While some experts have felt that continuing education is more about “signaling rather than skill development”, this new research is providing evidence that additional years of post-high school education can boost self-employment in high-growth industries. Research goes on to point out that, “for women, education may have an even greater impact on encouraging them to jump into entrepreneurship by increasing their confidence in addition to their skills.”

Education is certainly something we believe in at the Institute! If you (or someone you know) would benefit from our free 12-week entrepreneurship certificate program,  go to this page and click the “Join the Waitlist” button. We enroll on a quarterly basis and reach out to those on the notification list in the order that they are there. 

We All Need Help – The Importance of Finding A Mentor

two businesswomen sitting in leather chairs at a conference table having a discussion

Michele Sileo, Managing Director at Eleven, has some important thoughts on the importance of mentorship. She states, “There is significant pressure on women to work smarter, harder, and more dutifully than men, and that pressure often leads to a hesitation to ask for help.” That said, she goes on to share that, “asking for help is part of growth…and it’s one of the most important lessons one can learn from mentorship.” Learn more about her take on asking for help and becoming a mentor in this Fast Company article.

Link to webinar-Workshop Your Network: Cultivating Mentors, Peers, and Mentees in Business

Screenshot of Michelle Talbert from webinar

During this highly interactive workshop, Michelle Y. Talbert, ‘00 Human Ecology (and graduate of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Certificate Program) guides listeners in setting personal intention, identifying the pressing needs in one’s business, and creating a strategy to connect with the right people. To access a recording of this webinar, click here.

Business Accelerator Designed For Women Veterans

woman in military uniform

The Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with PenFed Foundation to launch its Military “Women Veteran Bootcamp Accelerator”. The six-month long program is designed for women who have 3-5 years of experience in business and are seeking to grow their venture. To learn more about this program and others available to women veteran-owned small businesses, check out the US Department of Veterans Affairs website here.

Best Practices for Digital Storytelling for Nonprofits

Headshot of Liz Ngonzi

Are you a nonprofit leader who is looking for original ways to interact and engage with your supporters and funders? Check out Liz Ngonzi’s (among other things, Liz is a facilitator in the Women’s Entrepreneurship program) new article for The NonProfit Times entitled “Digital Storytelling: Five Best Practices to Activate Supporters on LinkedIn”.

In the piece, Liz discusses:

1. Promoting Your Organization’s Brand (LinkedIn Company Page and Employee LinkedIn Profiles)
2. Building Your Brand by Showcasing Your Impact and Obtaining Insights from Supporters: Posts, Stories and Polls
3. Promoting Events: LinkedIn Events
4. Hosting Events: LinkedIn Live
5. Researching and Engaging Prospects: LinkedIn Sales Navigator