October is Women's Small Business Month
The number of women-owned businesses in this country is growing at an amazing rate. According to the Center for Venture Research, 36% of all companies seeking venture capital funding in 2014 were women-owned, up 83% from the previous year. Another report found that the number of women-owned businesses is growing at more than 1.5 times the national average.
If you’re a part of this growing trend—or are hoping to be—this newsletter’s for you. In this edition, we celebrate Women's Small Business Month by focusing on resources dedicated to women entrepreneurs such as the InnovateHER Business Challenge and changes to the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program.
We also cover a new funding program for clean-energy companies and resources for those hit by Hurricane Joaquin.
Looking for Innovators
Do you have a unique product or service that can impact and empower the lives of women or families nationwide? If so, consider participating in the Small Business Administration's 2016 InnovateHER Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit being held next spring.
Not quite ready to compete? Take some time to freshen up your business skills with the National Association of Women Business Owner's E-Learning Series. Watch one of their webinars today to learn more about leveraging social media, exporting and more.
Leveling the Field
Did you know that the SBA recently issued a final rule that alters regulations governing the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program? The change, that becomes effective October 14, 2015, makes it easier for agencies to award sole-source contracts to women-owned businesses and helps meet the government’s goal of awarding 5 percent of all federal contracts to women. Read more how this change helps the SBA support women-owned businesses and how to gain WOSB-certification for your company.
Looking for more information? Be sure to check out BusinessUSA’s resources for women business owners.
You'll also want to read about the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) which oversees the Women's Business Centers (WBCs) network. WBCs provide entrepreneurs (especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged) with comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics, and in several languages.
Grow with Grants
While loans may seem like the most viable option for starting or expanding your business, there are government grants available that are worth exploring.
While this article provides information on how to find federal and state grants, it also includes a list of 11 private grants available for women entrepreneurs you'll want to know about.
Boosting the U.S. Clean Tech Industry
October is also National Energy Action Month whose goal is to "achieve greater energy security, a more robust economy, and a healthier environment."
Are you looking for financial resources to help grow your clean technology business?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently launched the Small Business Vouchers Pilot program to provide clean tech businesses with access to world-class researchers, facilities and expertise at national laboratories.
The program is open to businesses with fewer than 500 employees and will serve as a starting point for bringing the next generation of clean technologies to market. Find out more about the program and if your business qualifies.
You should explore the many opportunities for green businesses on BusinessUSA, including government solicitations, grants, challenges, and more.
Disaster Assistance for Businesses
Hurricane Joaquin has come and gone but the damage still remains, especially for businesses in North and South Carolina.
Explore our disaster assistance tool to read about the resources available to help your business recover.
Are you following us on Twitter? If not, you've missed a lot of great information! Check out the Best 5 Tweets from the past week below. Follow us at @BizUSA.
1. @USPTO's #WomeninSTEM share #career advice on new #AllinSTEM portal. Read Colleen’s story: [Tweet]
2. The @USCensusBureau is making #data more accessible to #smallbusinesses w/ their latest #tool: [Tweet]
3. [VIDEO] Discover @USTDA's Global Procurement Initiative & its strategic partnership w/ @gwlaw [Tweet]
4. John Thompson blogs about #MFGDay15 & how @USCensusBureau's stats tell story of #manufacturing [Tweet]
5. 10 Signs Your Company Has Outgrown the #Startup Phase from @Entrepreneur [Tweet]
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