West Virginia University has been awarded a grant to host a Women’s Business Center on campus. The federal grant from the United States Small Business Administration will provide up to $150,000 annually, administered by the WVU Research Corporation, to assist women in starting and growing small businesses.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant to support West Virginia entrepreneurs,” said Mindy Walls, assistant vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation. “WVU is uniquely positioned to provide resources and guidance in a variety of areas necessary for business start-ups. As the land-grant, flagship institution in the state, we are committed to being at the forefront of economic revitalization efforts for West Virginia. The Women’s Business Center will play an important role in helping us fulfill that commitment.”

There are currently more than 100 SBA-supported WBCs nationwide, offering services ranging from one-on-one counseling, networking events, training workshops and technical assistance to mentoring to women entrepreneurs on topics including business startup, financial management, marketing and procurement. These centers train nearly 150,000 women nationwide annually, an important number given that, according to recent U.S. Census data, there are 9.8 million women-owned businesses in the U.S, collectively employing more than eight million workers and generating more than $1.4 trillion in revenues.

“I am so excited about the announcement of this center at WVU,” said Karen Friel, SBA’s West Virginia district director. “The state has been in need of a Women’s Business Center for about three years now, so this is fabulous news. Our state’s economic future really depends on our small business owners and leaders—including women who take on this challenge. A WBC will be an invaluable resource.”

Friel’s office will oversee the new center, which must match the federal grant funds it has been awarded with private contributions.

For additional information on the programs and resources available at the West Virginia University Research Corporation WBC, contact Mindy Walls at mindy.walls@mail.wvu.edu. To learn more about SBA’s programs and services for women entrepreneurs, contact Kimberly Donahue at kimberly.donahue@sba.gov.



CONTACT: Mindy Walls, Office of the Provost
304.293.2067, mindy.walls@mail.wvu.edu

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