READOUT: SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman meets with Leaders in Women-Owned Small Business Community

Washington, Aug. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Monday, August 9, U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and Assistant Administrator Natalie Madeira Cofield joined investors in women-owned small businesses for a webinar on engagement and improving access to assistance for women entrepreneurs. 

During the virtual gathering, leaders of the women-owned small business investment community discussed updates on SBA's programs and initiatives supporting investment and innovation for women entrepreneurs.

“It’s no secret that the venture capital world is still largely male-dominated. In 2020, only 2.3 percent of funding went to women-led startups and women comprise a mere 12 percent of the decision makers at venture capital firms,” said Administrator Guzman. “At the SBA, we’re working to drive change through our own investment programs. Our Small Business Innovation Research program and Small Business Investment Companies can play an important role in ensuring we’re investing in women entrepreneurs — and giving new women entrepreneurs the tools and support they need to launch, grow and sustain their businesses and reach for new opportunities.”

“We have convened leadership from organizations committed to investing in women-owned businesses, and will share updates on SBA’s programs and initiatives in support of investment and innovation for women entrepreneurs,” said Assistant Administrator Cofield. “The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), entrepreneurs — especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged — are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.” 

Webinar guests received economic aid updates on efforts to aid women restaurant owners through various channels, including the Restaurant Revitalization Fund; the digital online learning platform Ascent, designed to empower women entrepreneurs; the Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC), which prioritizes women; and available funding for WBCs in Puerto Rico, Tulsa, OK, and Rochester, NY.

Among event participants were CEOs, founders, and executive directors from organizations including VC Include, Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN), Women in VC, Astia, SteelSky Ventures, First Women's Bank, Fearless Fund, and HBCU VC.

The SBA recommends interested parties and qualified entities explore these additional resources for economic aid and vaccination information:


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit


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