During Women’s History Month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) pays tribute to women-owned businesses throughout the nation and reiterates its commitment to expand opportunities and alternatives to strengthen small businesses led by female entrepreneurs.
Women-owned businesses continue to grow at an increasingly fast rate. To help support women in their business endeavors, the SBA relies on resource partners within its incredible network, who in turn provide training, counseling and technical assistance tailored specifically to female entrepreneurs, as well as special programs for socially and economically disadvantaged women.
Our local partners include Women’s Business Centers, SCORE Counselors and the Puerto Rico Small Business and Technology Development Centers, all of which offer no-cost business counseling and low-cost training to women.
Also, SBA’s 7(a), 504 and micro-loan programs represent a financing alternative for women entrepreneurs that have real potential, but who do not qualify for loans under traditional credit channels. Through these lending vehicles, in the last five years the SBA has provided more than $53 million in loans to women-owned businesses in Puerto Rico.
In addition, the SBA works with other federal agencies to ensure that women-owned small businesses receive at least five percent of all government contracts. To help meet this goal, in 2011 SBA launched the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, which provides equal access to federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses.
Over the years, the SBA has witnessed the success of countless women entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico, such as Iris Vincent, of Prime Air Corp., Julie Ann Martínez, of Glasstra Group, and Wanda Otero, of Vaca Negra, all of whom have taken real advantage of the programs and services SBA has to offer.
Along with so many others, these women play a key role as their small businesses continue to grow and create the jobs that will keep our economy moving forward.
Woman entrepreneur, the SBA offers countless resources to help you start, grow and succeed. Let us be a part of your journey. Access www.sba.gov/pr.