In 1988, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) established the Women’s Business Center Program to better help women overcome continuing barriers to success. Today, there are 135 Women’s Business Centers in 49 states and Puerto Rico. These centers, along with SBA district offices and other SBA resource partners at thousands of locations nationwide, help women entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses.
The Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Alcorn State University began in October 2020. In light of its history of providing outreach services to the rural, underserved communities of Southwest Mississippi and portions of Northeast Louisiana, the Women’s Business Center at Alcorn State University directs its efforts, with the SBA’s assistance, to address a broad spectrum of economic needs for 11 Mississippi Counties: Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Pike, Walthall, Warren, and Wilkinson; and three Louisiana Parishes: Concordia, Madison, and Tensas.
The activities of the WBC at Alcorn State University are designed to improve the quality of life for the residents of these counties and parishes; to provide education, counseling, and resources; to provide training opportunities related to traditional business and e-commerce; and to create peer network groups.
The services provided focus on providing a grass roots, from the ground up model to ensure long term successful business development. One-on-one counseling and in-person or virtual training, workshops, and seminars on a variety of topics, provide resources for all entrepreneurs, especially women in underserved, economically, or socially disadvantaged communities. The counseling and training focus on assisting those with no experience in business to those who wish to grow their business.
Female entrepreneurs face unique challenges. The programs at the Women’s Business Center at Alcorn State University are designed to be flexible and responsive to those special needs. We offer information and training designed to help aspiring and established women business owners succeed. Most trainings are scheduled during evening hours to accommodate busy daytime schedules. Individual counseling appointments can be scheduled to discuss a specific topic in depth, at a time that’s convenient to the client.