“66 percent of women entrepreneurs in the United States found funding difficult to obtain”, per Visa’s second annual State of Female Entrepreneurship¹ report.
This is in addition to the fact that “COVID-19 hurt more women-owned businesses”, according to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Such a challenging situation demands that female founders have access to the right resources that they can lean on. Here are the seven organizations that support women entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire.
1. Federal Contracting Program for Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB)
The federal government will award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses (WOSB) each year. For context, the federal government spent more than $665 billion on contracts in 2020. It means even if the government spending on federal contracts remains the same, WOSBs will be getting $33 billion this year.
Of course, there are hoops to jump through to become eligible for participating in the Federal Contracting Program for WOSB, but you can use this website to quickly figure out if SBA’s Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program is right for you.
You can also use Third-Party Certifiers (TPCs) like WBENC to obtain WOSB or EDWOSB certification.
2. Inland Empire Women Business Center
The Inland Empire Women Business Center or IEWBC offers some key resources and runs initiatives like Ignite, It’s Your Time, Taking the Leap, Summer Startup, and Tu Si Puedes. From business counseling to workshops, and special events organized to motivate and education women entrepreneurs are the key to success of women founders in the Inland Empire.
3. SCORE- Inland Empire
SCORE is a well recognized organization with country-wide operations. Though, not exclusive to women entrepreneurs only, it supports via local experts, interactive workshops, and a vast online library of templates, tools and resources. The good thing is its workshops are categorized by business stage (in-business, startup, disaster recovery, or exiting), topic, and type of entrepreneur (such as women entrepreneurs, veteran entrepreneurs, and rural/young entrepreneurs.
4. Lender Match
Lender Match is a key resource offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). It has 4 simple workflows to get help. For instance, you may describe your loan needs, get matched to relevant lenders who express interest in your loan, talk to lenders, and apply for a loan.
It even provides an abbreviated checklist for you to go through before applying for a loan.
5. National Latina Business Women Association- IE
If you are of a Latin-American origin, you can take help from the National Latina Business Women Association in the Inland Empire chapter.
6. Entrepreneur’s Organization- Inland Empire
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 12,000+ influential business owners with 175 chapters in 55 countries. The way it helps its member is via a close-knit member forum, global events, chapter events, mentorship, and executive education.
If you have already achieved the product-market fit and would like to obtain capital to scale-up, just as Plant Prefab raised $30M for its Series B, SoGal Ventures might be the right door to knock at.
It is the first women-led, next generation venture capital firm. The firm has invested in a diverse range of startups and has not restricted itself to a certain geography. Back in 2020 it closed a $15M debut fund to help female founders launch new startups.