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Government Resources for Women-owned Businesses

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The number of women owned businesses in the U.S. has been increasing rapidly over the last 20 years. According to the Census Bureau, women owned nearly 30 percent of all nonfarm businesses in the United States in 2002, when the nearly 6.5 million women owned businesses generated more than $940 billion in revenue. Here you will find information on US government programs that help women entrepreneurs start, grow and expand their businesses.

Assistance and Training
SBA Women's Business Centers
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains a national network of Women's Business Centers providing in-person assistance and educational resources to help women start and grow successful small businesses. These centers are located nationwide near major cities and metropolitan areas.
Government Contracting
Resources for Government Contracting
Small businesses sell billions of dollars worth of goods and services to the US federal government every year. Many government agencies require that some percentage of their contracts for goods and services be awarded to women- and minority-owned small businesses. In this feature, you will find useful resources, including how to become registered as a federal contractor, find business opportunities, and the regulations and employment laws that federal contractors need to follow.

WomenBiz.gov
Provides information and assistance to women-owned businesses seeking to do business with the federal government.
More Useful Resources
National Women's Business Council
A federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations on economic issues of importance to women business owners.

SBA Office of Women's Business Ownership
Information about programs and services that help women with starting and running successful businesses.

Money for a Small Business
While the U.S. government does not currently provide grants for starting or expanding a small business, the government does offer plenty of free help in planning how to start or improve your business and in securing low-interest SBA-backed small business loans. In addition, many states DO offer small business grants to individuals.

Do You Have a Business Plan?
That is usually the first question a potential lender will ask when you go seeking a loan to start a small business. Unless you can answer, "Yes, and here it is," you will not get the loan.

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