Women’s Business Center to Launch in West Virginia

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There are currently 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. The sheer number of women-owned businesses has increased by 45% since 2007, nearly five times faster than the national average. In an effort to grow the number and scope of women-owned businesses in West Virginia, West Virginia University will operate a Women’s Business Center on the university’s Morgantown campus beginning in 2017.

The center will assist women, throughout West Virginia, in launching and growing small businesses in the Mountain State.

The center will assist women, throughout West Virginia, in launching and growing small businesses in the Mountain State. Nationally, there are more than 100 Women’s Business Centers in operation, which serve more than 150,000 female entrepreneurs annually. Such centers mentor entrepreneurs, provide training workshops and one-on-one counseling. The center will offer guidance on an array of topics, including: business startup, procurement, financial management, and marketing strategy.

According to 2012 Census data, there are 39,065 women-owned firms in West Virginia. While 63,112 firms in the Mountain State are owned by men and another 5,777 firms are minority-owned.

Morgantown recently ranked 21st out of 383 places considered as the best place in the United States for women to start a business.

 Morgantown recently ranked 21st out of 383 places considered as the best place in the United States for women to start a business. Beckley and Wheeling, West Virginia were also considered and placed 29th and 74th, respectively.  

The Women’s Business Center is funded by a $150,000 grant from the US Small Business Administration, which will be awarded annually. The West Virginia University Resource Corporation will administer the federal grant and must match the federal funding with private contributions.  

It is important to note that the Center will serve women throughout the Mountain State, not singularly West Virginia University students. 

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