6 Go-To Resources for PA Women-Owned Businesses in 2021
In Pennsylvania, we recognize the contributions of our more than 300,000 women-owned businesses that call our state home. For those looking to start your own business in PA, we have put together a list of go-to resources for our female entrepreneurs. Whether it’s becoming certified as a small diverse business, applying for funding, finding business mentors, or contracting with government agencies, Pennsylvania can help its women-owned businesses build a bright future for themselves and their families, ensure their neighborhoods are vibrant places to live and work, and contribute to our thriving economy.
1. Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop
The Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is the first stop for many individuals seeking information about how to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into a new business. The experts at Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop provide customized assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small businesses and offer access to a vast toolbox of services and resources, including those focused on small diverse businesses.
2. Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The Pennsylvania SBDC network is the only statewide, nationally-accredited program that provides high-quality one-on-one consulting, training, and information resources to empower new and existing businesses — including resources specifically for women-owned businesses. The SBDC partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), DCED, and 16 universities and colleges across the state to provide budding entrepreneurs and small business owners the tools they need to thrive.
3. Women Business Certification & Procurement Opportunities
Certification as a diverse business enables women-owned businesses to access procurement opportunities in Pennsylvania through the PA Department of General Services’ Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities (BDISO). To learn more about diverse procurement opportunities with the Commonwealth, visit the PA Department of General Services Small Diverse Business page.
4. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers numerous resources for women-owned businesses, from programs geared toward supporting disadvantaged businesses to local assistance offered at partnering women’s business centers in western, south central, and southeastern Pennsylvania.
5. Women’s Business Enterprise Center (WBEC) East
The Women’s Business Enterprise Center (WBEC) East is an advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey. As one of the 14 regional partner organizations of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), WBECE facilitates WBENC certification and offers other services, including business counseling, training, and networking.
6. Women’s Opportunity Resource Center (WORC)
The Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC) promotes social and economic self-sufficiency primarily for economically disadvantaged women and their families by providing training, individual business assistance, an incentive savings program, job placement, and access to business and financial resources.
To learn more about the funding programs and resources available to small businesses, visit our PA Business One-Stop Shop website, follow our social channels (DCED Twitter, DCED Facebook, and DCED LinkedIn,) and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter for additional #PASmallBiz tips.
Terrell is the Director of the Business One-Stop Shop Office in DCED. His passion to serve others is reflected in Business One-Stop Shop’s mission which is to provide “customer-focused” service to new and growing businesses in PA. Prior to DCED, Terrell served Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Office of Administration (OA) where he held management level positions in the Human Resources, Travel Management, Budget and Contracts, and Information Technology areas.