U.S. Small Business Administration: Awards Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. funding for Veterans Business Outreach Center serving three states
Contact: Shirah Apple, Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org, 414-841-7013
MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), an SBA Women’s Business Center, micro-lender, and Community Advantage lender, has received funds from the SBA to establish a Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Racine. WWBIC is a first-time grantee for this program—one of five this year—and will become one of 22 such organizations to provide training and counseling to current and aspiring veteran small business owners as a VBOC. The new VBOC will support veterans in three states: Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.
The funding opportunity, offered by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, is a one-year initial award with up to four additional one-year option periods, subject to the availability of funds.
Each VBOC provides entrepreneurship training to military service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Training Program, the business training track under the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.
“WWBIC has a long and established track record of success serving Wisconsin’s small businesses,” said Eric Ness, Wisconsin’s SBA district director. “We look forward to working with them to more intensively support Wisconsin’s 40,000 veteran-owned small businesses and those from Minnesota and Illinois.”
During the past 30 years, WWBIC has assisted 60,145 individuals in Wisconsin, loaned $60 million to small business borrowers, helped create and retain 10,725 jobs through business education, technical assistance, revolving loan funds, and SBA loans. It has won national recognition from the SBA as both a lender and a Women’s Business Center. This will be its first expansion outside of Wisconsin.
In addition to transitioning service members and veteran small business owners, VBOCs also serve other members of the military entrepreneurship community, including active duty service members, veterans of all eras, National Guard and Reserve component members, and military spouses who aspire to be or are existing business owners.
To learn more about the new VBOC network, and to find your local center visit www.sba.gov/vboc. For more information on SBA veterans programs, visit www.sba.gov/vets.