Now even more women entrepreneurs will be able to access free resources from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The federal agency recently announced plans for nine more Women’s Business Centers. “We know that when women get help in the early stages of their company, they will be more successful,” said Kathy McShane, assistant administrator for the SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership. Created 30 years ago to level the playing field, the Women’s Business Centers provide one-on-one counseling and mentoring, education, technical assistance, access to credit and loans, and networking. Female entrepreneurs can learn more about launching or growing their businesses, financial management, marketing, and procuring government and private contracts. Some locations also offer assistance in Spanish or other languages. In 2017, the Women’s Business Centers logged more than 148,000 visits and 100,000 hours of counseling and training. They also helped women launch 17,000 new businesses. “All of our entrepreneurs are to be admired for their persistence, creativity, and hard work. Most come through our doors with just a dream or an idea to serve the marketplace, and many are immigrants and refugees who share the characteristics of risk takers everywhere,” said Monique Lovato, CEO/executive director of the Mi Casa Resource Center. The Denver-based organization received the 2017 Women’s Business Center for Excellence Award. There are 9.9 million women-owned businesses in the nation and contribute $1.4 trillion in sales to the national economy, according to the SBA. “The funding of these new Women’s Business Centers expands women’s access to resources to help their businesses succeed,” said SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “The work these centers provide is one of the most valuable forms of assistance to help women entrepreneurs, who are an engine for economic growth.” The SBA will join forces with these local nonprofits to run the new Women’s Business Centers: \tBusiness Outreach Center Network, Inc. (Bronx, N.Y.) \tEconomic and Community Development Institute, Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio) \tLiftFund (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas) \tNortheast Entrepreneur Fund, Inc. (Brainerd, Minn.) \tSalt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (Cedar City, Utah) \tSouthwestern College Foundation (San Diego, Calif.) \tWisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (Appleton, Wis.) \tWomen and Technology (Fargo, N.D.) \tWomen’s Business Development Council (Norwich, Conn.) There are Women’s Business Centers in nearly every state. If there isn’t one near you, check out your local SBA office or free SBA online courses.