SBA Announces Funding for Women’s Business Centers in Puerto Rico

The Small Business Administration has announced new funding for Women’s Business Centers in Puerto Rico. A total of $300,000 will be divided into two grants which can go to established or new organizations. The organizations will host the WBCs, which will provide services for female entrepreneurs.

SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman attended the White House Puerto Rico Working Group meeting that took place recently. The Working Group, which is a reactivation of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico, is focusing on economic growth for the Island.

The WBCs will be in multiple locations across the Island.

“As the nation recovers, it is SBA’s priority to ensure that women in Puerto Rico have equitable access to resources and support to start, scale, and grow much-needed businesses within their communities,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, SBA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership. “The SBA’s WBC program is that catalyst for the growth of in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services for women entrepreneurs.”

Application process

The hosting organizations must be private, nonprofit organizations with 501(c) tax-exempt status from the U.S. Treasury/Internal Revenue Service. The organizations must already be providing relevant services in Puerto Rico.

One current center, the ‘Business Center for Women’ in Mayagüez, is managed by the Fundación de Sila Maria Calderon. The SBA grants will allow new centers, hosted by new organizations.

Each successful applicant will receive a grant of $150,000 per year. Fundación de Sila Maria Calderon first received this grant in 2016.

Applications for the grants will be accepted between Tuesday, July 27, 2021, and Monday, August 16, 2021. Grant proposals must be sent to www.grants.gov by Monday, August 16, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.  Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Proposals submitted after the stipulated deadline will be rejected without being evaluated.

Questions about the WBC funding opportunity may be directed to Donald Smith, SBA Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, at Donald.Smith@sba.gov. For issues with grants.gov, please visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/support.html, call the Grants.gov Support Line at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov.

More information on the Women’s Business Centers can be found at their website.

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