REAP Women's Business Center
The REAP Women's Business Center (WBC) is a center without "walls." We have business specialists located across Nebraska, specializing in outreach and training for rural women entrepreneurs. See our WBC Calendar of Events here.
Tax Time Help! The IRS has put together a 4-page list to help small businesses get their tax returns filed right the first time. Download IRS Resources for Small Businesses here.
Business Is Blooming for Floral Shop
Chelsea Hershey's shop, Downhome Emporium, is the go-to florist in rural central Nebraska. Discover how an SBA microloan and REAP WBC training helped to make it happen! (That's Chelsea pictured in her shop at the left.)
Don't Miss These Options for Women in Business!
Making the Most of Social Media Marketing Resources - now available online!
Come and celebrate Women's History Month at this event created especially for women in business! The Women Entrepreneurs Conference takes place at the YWCA, located at 211 E Fonner Park Road, Grand Island, NE 68801. Registration begins at 8 a.m., sessions kick off at 8:45 a.m., and the day ends at 3:30 p.m.
You'll get the personal attention you need to move your business ahead. Learn about small business legal issues, 21st century marketing, accounting and taxes, government contracting, and more. Participate in a fun speed networking event too! A panel of entrepreneurs will include Chelsea Hershey, whose story is provided above.
The Women Entrepreneurs Conference is provided by the REAP Women's Business Center, the Nebraska District Office of the US Small Business Administration, and our generous presenters and partners.
Have You Registered Your Small Business to Compete for Federal Contracts?
Some government contract bid opportunities are exclusively for small businesses. Veterans and women-owned businesses get priority. Visit the System for Award Management (SAM) database to learn more. SAM is also a marketing tool, allowing contractors to search your business.
See our Training Events Calendar for more events.
SBA Activities & Trainings
Answers about the New Health Care Law
From the Small Business Administration: download the SBA fact sheet, visit their new health care website and blog post with the Top 3 Things Small Businesses Should Know. From the Center for Rural Affairs: Rural Health Topics and Answers to Your Questions.
Find Federal Contracts for Your Business
The SBA Nebraska District Office offers a FREE, dynamic workshop designed to win federal government contracts for your small business. It takes place each 3rd Thursday of the month starting at 8:30 a.m. Here's what you'll discover:
- Is this market for you?
- What to do
- Where and how to find bidding opportunities on the Internet
- US Small Business Administration certifications
- A chance to meet the experts and join in discussion and group questions
To register, visit the online calendar and select the date you wish to attend. All workshops are at the SBA Nebraska District Office at 10675 Bedford Avenue, Suite 100, Omaha, just northeast of the intersection at 108th St. and Maple.
For more details, email Lisa Tedesco, Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402.221.7229.
REAP Roundtable Group Meetings
We partner with rural communities to start local REAP Roundtable groups. Group members meet for networking, discussion topics and education on their own schedule. The Columbus REAP Roundtable meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Location varies, often hosted by roundtable small business members. Contact Monica Braun, Women's Business Center Director for more information on REAP's roundtable groups or training: email@example.com or 402.643.2673.
Health Care Decision Making for Small Business
Small businesses have some big decisions to make about health care in 2013. University of Nebraska Extension wants to help. Choose your business type: self-employed, farmer or rancher business, employer with less than 50 full-time employees, or employer with more than 50 full-time employees. You'll see customized information. Visit UNL Extension's health care site here. And remember, the Center for Rural Affairs has some great information on the Affordable Care Act and rural people. See our health care work here.
Answers to Questions from Women in Business
Question: Are there grants to help fund a for-profit business?
Answer: Generally not. Several agencies including the Small Business Administration have low interest loan programs. The few grants available are for specific purposes, not for general business operating purposes. In general, your time will be better spent improving your business than applying, performing the work required, and reporting on grant funds.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is a federal grant program reserved for small companies doing research and development. It is not intended to fund company operations. Many states have programs to assist in applying for SBIR grants.
Question: Where can I get a loan to start or grow my small business?
Answer: REAP has loan funds from $1000-$50,000. Access the loan application and information here.
The Small Business Administration has a number of programs to financially and technically assist developing small businesses. Call them at 202.205.6600, or toll-free at 1.800.UASKSBA.
The Department of Commerce also has programs to assist small businesses. Contact them at 202.482.2000.
Helpful Links for Women in Business
Chic CEO gives easy to understand, easy to implement business knowledge. eve better, other women share their advice and experiences because someone else did the same for them.
WomensNet.net specializes in small grant awards to women business owners. Their Amber Grants for Women honor the memory of the founder's younger sister, Amber.
Start Up Nation - "A website for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs." The site features success stories, step-by=step advice, tips, newsletters, blogs, forums, etc.
Small Business and Self-Employed IRS Resource Website - Links to major business subjects, such as Business Expenses. Lists information by business topics, or by business type such as sole proprietor, corporation, etc.
HUD Small and Disadvantaged Business Resource Guide - Great Resource for Small Businesses - Links to agencies helpful to business development.
Doing Business with the Government - If you intend to buy from, sell to, or do business with the State of Nebraska you need to register with the State Procurement Office.
Register your business with the Nebraska Secretary of State. Download a packet of material for new Nebraska businesses at their site.
How to Protect your Idea - Contact the Patent & Trademark Office.
US Small Business Administration has loads of information to help you.
SBA's Women Business Offices is another great source of ideas and resources for women in business.
SBA Resource Library is where you'll find online training opportunities and more.
SCORE: Senior Corps of Retired Executives offers advice, training and mentoring.
BusinessFinancing.org is a non-promotional website built to help guide business owners with simple and straight-to-the-point facts about financing.
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA's Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) fosters participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy who have been historically under-served or excluded. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.