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. We are excited to offer a full slate of Online Training Opportunities. And you can view our WBC Calendar of Events here.
Innovating for Women Business Challenge
Enter our local REAP-WBC InnovateHER competition for a chance to participate in a national competition win $70,000 in cash prizes! Application packages are due Oct 16, 2015. Five local finalists will be selected to participate in a marketing pitch competition on Nov 6, 2015 in Lincoln. The local winner will compete with national finalists for a spot in the final round. It could be you!
In photo at right, Dave Buchholz of David & Associates leads a REAP WBC training on "How to Sqeeze More out of Your Marketing." Check out these marketing resources from the University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension too:
- Making the Most of Social Media Marketing
- Direct Marketing of Specialty Food Products
- eTailing – Taking Charge of Your Online Presence
- Claim Your Bubble: Claim, Correct, and Customize your Business Listing
Dreambuilder.org - Do you need help thinking through a business plan? This may be a good place to begin. Dreambuilder.org offers 13 sessions in a fun, interactive environment. Sessions average 1.5 hours. Sign up through the website and there is no fee. Available in English or Spanish.
Great Women Entrepreneurs Conference coverage from the Grand Island Independent! Entrepreneur conference serves women business owners
Information for Women in Business - SBA provides resources to help women entrepreneurs launch your new businesses, grow your businesses, and compete in the global marketplace. With online resources, financing opportunities, and Women’s Business Centers, they are there to help you succeed. Find out more.
Fall 2015 Nebraska Tax Seminars - Topics include Agri-business; Manufacturing Machinery & Equipment; Sales and Use Tax; Nonprofit Organizations; and Construction Contractors. To register for a particular seminar, call the number listed for that seminar location. The Nebraska Department of Revenue recommends that you register early to avoid session cancellation. You'll find the schedule of seminars and contact information here.
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.
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.email@example.com 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. Contact Monica Braun, Women's Business Center Director for more information on REAP's roundtable groups or training: firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.643.2673.
Health Care Decision Making for Small Business
Small businesses have some big decisions to make about health care nowadays. 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, but there are a few grants available for specific purposes. For example, there are grants for childcare operations, grants for upgrading energy efficient equipment, grants for manufacturing companies, and grants for commercialization of innovations. These grants have a specific audience and application process and they are not available for funding general business operating purposes. Even though, receiving grant money is money that a business owner doesn’t have to pay back, there is a cost for the business owner: Time. It takes time to prepare and apply for a competitive grant and there are reporting requirements from granting agencies that the small business owner must comply with if the grant is awarded.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Contact the Nebraska Business Development Center if you want to learn more about this program and if you want to check qualifications and process to apply for this research grant. Also, companies engaged in research and development may want to check grant matching programs available through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and its Business Innovation Act.
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
Credit Report Reviews is a comprehensive review guide of top credit monitoring companies.
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. All SBA funded programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) will be made if requested in advance.