Small business series: Resources for business startups


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The path of a small business owner is rarely direct and often lonely. Whether you’re a solopreneur or you’ve got a small team behind you, small business ownership can be difficult to navigate. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. The Women’s Business Center at the Center for Rural Affairs is ready to educate, assist, and support you on your road to small business success.

What is the Women’s Business Center (WBC)?

The Center for Rural Affairs Women’s Business Center is funded by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women Business Ownership and serves as the business development and educational side of the Center For Rural Affairs’ lending work. The mission of the WBC is simple: to empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support. While our mission focuses on women, we provide education and support for all entrepreneurs regardless of their gender.

Small business ownership doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and the WBC exists to give rural Nebraskans the educational tools they need to thrive. We are a “center without walls,” and we pride ourselves on meeting our clients where they are, both physically and educationally. We will come to you and give your business the support it needs to grow. Our goal is to empower you to start and grow your business with confidence.

GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center (GNWBC)

While the Center’s WBC serves rural Nebraska, GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center serves Omaha. Its mission is to serve all women, cultures, and communities in the metro area in achieving their educational, professional, and entrepreneurial goals.

Commonly asked questions

  • Who does the Women’s Business Center serve?
    The WBC serves all Nebraskans, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged. Services are offered in multiple languages to help small business owners of many cultures start and grow their businesses.
  • What types of services does the Women’s Business Center provide?
    The WBC offers training, networking events, and one-on-one coaching, all at no cost.
  • What types of training are available?
    We offer business startup and management training across Nebraska year-round. Topics include business planning, marketing, disaster and recovery, computer literacy, and financial literacy. We also offer sector-specific training in the following areas:
    • Child care,
    • Construction,
    • Food industry,
    • Janitorial cleaning,
    • Salon/cosmetology, and
    • Freight trucking.

You can learn more about our in-person and online training opportunities here.

  • Are there networking events?
    Our business specialists host networking events throughout the year in towns across Nebraska to foster education and connection among business owners. These typically begin with a 20- to 30-minute training component, followed by time for small business owners to network and discuss the topic. You can find events in your area here.
  • Is one-on-one coaching available?
    Our loan specialists and consultants can work with you virtually or in person to help you with startup planning, bookkeeping, accessing capital, and business acquisition.
  • How is the Women’s Business Center funded?
    Our funding comes from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership and our generous donors. It is through this support that we are able to provide our services free of charge.
  • Who does the Women’s Business Center partner with?
    We partner with experts within each sector for our training to ensure we’re providing the most current information. Our partners include Educational Service Units, the state Department of Health and Human Services, economic development offices, Chambers of Commerce, local organizations, nonprofit organizations, building chapters, the University of Nebraska Extension Office, and the Nebraska Business Development Center, among others.
  • How can I contact the Women’s Business Center?
    Reach the WBC via email at
  • Where can I see the events planned for 2024? 
    Our upcoming events are listed here. Additional events are added often.
  • How can community leaders provide training?
    We are always looking for new ways to extend training opportunities across Nebraska. If you’re interested in providing training in partnership with the WBC, reach out to us at

We take great pride in our position as a “center without walls,” and we’re ready to serve you as you move your business forward. We are here to support your business, wherever you are in your journey.