Women's Business Center provides training and technical assistance

From September 2015 through May 2016, Women’s Business Center specialists and contracted technical assistance providers delivered 2,592 hours of business counseling to 733 clients. 

We have provided 138 training opportunities to 1,187 individuals. 67 percent of those trained were women. 224 start-up businesses have received assistance.

In the last year, the Women’s Business Center:

• Hosted the InnovateHER Challenge, with the Nebraska District Office of the Small Business Administration. Five businesses, whose products or services positively impact women, competed for prize money. Amy Johnson with LifeLoop, LLC, advanced to the national competition.

• Partnered with Nebraska Tourism Commission to sponsor the Agri-EcoTourism Conference-Your Resource MarketPlace in Grand Island, with 100 in attendance. 

• Collaborated with local economic development agencies and educational institutions to host four Business Plan Basics sessions in Broken Bow, Beatrice, North Platte and Red Cloud. Latino-targeted series were held in Schuyler and South Sioux City. A variety of business types participated, including home-based and storefront businesses, as well as start-up and existing businesses.

• Continued its collaboration with the University of Nebraska Entrepreneurship Clinic. Presentations on legal structures are made by third- and fourth-year students. Law students assist business owners in determining the best legal structure for their businesses and assist with the filing documents. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Entrepreneurship Clinic students presented a session at the Agri-EcoTourism Conference-Your Resource MarketPlace.

• Partnered with GROW Nebraska to hold the MarkeTECH conference and pre-conference in Kearney. 

• Used the Mobile Laptop Lab across the state for QuickBooks training with REAP clientele. Sessions were held in Lewellen, Hyannis, Scottsbluff, Norfolk, Wayne, Superior, North Platte, Grand Island, Schuyler, Kearney and Chadron. Approximately 130 businesses have been assisted. The laptops are also used for computer training and e-commerce training.

• Hosted Starting Up–What Women Need to Know to Start a Business conference in August in collaboration with the Small Business Administration Omaha District Office and FDIC. Sessions addressed strengths and weaknesses of entrepreneurs and cash flow, with a lender panel and a woman entrepreneur sharing lessons learned. Sessions were presented in English and Spanish.

• Held two seminars in Lincoln in collaboration with Community Development Resources: Online Marketing Strategies, and Sales and Use Taxes.

• Held two seminars on Federal Contracting and Certification as a Woman Owned Small Business in collaboration with the Small Business Administration Omaha District Office and Nebraska Business Development Center’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Seminars were in Lincoln and Hastings.

• Sponsored a monthly Women’s Roundtable in Seward. Local women business owners gathered to network and brainstorm ideas, discuss cooperative marketing opportunities and support each other.

Featured photo: The Women's Business Center sponsored Diane Siefkes, a social media consultant, to present Online Marketing Strategies sessions in Cambridge (pictured), Seward, Lincoln, Brownville, Geneva, McCook, Benkelman, Chadron, Scottsbluff, Sidney, Wahoo, Minden, Beatrice, Central City and Sargent. About 150 businesses, resource providers and nonprofits attended the seminars, co-sponsored by local economic development agencies.