The Center for Rural Affairs Women’s Business Center provides free services to all Nebraskans to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow successful businesses. Funds from the Small Business Administration and private donors secure our ability to work in communities across the state.
Whether for a luncheon or classroom workshop, we offer business startup and management training across the state, year-round. We cover topics ranging from QuickBooks, and marketing, to business startup, and strategic planning. Click here for information.
Our business specialists host regularly scheduled networking events in towns across the state. These events serve as a venue for local entrepreneurs and business owners to connect, share ideas, and learn more about new business management practices. Visit our Online Training Center to access in-demand business resources.
We offer personal, one-on-one business assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state. Our business specialists and consultants can work with you virtually or in-person. To request an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Access on-demand business resources.
Protect your small business against fraud. Learn more from the Small Business Administration.
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.
Information for women in business - Small Business Administration 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.
Women's Business Center Director
Center for Rural Affairs
Women’s Business Center Director
Where are you located? Where do you serve?
The Center for Rural Affairs Women's Business Center's main office is in Grand Island at 3180 W Hwy 34, Rm 200. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are encouraged as we are traveling often to meet you at your businesses. In addition, we offer service hours to accommodate women business owners and entrepreneurs' needs and work schedules.
We serve all areas in Nebraska except for the Omaha metro area. Vicky Espinoza and Brissa Borjas Esparza serve across the state.
Are there grants to help fund a for-profit business?
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 program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research/research and development 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 processes 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.
Where can I get a loan or find resources to start or grow my small business?
The Center for Rural Affairs offers loans from $1,000 to $250,000. Access the loan application and information here.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has a number of programs to financially and technically assist developing small businesses. Visit your district office for more resources or questions. Click here to visit their website in Spanish.
The Department of Commerce also has programs to assist small businesses. Contact them at 202.482.2000.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has small business programs.
SCORE offers advice, training and mentoring.
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (click here to visit SBA's page in Spanish). SBA's Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) fosters participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy who have been historically underserved 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.