Photo: ammentorp (123RF)
Each client at the DC WBC meets with a Business Development Specialist to identify the challenges for her business and the barriers to entry or growth. During this introduction to the DC WBC, the client learns about the life cycle of businesses and where the business is in that cycle. The Business Development Specialist then identifies the necessary resources and steps for the client to start, grow and strengthen her business. These resources include training, counseling and referrals to strategic partner organizations.
The DC WBC provides training opportunities for clients to start and grow their businesses. Training includes series of weekly workshops and monthly seminar classes taught by WBC Business Development Specialists and partner organizations. The topics include business planning, finance, marketing, operations, and licensing. DC WBC also provides special topic seminars and programs that focus on networking and mentoring opportunities.
The DC WBC provides access to ongoing counseling from WBC Business Development Specialists and U.S. Small Business Administration partners. Counseling sessions are designed to develop a formal understanding for the client's goals and challenges as well as create a system of accountability for identified tasks and actions toward business growth and establishment. Mentoring and coaching also serve as additional programs that supplement the counseling needs of women executives. To receive one-on-one business counseling, please refer to the “How to Register for Free Counseling” box in the top right hand corner of your screen.
The DC WBC works with entrepreneurs to understand their business financing needs and identify viable options for financing. Clients receive assistance in compiling an effective loan package through one-on-one consultations from lenders and through seminars on SBA financing options. In addition, DC WBC prepares businesses to take advantage of the NCRC Community Development Fund microloan fund. The NCRC Community Development Fund specializes in microloans specifically designed to support the new and emerging entrepreneurs being mentored and counseled by the DC WBC.
The DC WBC specializes in assisting women-owned firms develop procurement relationships with government agencies and key businesses in DC area. Procurement relationships provide a reliable market for the products and services of emerging entrepreneurs. Particular areas of focus include technology, retail, and professional services.