The Women’s Business Center Winston-Salem will open its doors for the first time August 12, and at the same time open a diverse wave of opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-up business in the area.
The Women’s Business Center is the result of the vision and work of Dr. Carol Davis, the executive director of the S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation. She researched and wrote the grant application that won the grant from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to fund the Women’s Business Center located at the S.G. Atkins Enterprise Center. The S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation was founded by Winston-Salem State University in 1998. It bears the name of the university’s founder and first president.
The Women’s Business Center is the sixth the SBA has established in North Carolina and the second at a North Carolina Historically Black College or University.
The Enterprise Center offers start-up and emerging companies an affordable office space and exceptional level of support from the business professionals and organizations as well as faculty from WSSU. The addition of the Women’s Business Center will greatly enhance and expand its efforts.
“We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Enterprise Center and I am thankful that the SBA chose to add their resources here where we have 44 Black entrepreneurs working every day to grow their businesses,” said Davis. “This is a five-year commitment from the SBA that will bring SBA educational resources and access to SBA capital directly to this community”
The build out of the Women’s Business Center included an expansion of the current business development program at the Enterprise Center incubator, including an expanded business services project over the next five years.
Dr. Joy Lough was recently named the program director for the Women’s Business Center through funding from the SBA grant. She will provide classes to the current incubator occupants and entrepreneurs in the community who are start-ups or existing businesses.
“I am honored to be part of one of the first Women’s Business Centers in North Carolina that is affiliated with an HBCU,” said Lough, a business start-up and success strategist. “I am excited about our partnership with the Small Business Administration and look forward to serving women of color as they access capital, refine their business models, and implement marketing strategies.”
The Women’s Business Center, located at 1922 South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Winston-Salem, will also promote access to SBA grant and loan programs, an advisory committee of mentors and resources to address barriers to economic mobility.
Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Dr. Elwood Robinson and SBA District Director Michael Arriola will be on hand for a 4 p.m. ribbon cutting on August 12. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, there will be a reception and tours. The public is invited to attend.
The event will be live-streamed and can be viewed by visiting: https://livestream.com/wssummts/sbawomensbusinesscenter.