Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship Celebrates Black History Month By Supporting Minority-Owned Businesses Impacted by Covid-19

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WCEC Offers Webinars and Programs to Help BlPOC Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Covid-19 Relief Funding, Technical Assistance and Business Counseling

Women's Center for Entrepreneurship

"We want the Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship to be a go-to resource for minority-owned businesses, solopreneurs and BIPOC entrepreneurs who are struggling during the Covid crisis."

The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship is empowering minority and BIPOC-owned businesses during Black history month and throughout the year with webinars and programs focused on helping small businesses and solopreneurs succeed. In response to the nationwide call for social and racial justice, WCEC has made it part of its mission to support minority-owned small businesses and marginalized communities who often have limited access to Covid relief resources.

It has been widely reported that minority-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a June report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, 41% of Black-owned businesses have closed during the COVID-19 crisis, largely due to a lack of resources and access to capital. The WCEC team has taken on the challenge to help distressed small businesses by acting as frontliners in the pandemic-fueled economic crisis. The dedicated staff have rescued many businesses from bankruptcy by helping them apply for critical funding and to receive the essential technical assistance needed to survive, pivot and thrive.

WCEC client JaLeena Anthony, Founder of Create that Party credits WCEC with helping her pivot during the pandemic with business counseling, educational resources and securing grants not readily available to black female entrepreneurs. “WCEC has helped my business because they helped me become more business savvy and connected me to like-minded people. They always offer training and programs that come at the right time. It's important to continue to learn and educate myself and WCEC constantly reminds me of that.”

“We want the Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship to be a go-to resource for minority-owned businesses, solopreneurs and BIPOC entrepreneurs who are struggling during the Covid crisis,” says Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Rana Shanawani. “We are thrilled when we receive positive feedback from our clients. By working with us, many have received funding and
technical assistance to keep their businesses afloat.”

The WCEC provides a slate of informative webinars and one-on-one business counseling sessions to provide BIPOC business owners with the vital tools needed to sustain and scale up their business. The recent funding update webinar outlined how to apply for grants and loans designated for minority and BIPOC-owned businesses, including:

  • Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) DreamMaker Loan - Certified CDFI set aside $50,000 to offer DreamMaker Loans to businesses specifically affiliated with Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Approximately 10 loans of up to $5,000 will be made subject to underwriting criteria in 2021. Eligiblity: Black, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian business owners located in Northern NJ. Deadline: Rolling until allotted amount dispersed. http://www.gnecorp.org
  • FISERV Back2Business Grants - $10,000 grants to jump-start Black and minority-owned small businesses in hard-hit communities. Back2Business is designed to help stabilize and grow small businesses. Eligibility: Black or minority-owned business founded prior to June 1, 2019. Designated locations, including NJ businesses with annual revenues less than $1M and fewer than 10 employees Deadline: Create an account and apply online by February 26. https://aeoworks.org/fiserv/
  • Comcast Rise Program - Multi-year program providing marketing, creative, media, and technology services to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses. Eligibility: At least 51% Black or BIPOC owned and operated. Independently owned and operated for at least 1 year and located within COMCAST effective service area. Deadline: Apply online by May 7.https://www.comcastrise.com/apply/
  • 1863 3Rs Grant Program - Offering $500K in grants for Recover, Rebuild, Resilience - help for businesses overcoming persistent structural barriers faced due to race and/or gender during the short term uncertainty driven by COVID-19. Eligibility: Black-owned, for-profit business. Must complete required training and coaching course Compete for $5,000 grant per team. Deadline: Apply online by June 1.https://www.1863ventures.net/3rs-dc#the-experience

For more information on WCEC classes and additional funding opportunities, go to https://www.wcecnj.org/WBC/ClassSchedule/

About Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship

The Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship (WCEC) is a registered 501c3 nonprofit. As a Small Business Administration Resource Partner and Women’s Business Center, the WCEC’s mission is to help small businesses succeed. WCEC works with women and minority-owned businesses from the start up stage to existing small businesses looking to scale up by providing educational resources, business counseling, career training, technical assistance and COVID-19 relief loan and grant assistance.

For more information on WCEC, go to https://www.wcecnj.org/

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