Women's Business Ownership Assistance


To fund private, nonprofit organizations to assist, through training and counseling, small business concerns owned and controlled by women, and to remove, in so far as possible, the discriminatory barriers that are encountered by women in accessing capital and promoting their businesses.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Small Business Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 No data available 17335000
Fiscal Year 2017 18000000
Fiscal Year 2018 $18,500,000
Fiscal Year 2019 For Fiscal Year (FY) 2019: It is projected that approximately $17million will be available for the Women's Business Center Program.
Fiscal Year 2022 In FY 2022, the SBA advised and trained over 84,000 entrepreneurs and helped create more than 2,800 new small businesses through the Women's Business Centers. For more information about SBA accomplishments, access the SBA Congressional Budget Justification and Annual Performance Report: https://www.sba.gov/document/report-congressional-budget-justification-annual-performance-report
Small Business Act, Section 29 (15 U.S.C. 656)
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Private, nonprofit organizations having experience in effectively training and counseling business women. Public educational institutions and State and local governments are not eligible.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Women entrepreneurs starting their own business or expanding their existing business.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applications are accepted in accordance with and up to the date specified in the annual program announcement as posted at www.grants.gov and www.sba.gov/wbc. The applicant must complete the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Forms 424, 424A and 424B) and submit a written proposal addressing all of the selection criteria stated in the program announcement. The applicant must submit applications/proposals electronically through www.grants.gov (free training on electronic filing is available on the site) by the application closing date.
Award Procedure
Proposals of eligible applicants are evaluated by a review panel. Candidates for sustainability awards also undergo a site review as appropriate. The SBA/Office of Women's Business Ownership issues an award to each approved applicant.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
Additional information available at SBA's website at www.sba.gov.
Continued annual option awards are issued to successful award recipients through a five-year term without recompetition and also through a three-year term for the renewal recipients.
How are proposals selected?
As stated in each solicitation for proposals, but including: B. EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR WBC APPLICANT TECHNICAL PROPOSAL a. Mission Alignment and Experience (up to 10 points), b. Organizational Experience and Capacity (up to 15 points), c. Market Assessment for Services Provided (up to 15 points), d. Project Objectives and Milestone (up to 20 points), e. Plans for Marketing and Collaboration with SBA and Other Community and Small Business Organizations (up to 10 points), f. Sources and Leverage of other Funds (up to 5 points), g. Financial Management Capability and Confirmation of Match (up to 15 points), h. Program Evaluation and Economic Impact (up to 5 points), and i. Technological Capabilities (up to 5 points).
How may assistance be used?
To establish women's business centers (WBCs) for the benefit of small business concerns owned and controlled by women. The services provided by the women's business centers must include financial, management, procurement and marketing assistance to start-up or established concerns, as well as mentoring and Internet services. Program participants that successfully complete the initial 5-year grant may apply for a 3-year renewal grant. Successful participants may renew the grant every 3 years.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Information available at https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/organization/performance.
Applicants must follow the requirements as listed in 2 CFR Chapter 1, Chapter II, Part 200, et al.
The awardee shall maintain and submit detailed, complete and accurate client activity records to reflect clearly the nature and variety of services provided. Financial records must be kept until three years after the completion and submission of the final report.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. For the initial phase WBC awards, the non-Federal entities are required to match awarded funds on a 1:2 ratio for the first 2 years of the grant and a 1:1 ratio for the subsequent 3 years. For Renewal grants, the non-Federal entities are required to match awarded funds on a 1:1 ratio for each of the 3 years of the grant.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Initial and option year awards are issued annually, without recompetition, through the five-year grant term to compliant centers. Additional information available at SBA's website at www.sba.gov.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Assistance Locations at https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance.
Headquarters Office
Edna Greene
409 3rd St., SW
6th Floor
Washington, DC 20416 US
Phone: 202-205-9424
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22$22,600,000.00; FY 23 est $27,000,000.00; FY 24 est $27,000,000.00; FY 21$26,357,000.00; FY 20$18,105,000.00; FY 19$16,696,000.00; FY 18$17,302,000.00; FY 17$15,849,000.00; FY 16$17,335,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$150,000 is the maximum grant amount.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2023 Entrepreneurial development projects providing counseling and mentoring and facilitate access to capital for women entrepreneurs.


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