The Women’s Business Center
is your First Step to Success.
The mission of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) is to promote the growth of women-owned businesses by providing business training and technical assistance, helping with access to credit and capital, and identifying federal contract and trade opportunities.
The WBC serves the Rio Grande Valley, an area that includes the counties of Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy. These are the four, southern most counties in the State of Texas, covering a 4,240 sq. mile area, with a combined population of 1,170,776. As evidenced, since its inception in 2004, the WBC has assisted a total of 98 clients in either starting or expanding their businesses, and trained an additional 2,921 clients.
Dedicated to Advancing Disadvantaged Women
The WBC is committed to advancing the success of all women. Among the thousands of women living and working in the Rio Grande Valley, there is a large number of women who are socially and economically disadvantaged. These are women whose families live in housing projects, colonias (shanty towns), and other low-income housing. Many are single heads of household and struggle to make ends meet. According to 2007 U.S. Census figures, there are approximately 64,176 female households with no husband present who live below poverty levels in the Rio Grande Valley. In addition, there are approximately 63,165 women in the area that are over 25 years of age and who do not have a minimum of an associate’s degree. Additional statistics by the Texas Health & Human Services Commission indicate that as of December 2008, approximately 72,110 women over the age of 18 years were receiving Medicaid, 123,572 were receiving food stamps, and 11,815 were on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Despite these figures, many of these women have marketable skills. Some of these talented and determined women beat the odds and succeed in establishing business enterprises. Once started, their businesses face enormous financial, managerial and marketing challenges. Because of their socioeconomic status and, in many cases, language, educational and cultural barriers, these women can most benefit from the services of the WBC.
How is WBC Funded?
Funded partially by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the corporate sector and the community at large.