Laura Schafsnitz, SBA Indiana Public Affairs, and Tammy Allen, NIIC SR. Director | Marketing & Communications

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) awards Fort Wayne’s WEOC WBC as the top Women’s Business Center in Indiana and the Great Lakes region

As part of the SBA’s National Small Business Week celebrations, this prestigious SBA award recognizes the WEOC WBC as the best resource for women entrepreneurs in six states

FORT WAYNE – On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. ET the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter will travel to Fort Wayne to present the WEOC Women’s Business Center (WBC) with the SBA Great Lakes Region and Indiana Women’s Business Center of the Year award.  The award is part of National Small Business Week events highlighting the accomplishments of small businesses and organizations supporting their growth and impact on the American economy.

Located in Fort Wayne on the campus of its host organization, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC), the WEOC WBC serves Northeast Indiana women at all stages of their business ventures. WEOC WBC provides business growth coaching, training and education, connectivity, mentoring, and access to capital.  During FY 22, the WEOC WBC served 719 clients at all stages of small business ownership, empowered nine new business starts, and helped women business owners secure nearly half a million dollars in small business funding.

Media are invited to the awards presentation being held at the NIIC on May 3, 2023.  Please RSVP to Laura Schafsnitz at laura.schafsnitz@sba.gov or Tammy Allen at info@niic.net. Space is limited, so early responses are recommended.

WHEN:  Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 11:00 a.m. ET

WHERE:  Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (map directions linked), Lake City Bank Conference Room in the Emerging Growth Center (Building), 3201 Stellhorn Road,Fort Wayne, IN  46815

WHY:  To celebrate National Small Business Week and highlight the achievements of the WEOC WBC as the go-to source for women entrepreneurs wanting to achieve their version of the American dream through small business ownership.


About SBA National Small Business Week

For nearly 60 years, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, recognizing the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.  More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, creating about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.  As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories.  Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

About NIIC

About 20 years ago, NIIC was created to solve a problem. Aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs needed somewhere to go in Northeast Indiana to incubate their businesses. Visionary leaders imagined a place where innovation and economic development intersect for a COMMUNITY. Entrepreneurs and innovators have launched hundreds of new products and patents, created thousands of jobs, and infused hundreds of millions in grants and capital into Northeast Indiana’s economy.

As a Venture Hub, NIIC pulls down barriers (geographic, racial, socio-economic, and interest-based), working with the regional Community of Communities to create an ecosystem of Entrepreneurship for ALL. NIIC’s focus is collaboration and maximizing the impact of regional partners.

The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) recognized NIIC with the 2020 Dinah Adkins Award and the Entrepreneur Center of the Year: Mixed Use Award. NIIC’s WEOC Women’s Business Center (WBC) is one of two U.S. Small Business Administration-designated Women’s Business Centers in Indiana. WEOC WBC was named the 2022 SBA Indiana Women’s Business Center of Excellence. 


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