The WEOC Women’s Business Center wins third straight Indiana Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award

An agency that assists women’s business development in northeast Indiana has been recognized for its performance in 2023 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The WEOC Women’s Business Center (WBC) will be honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration with its Indiana Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award at a luncheon this Friday in Indianapolis. The event coincides with the SBA’s nationwide observance of Small Business Week.

It marks the third consecutive year that the WEOC WBC, which operates from the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC), 3201 Stellhorn Road, has received accolades from the SBA. It was named the Indiana Business Center of Excellence in 2022 and in 2023 was judged the top women’s business center in the SBA’s six-state Great Lakes Region.

“Over the past 6 years, I have witnessed our Women’s Business Center better serve our outlying counties, expand our services to the Hispanic community, and expand our coaching staff to represent the individuals we serve,” said Leslee Hill, Director of Entrepreneurial Services for the NIIC and also the WBC director. “It brings me great pride to have our coaches recognized by receiving this award.  We pour our best selves into supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs.  I encourage all who dream of owning a business to come speak with us.”

“As small business owners, ourselves, we have someone on staff to support you as you achieve your dream.”

For nine years, WEOC WBC has provided low-cost and no-cost business support to women entrepreneurs across 16 counties in northern Indiana. Business coaching on business development, financial wellness, team management, operational excellence and more enables women to own and operate successful small businesses. Specific WEOC WBC assistance includes programming, coaching, mentoring, networking, and access to capital.

The SBA chose WEOC WBC for the Center of Excellence Award for 2023 based on its number of clients served, unique programming offered, and the way in which it wears its services around the client. The WEOC WBC is one of two such centers in Indiana and one of 150 nationwide.

“Small business is the backbone of the American economy,” said SBA Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter, “and they make up 99.4% of the companies located in our bold state and employ almost half of the workforce.  For over 70 years as a federal agency, the SBA has been instrumental supporting their growth through a network of free resources, tools, training, and access to funding. We’re proud and we’re honored to be able to do what we do for entrepreneurs and truthfully, every week is small business week. But during National Small Business Week, we like to turn up the spotlight on entrepreneurs just a little bit brighter.”

The SBA provides significant operational funding for WEOC WBC, while the NIIC is its host organization and provides supplemental funding and complementary resources. The NIIC is a nonprofit, entrepreneurial community designed to advise entrepreneurs to plan, launch, and grow successful business ventures.

For more information, visit www.weocwbc.net.


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