On October 11, 2022, Business Impact NW hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its new Alaska Women’s Business Center (AWBC), based in Anchorage.
Around 50 guests attended the festive ceremony for the center, which will help increase opportunities and recovery solutions for women entrepreneurs. The AWBC will also include outreach efforts to diverse communities, such as rural-based and Native American and Indigenous-owned small businesses.
Guest speakers included Joe Sky-Tucker, President and CEO, Business Impact NW; Donald Smith, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Women’s Business Ownership; Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, speaking via video and Michael Fong, SBA Regional Administrator.
The ceremony featured some of AWBC’s client businesses and their owners. Among them were Sugah & Spice, Diane Harris; Krysalis, Kris Green; Alaska Owned Apparel, Becky Strub and The Doll House, Rani Baxter.
The AWBC also thanked businesses and organizations that supported the ribbon-cutting event: the U.S. Small Business Administration, CoWork by RSD, Dianne's Wild Fork, David Jensen Photographs, the Association of Women's Business Centers and The Drip.
"The Women’s Business Center really could not come at a better time. After a tough couple of years with the pandemic, I firmly believe that Alaska is poised for growth and economic opportunity,” said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
About the Office of Women's Business Ownership
The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.
Since it was established in response to an executive order in 1979, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership has fostered the participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy, especially those who have been historically under-served or excluded. OWBO reaches out to women entrepreneurs through a number of programs that are coordinated through every SBA district office. OWBO’s programs provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities, including federal contracts.
In 1988 the SBA established the Women’s Business Center Program to better help women overcome continuing barriers to success. Today there are Women’s Business Centers in every state. The Alaska Women's Business Center is the 145th WBC.
These centers, along with SBA district offices and other SBA resource partners at thousands of locations nationwide help women entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses.
Each Women’s Business Center tailors its services to the needs of its individual community. Each provides training in finance, management, marketing, and the Internet, as well as offering access to all the SBA’s financial and procurement assistance programs.