Women entrepreneurs can find workshops and counselors at women’s business centers like the one serving San Diego and Empire counties. Photo credit: Screenshot, California Network Women’s Business Center, via californiawbc.org/

California Women’s Business Centers, a network of small business centers dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs, is partnering with Union Bank for additional funding.

The state-wide WBC network, comprising 16 centers, is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration as good as Office of the Governor for Business and Economic Development.

Women entrepreneurs and others can look for counselors who work with small business owners one-on-one, free of charge and in different languages ​​if needed.

the MUFG Union Bank Foundation last year launched its WE CAN initiative – Women’s Entrepreneurship, Capacity, Advocacy, Nurturing – with a grant of $ 500,000 over two years to help create business centers for underfunded women across California.

Foundation officials noted the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women entrepreneurs, especially women of color, in the pursuit of the initiative.

“Union Bank has a long tradition of supporting the small business community within our West Coast footprint, and this is what makes WE CAN so important to us,” said Kathy Patoff, COO of the MUFG Union Bank Foundation.

In 2020, the state’s women’s business centers – including the satellite campus of Southwestern College in National City – served 12,300 clients, helping them raise $ 50 million in capital.

This has led to the creation or maintenance of 15,850 jobs, officials said, while helping 9,000 businesses start or grow, and helping owners increase their gross incomes by $ 350 million.

Miriam Magana used a local center to expand her home child care business.

“I took a finance class… which I couldn’t believe I had never done, so after 15 years in the business it was the best decision I could make, and they have it. made very easy and possible, ”she said.

California has the highest number of female entrepreneurs in the country, according to Union Bank, at 1.5 million.

Yet despite women’s contributions to local economies, investment and training for women-owned business centers has stagnated. The bank, hoping to boost investment opportunities, is working with women’s business centers to offer workshops on access to capital and other banking-related topics.

“This grant and partnership is making a world of difference to our centers and to women entrepreneurs across the state,” said Nancy Swift, president of the state’s Women’s Business Center Network. “… This partnership offers a significant return on investment and is essential. “

Find the nearest center on Californiawbc.org. Those interested can also call (619) 216-6719.

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