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SBA Debuts Digital Learning Platform Geared to Women-Owned Businesses

  • SBA launches Ascent, a free digital learning platform for women entrepreneurs
  • Users can access resources on topics such as capital access, strategic marketing, and recovering from a disaster or economic downturn
  • SBA says Ascent and a commitment to launch 20 new Women’s Business Centers constitute the “largest single expansion” of resources aimed at women entrepreneurs in three decades

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the launch of a free online digital learning platform specifically geared to helping women-owned businesses to grow and expand.

Ascent is a joint effort of the SBA, White House, Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, and Department of the Treasury. The administration says that it offers the “largest single expansion of resources specifically tailored for women in more than 30 years” when paired with the SBA’s recent commitment to launch 20 new Women’s Business Centers. There are currently 136 such centers offering counseling, mentoring, training, networking, educational workshops, and technical assistance.

The platform is divided into major topics, dubbed Journeys, which are further subdivided into individual tools known as Excursions. These may include exercises, “fireside chats” with business experts, videos, infographics, self-assessments, discussion guides, key insights, and success stories.

Ascent currently offers resources on disaster and economic recovery, strategic marketing, hiring workers, developing a financial strategy, and accessing capital. More topics will be added over time.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza thanked Linda McMahon, a Connecticut business owner and former administrator of the SBA, saying she “planted the seed for this endeavor.” McMahon co-founded Titan Sports, which grew to become the wrestling titan WWE, and administered the SBA from 2017 to 2019.

The SBA says there are approximately 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States, and that women own or co-own 45 percent of the nation’s companies.

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