CIWBC Receives SBA Indiana Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award

This week, the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC) was awarded the SBA Indiana District Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award during the 2018 Indiana SBDC Impact Awards. Stacie Poynter, SBA Indiana District Director, presented the award.

Business Ownership Initiative, a business unit of the Indy Chamber, has successfully hosted the CIWBC since 2004, providing exceptional services to small businesses – especially those owned by women and minorities. The CIWBC, while 100% congruent with the overall mission and alignment of the Business Ownership Initiative, distinguishes itself by addressing the needs of women in business. More specifically, the CIWBC is known for its Women in Business series, a quarterly gathering where female entrepreneurs have the opportunity to network and learn from local entrepreneurs, C-Suite executives, inspirational speakers, and community thought leaders.

The CIWBC was nominated due to its high-performing leadership among the National Association of Women’s Business Centers. Last year, the CIWBC exceeded many of its goals:

  •      Coached 656 unique individuals (64% women, 59% minorities and 6% veterans) - meeting 131% of goal
  •      Completed 1447 coaching hours and 1211 consultations - meeting 132% of goal
  •      84 individuals completed our Business Plan Workshop -  meeting 168% of goal
  •      Assisted 63 individuals in starting a business - Meeting 60% of goal
  •      Assisted 7 women owned small businesses access $208,500 in capital
  •      Trained 908 individuals (78% female) - Meeting goal by 158%
  •      Provided 4,992 hours of training - Meeting goal by 312%

The CIWBC shows responsive leadership as it continues to adapt its programs to meet the needs of a changing community. New CIWBC initiatives include the partnering with the SOURCE River West Entrepreneurship Center, which allowed them to expand their reach to a more concentrated population of Hispanic business owners on the Near West Side. Additionally, BOI and its CWIBC were able to successfully launch the new ReEntry Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDi), which provides entrepreneurship education and free small business coaching to soon-to-be released and recently released ex-offenders.  Particular focus has been given to female ex-offenders currently incarcerated within the Indiana Women's Prison.

The CIWBC, like many non-profits, relies on the generosity of individuals to support their mission of providing the resources and tools necessary to help entrepreneurs start and grow with the support they need. Through the CIWBC’s Inspired Fund, women are given an opportunity to support fellow women on their entrepreneur journey. For every dollar donated, the Clowes Fund will provide a 1:1 match, doubling the impact. Consider helping CIWBC meet their 3 year fundraising goal by making a contribution online.

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