SBA Launches Online Women's Business Center

Small Business Administration Administrator Aida Alvarez has announced that the award-winning Online Women’s Business Center has a new look and a new address on the Internet. The free, interactive entrepreneurial Web site, formerly managed by a grantee, will now be managed directly by the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership.

"The Online Women’s Business Center, which we launched just three years ago this month, has become the premier training site for women entrepreneurs worldwide," said Ms. Alvarez. "It quickly garnered many prestigious awards and has helped countless women start businesses and improve their business acumen. Now it has a fresh, new look and is coming in-house: www.onlinewbc.org is now www.onlinewbc.gov."

According to SBA Associate Administrator for Women’s Business Ownership Sherrye Henry, "Bringing the Web site in-house will give the SBA a greater ability to keep the information current. A resource like this has to be up-to-the-minute - that’s crucial. This will make our job much easier."

The Online WBC was originally developed by the North Texas Women’s Business Development Center under a grant from the SBA, as part of the Women’s Business Center Program. Its content is drawn from a network of women’s business centers nationwide, which also provide online assistance and counseling. Since Vice President Al Gore launched the site in January 1998, it has been accessed by people in 100 countries worldwide and translated into Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Icelandic. French and Arabic are in development. The Online WBC is linked to hundreds of other women’s business Web sites and resources, and receives more than two million hits a month. It also contributes success stories as a regular feature on iVillage.com.

Now, to better operate and develop the Web site, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership will manage it directly. SBA women’s business centers nationwide will continue their support role, providing online assistance and counseling.

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