North Florida News - Special Women's Business Edition

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March 2017

North Florida District Office (NFDO) News - Women's Business Edition

Brought to you by the U.S. Small Business Administration

March is Women's History Month

Women's History Month 2017

Women are celebrated and honored every day by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). We recognize the value that woman-owned small businesses present to our great economy. Women entrepreneurs challenge the role that women face in the labor force every day by driving innovation and technology; placing small business on a global competitive playing field.  The entrepreneurial drive that women possess leads to jobs creation and exponential growth for our economy.  We often hear that small business is the engine that drives our U.S. economy.  There are nearly 10 million women owned small businesses in the United States, so it is very clear who is in the driver’s seat of this fast moving vessel.

SBA provides resources to help women entrepreneurs launch new businesses, grow their businesses and compete in the global marketplace. With our online resources, financing opportunities and Women’s Business Centers, we’re here to help you succeed.

North Florida District Office

Donna Padgug, Women's Business Representative

(904) 443-1900

Jacksonville Women's Business Center

Women's Business Center
3 Independent Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: 904-366-6640


SBA Success Stories

Some of our recent success stories!

Heather Sams

Heather Sams, Owner of HAS Art Solutions, LLC. (HASAS) has increased her revenue by 50%, has hired 7 new people, and has expanded her space as a result of her participation in ScaleUp North Florida, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and administered through the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida.

<Read More>

Kelly Munoz

Kelly Munoz, President, Central Southern Construction (CSC), has grown the company from a 2-person operation to a multi-million dollar business with 72 employees within 7 years of starting. CSC is a heavy civil federal contractor and a participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program since 2012.

<Read More>

Training Opportunities for Veteran Women

Veterans Campaign

The U.S. Small Business Administration this week announced the awarding of $300,000 in Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program grants to three organizations offering small business development resources to women veterans and military spouses. 

North Florida Area Recipient: 

Bunker Labs provides education, mentoring and networking opportunities to help military veterans start and grow their businesses. EPIC is a 14-week training course offered by Bunker Labs where participants meet weekly, while also having access to the online “Bunker in a Box.” The program is offered in Chicago, Philadelphia, Redwood City (California), Nashville, Austin, Minneapolis, New York City, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Madison (Wisconsin), and Washington, D.C.

Other Recipients: 

The V-WISE program is an intensive three-phase program containing a 15-day online preparatory course, a two-day residency program, and post-training technical support. IVMF also offers an accelerated version of the course called “IGNITE.” Both programs are open to applicants nationwide.

 Lift Fund is a non-profit organization that helps small business owners with limited access to capital. The Texas-based Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Program is a seven-week course offering both in-person and online training, and covers everything from technical assistance to capital requirements. The program serves the San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Laredo, Brownsville, and El Paso areas.


SBA in the Community

Group photo of SBA staff
Pictured L to R: James Van Horn, Lead Lender Relations Specialist; Natalie Hall; Economic Development Specialist; Thaddeus Hammond; Business Opportunity Specialist; Rosalind Bryant, Lender Relations Specialist; and Gilbert Colón, Deputy District Director. Missing from the photo is Arleen Boyd-Alston, SBA Procurement Center Representative.

The NFDO recently held a Small Business Summit (the first in a series) aimed at helping small businesses do business with the government. The event was hosted by SBA GC Area III PCR, Arleen Boyd-Alston and Thaddeus Hammond (NFDO BOS).

Gilbert Colón, Deputy District Director offered welcoming remarks to the group of 45+ attendees. Rosalind Bryant (NFDO LRS), along with Rodrigo Cerveira, ACCION East (micro-lender) and Janice Bounds (CBC National Bank) presented information on obtaining financing.  Natalie Hall (NFDO EDS) provided an overview of the SBA’s Programs and Services, to include Veterans Programs.  Arleen Boyd-Alston provided insight on how she views many acquisition and procurement strategies before they are announced, so she can assist small businesses in obtaining federal govt. contracts. In addition, Cherri Duval (Eglin AFB-Director, SB Office) and Diana Jordan-Burks (ACOE JAX District-SBS) conducted workshops on how to do business with their agencies and the types of services they procure.


SBA Announces Special Training - EMERGING LEADERS

Emerging Leaders 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida

Emerging Leaders - USA Logo

Attention Business Owners!

If you’re looking for a solution on how to grow your small business in 2017, the SBA may have the answer.

Recruitment for SBA’s Emerging Leaders 2017 training cycle is now underway at selected SBA district offices, and we’re looking for interested small businesses.

Emerging Leaders is a FREE executive-level training program that provides tools and resources to help under-served small companies to sustain and grow. Now in its ninth year, Emerging Leaders is an intensive entrepreneurship education series for small businesses that have the potential for quick growth and job creation.  The initiative has been a change-maker in increasing opportunities for under-served communities, and it provides participating businesses with an organizational framework, as well as a resource network, that helps to form sustainable companies and promote economic development within urban and rural communities. 

If you are a small business owner interested in applying for the 2017 training cycle, be sure to first learn more about the full eligibility requirements for participants.

Please take a minute to register your company’s interest here: Emerging Leaders Registration for consideration for the 2017 cycle.  Added information on the Emerging Leaders is available online.

Sign-up now, classes are scheduled to begin in May. 

Contact or at (904) 443-1900 for more information on the program.


Check out the North Florida District Website for more events and workshops. New events are added all the time.

Bay County - Small Business Workshop


April 4, 2017 | 5:30 pm CDT - 7:30 pm CDT

Location Name:

Bay County Public Library

898 West 11th Street, Panama City, FL,32401

8(a) Certification Workshop

Date: April 11, 2017 | 10:00 am EDT - 12:00 pm 

Location Name:                           U.S. Small Business Administration District Office

7825 Baymeadows Way,

Suite 100-B,               Jacksonville, FL,32256

SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program

Date: April 11, 2017 | 5:30 - 7:30 pm 

Location Name:                         U.S. Small Business Administration District Office

7825 Baymeadows Way,

Suite 100-B,               Jacksonville, FL,32256

Enter the building from the Lake Side