SBA Region One Review - August 26, 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

New England Regional Office  - August 26, 2021

u s small business administration
Photo of two people with the following text, Women's Equality Day, August 26, 2021

Celebrating Women's Equality

image of amy bassett

Amy K. Bassett

Acting Regional Administrator

New England Regional Office

U.S. Small Business Administration

If you search the internet for “first woman millionaire” or “historical female entrepreneurs”, you are likely to come across the story of Madam C.J. Walker.  While it’s debatable if her net worth ever reached a million dollars, her legacy as a successful entrepreneur can’t be denied.  A black woman born to former slaves in 1867, she started a successful hair care business.  She traveled across the country selling her products to other African American women and eventually opened her own manufacturing and training facility. 

On August 26th we celebrate Women's Equality in the United States.   This day commemorates the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment  (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the country based on gender.

Madam C.J. Walker built her business and rose through the ranks of successful female entrepreneurs in a time before the adoption of the 19th amendment.  She passed away in 1919.  I don’t think we can fully understand the challenges she would have faced building her business empire in a time before women had the right to vote and before automotive travel, telephones, and internet. 

Today, in addition to modern day technology, women entrepreneurs have a valuable resource available to them that Madam Walker never had – SBA’s Women’s Business Centers (WBC). As the number of women entrepreneurs in the community grows to unprecedented levels, SBA has resources for women small business owners to survive and thrive amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including 136 WBCs located across the country. At WBC's, women entrepreneurs receive essential business counseling and training from these community-based centers. Each center tailors its services to help you navigate the challenges women often face when starting or growing a business.

The work that the WBCs are doing is extremely important right now, because while women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing segments of the small business community - up from 5% of businesses in 1970 to 38% today – the opportunity gap persists and has been made worse by the pandemic. Women-owned businesses were 1.7 times more likely to close during the pandemic than their male counterparts.  

While women today are facing their own unique challenges, things that Madam Walker wouldn’t have been able to fathom, challenges very different from her own, she had some good advice to share that remains relevant.  She said, “Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”

Of course, it is important for entrepreneurs to go out and make their own opportunities, but it’s also important to remember that help is out there and that no one has to take on the challenge of business ownership alone. 

You can find out more about services for women entrepreneurs in your community by reaching out to your local WBC.




New Hampshire

Rhode Island


image of Administrator Guzman, Natalie Cofield and Jennifer Klein

In celebration of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, 2021, which commemorates the 101st anniversary of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, the U.S. Small Business Administration will host "Economic Equality for Women Entrepreneurs: A Conversation in Celebration of Women’s Equality Day 2021".

This fireside chat will feature a conversation between Isabella Casillas Guzman, 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Assistant Administrator of the Office of Women's Business Ownership, Natalie Madeira Cofield. Opening remarks will be presented by Jennifer Klein, Deputy Assistant to the President, Executive Director and Co-chair of the White House Gender Policy Council.



image of continents connected by gold lines

SBA Grants for Global Expansion

Thursday, September 9, 2021

2:00pm EDT

Are you aware there is a unique grant program dedicated to helping U.S. small businesses grow their global sales?

Please join the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of International Trade for a brief conversation with two small businesses that have utilized the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant to support global sales growth.

The discussion will last approximately 20-25 minutes.  An opportunity for Q & A will be provided after the session for anyone that has additional questions and would like to stay on longer.

If you are interested in growing your global market sales and are not familiar with the STEP grant, this is a 20-minute conversation that you don’t want to miss!

To receive a weblink or call-in number to participate, please pre-register HERE and we will send you that information prior to the event.

Visit to find out if your state participates in STEP and for local contact information.

We hope you will join us and discover how a STEP grant can help take your business global. 

Illustration of a person in front of a computer with text that includes, National Small Business Week Virtual Summit, September 13-15, 2021

For more than 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration has celebrated National Small Business Week (NSBW), which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. This year is one unlike the half-century that has come before.

We are facing unique challenges together. However, American small businesses continue to play a central role in building a strong country, prepared for any obstacles in the future.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of NSBW, the SBA takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others who support entrepreneurship from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories. Additionally, this year’s NSBW will recognize the small businesses who have navigated the coronavirus pandemic while supporting their employees and communities. There will be a number of presenters providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover towards a stronger economy.

Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st-century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

During the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit on September 13-15, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration will host a series of educational webinars to help small businesses recover and grow back stronger than ever. Register for this free, online summit to learn new business strategies, meet other business owners and chat with industry experts. Learn more

Local Business Assistance


Stay up-to-date on SBA programs, changes, reforms and training webinars by subscribing to SBA email updates (if you aren't already on our mailing list) at:  And by following the New England SBA office in your state on twitter: 

New England: @SBA_NewEngland

Connecticut: @SBA_Connecticut

Maine: @SBA_Maine

Massachusetts: @SBA_MA

New Hampshire: @SBA_NH

Rhode Island: @SBA_RhodeIsland

Vermont: @SBA_Vermont