SBA Administrator Announces Plans to Elevate the Office of Women’s Business Ownership

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Office of Women's Business Ownership - December 10, 2021

u s small business administration
Natalie M. Cofield

Dear Enterprising Women in Business Community:

Administrator Isabella Guzman continues to make history in the Biden-Harris Administration with her support for women entrepreneurs and championship of equity. This week, Administrator Guzman announced her plan to elevate the Office of Women’s Business Ownership to report to the Office of the Administrator and to the her directly, raising our office's profile and position within the agency.  This is atop of her continued championship which has afforded our office the ability to establish the largest women’s business center network in this history of SBA, and growing. 

These continued advancements for women will provide our office a direct line to SBA leadership to ensure that programs and women entrepreneurs have the access to capital and resources they need to scale and grow.  Read more about this historic elevation in the full press release here.


Natalie Madeira Cofield

Natalie Madeira Cofield
Assistant Administrator
U. S. Small Business Administration

The SBA Announces Plans to Elevate the Office of Women’s Business Ownership

On December 7, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced plans that the SBA intends to elevate its Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) to directly report to the Office of the Administrator. 

 “While there has been historic progress in women’s entrepreneurship, significant disparities still persist, impacting women entrepreneurs’ access to resources and opportunity, especially in the face of the economic challenges posed by COVID. That is why I am proud to advance the mission of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership and reaffirm our commitment to America’s women-owned small businesses,” said Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.

This announcement comes after the release of the first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality commissioned by the White House outlining objectives and priorities for obtaining equity for women. The White House Gender Policy Council looks forward to an ongoing strong partnership with the Office of Women’s Business Ownership in the months and years ahead,” said Jennifer Klein, Deputy Assistant to the President and Co-Chair and Executive Director of the WH Gender Policy Council.

Read More

The SBA Celebrates the Grand Opening of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Women's Business Center

Natalie M. Cofield at Greenwood Women's Business Center

On December 8, 2021, the Greenwood Women's Business Center, hosted by the US Black Chambers, Inc. Community Economic Development Corporation, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the historic opening of the Tulsa, Oklahoma center. The keynote address was provided by Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women's Business Ownership.

Georgia Awardee Launches Community Navigator Pilot Program

Georgia Micro Enterprise Network Launch Group Photo

Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development and Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women's Business Ownership, met with Community Navigator hub, County of Fulton, Georgia, and spokes on December 3, 2021. 

Community Navigator Pilot Program Awardees Host Check Presentation

GMEN Community Navigator Pilot Program Group Photo

Georgia Micro Enterprise Network, a microenterprise of nonprofits and hub for the Community Navigator Pilot Program, held a check presentation on December 3, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. Mark Madrid, Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development and Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women's Business Ownership, presented checks to awardees in attendance: 

  • Georgia Micro Enterprise Network
  • Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Operation HOPE, Inc.
  • Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs
  • Albany Community Together, Inc.
  • Allen Entrepreneurial Institute
  • Invest Atlanta
  • Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone, Inc.

Women's Business Centers Host Grand Opening of ShopHER 

ShopHER Ribbon-Cutting

On December 1, 2021, the Washington, DC Women's Business Center and the Maryland Women's Business Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and shopping spree for ShopHER, a shop which is designed for women-owned small businesses impacted by the pandemic and seeking to re-establish retail operations.  Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women's Business Ownership, provided the keynote address. 

The Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Reforms to Level the Playing Field for Small Business Owners

Less than 10 percent of federal agencies’ total eligible contracting dollars typically go to small disadvantaged businesses (SDB). Moreover, while women own roughly 20 percent of all small businesses economy-wide, less than 5 percent of federal contracting dollars go to women-owned small businesses.

The Biden-Harris Administration announces reforms to the federal procurement process to help increase the share of federal contracts to SDBs. Reforms include:

  • Requesting agencies to increase goals for governmentwide spending to 11 percent of contracting dollars awarded to SDBs 
  • Implementing changes to the use of “category management” to boost contracting opportunities for underserved small businesses
  • Updating goals for other “socioeconomic” categories of small businesses, including women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and HUBZone businesses

"Under the leadership of President Joe Biden, we’re taking 'shopping small' to a whole new level by transforming how the U.S. government—the world’s largest buyer—spends billions of America’s tax dollars on goods and services each year," said SBA's Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. "America is about to shop small in a very big way and put equity at the heart of how we do business. These reforms will help level the playing field for underserved small businesses. SBA is proud to have partnered with the White House, OMB, and our sister agencies on this work."

Learn More

The SBA to Host COVID EIDL Application Completion Office Hours


Join the SBA's COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Application Completion Office Hours for information about the application process and answers on how to apply for COVID EIDL funds.


  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. ET Join here

Learn More

Small Business Owner Grows Virtual Business to Multimillion-Dollar Company 

In 2001, Laura Schoppe opened the virtual doors of Fuentek, LLC, a technology transfer company, from her home office in Apex, North Carolina. Today, the Latina business owner starts each workday from the same home office. The only difference being that Fuentek is now a multimillion-dollar company with a remote staff of 20 employees.

“When I started Fuentek, I knew I wanted to start a telework company,” said Schoppe. “I wanted to avoid the overhead of a brick and mortar.”

Telework was not the only unique decision Schoppe made in her early days as a business owner. With a long-standing career as a mechanical and aerospace engineer, Schoppe worked in government contracting for several years. When it came time to identify her business niche, she knew exactly what to focus on and how to do business with the government. 

“I recognized a gap between those who used technology and those who did not speak the language,” said Shoppe. “When I first started my firm, I immediately reached out to the SBA about the SBA’s 8(a) program. From there, I went on to earn the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) certifications.”

The SBA’s 8(a) program is designed to help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities. In turn, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) Business Development program.

Schoppe graduated from the 8(a) program in 2011. However, her WOSB and EDWOSB certifications enabled her to continue to compete in the procurement arena successfully. “The SBA programs provided me with an even playing field,” said Schoppe. “I did not need to compete against the big guys. I was given opportunities to acquire and complete contracts while providing a high quality of service only a small business could deliver.”

When asked what was most vital to Fuentek’s continued success, Schoppe was quick to proclaim the well-being of her staff. “Establishing and maintaining long-term relationships are a priority,” said Schoppe. “However, I also want to make sure that my staff maintains a good work/life balance and that they enjoy the work they are doing.”

The SBA Calls for Nominations for the 2022 National Small Business Week Awards

Illustration of a trophy with the following text, 2022 National Small Business Week Awards. Now accepting nominations. Visit

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 National Small Business Week (NSBW) Awards. The NSBW Awards recognize the achievements of SBA-assisted small businesses and the contributions they have made to their communities and our nation’s economy. Nominations for the following categories will be accepted: 

  • Small Business Person of the Year 
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year
  • Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery 
  • Federal Procurement Awards 
  • Small Business Investment Company of the Year
  • Awards to SBA Resource Partners 

Nominations should be submitted by January 11, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. EST. | Learn More

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Eligible businesses that allow employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine can receive a tax credit. Partner with a vaccine provider to host an on-site vaccination clinic. | Find a vaccine provider.

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