September 2002  Issue No. 20                    REAP HOME PAGE         A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs

Rural Enterprise Reporter

Women’s Business Center First Year Success
The main objective of the REAP Women’s Business Center is to serve self-employed women across rural Nebraska. It is off to a great start and will build on that next year.

BY GLENNIS MCCLURE, REAP WBC DIRECTOR

Data recorded for the first year of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) project shows that of the 436 clients participating with REAP, 313 of those clients involved female business operators. REAP services helped in some major way to start or expand 42 Nebraska businesses from July 1, 2001 to July 1, 2002. Of those, women owned businesses started during the first year of REAP’s Women’s Business Center numbered 22.

REAP’s Nebraska Women’s Business Center covers all rural areas of the state. Our staff travels out to assist client businesses, conduct training sessions, and coordinate business networking meetings in communities. REAP’s WBC is a “center without walls.”

Our idea from the beginning was to continue what REAP has done throughout its history – take our services out to clients across Nebraska. One WBC office somewhere in the state could not begin to meet the needs or come close to the outreach that is necessary to have an impact in rural development. REAP’s WBC has field staff in eight offices covering the state of Nebraska.

The REAP website (part of the Center for Rural Affairs website), includes a Women’s Business Center area. Several resource links go directly online to the Small Business Administration and its related sites, including www.onlinewbc.gov . The Women’s Business Center online is designed to lend assistance and information on topics that are of special interest to women in business.

In year two of the Women’s Business Center, we’re planning to sponsor more REAP regional trainings, and we’ll have a two night marketing seminar curriculum prepared to take out across the state.

We’re looking ahead to increasing our work with helping Nebraska businesses network, especially women-owned businesses. REAP will remain diligent in our microenterprise lending work and in providing timely technical assistance to all clients as needed.

Contact: Glennis McClure, REAP WBC Director at 402.645.3296 or reapwbc@diodecom.net for more information.

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