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Federal Assistance for Women's Business Centers (WBC) To Provide Financial Counseling and Other Technical Assistance to Women

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Small Business Administration.


Program Announcement No. OWBO-2002-018.


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plans to issue program announcement No. OWBO-2002-018 to invite applications from eligible nonprofit organizations to conduct Women's Business Center (WBC) projects. The successful applicant will receive a cooperative agreement to provide counseling, training and other technical assistance to women who want to start or expand businesses. The authorizing legislation is the Small Business Act, §§ 2(h) and 29, 15 U.S.C. 631(h) and 656. Approximately three (3) grants will be awarded.

A Women's Business Center is a 5-year community-based project that is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration through a matching grant. The project is a planned scope of activities that provide business skills services targeted to women. The project must operate as a distinct unit of the recipient's organization having its own budget for facilities, equipment and resources to carry out project activities. The WBC services must include long-term training and counseling pertaining to financial, management and marketing assistance to benefit small business concerns owned and controlled by women. SBA Headquarters must receive applications/proposals by 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on the closing date of August 12, 2002. SBA will select successful applicants using a competitive technical evaluation process. Applicants from states and territories without an SBA-funded Women's Business Center will receive special consideration. States and U.S. territories without a center are Delaware, Guam, Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Service and assistance areas must include financial, management, marketing, loan packaging, eCommerce, government procurement/certification assistance and training on the business uses of the Internet. Applicants must plan to include women who are socially and economically disadvantaged in the target group. The applicant may propose specialized services that will assist women in Empowerment Zones, agribusiness, rural or urban areas, etc. The applicant may propose to serve women who are veterans, women with home-based businesses, women with disabilities, etc. SBA will request award recipients to provide content and support activities to the SBA Online Women's Business Center, www.onlinewbc,gov.

The applicants' technical proposal must contain information about its current status and past performance. Also, the applicant must provide a 5-year plan for service delivery, fund-raising, training and technical assistance activities. The grant will be issued annually through a 5-year term without re-competition. The non-Federal match requirement is one non-Federal dollar for each two Federal dollars in years 1 and 2; and one non-Federal dollar for each Federal dollar in years 3, 4, and 5. Up to one-half of the non-Federal match funds may be in the form of in-kind contributions (i.e., 50% of match must be in cash).


The opening date of the application period is July 15, 2002 and the closing date is August 12, 2002.

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Sally Murrell, (202) 205-6673 or Sharon Gurley (202) 205-6622.

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Wilma Goldstein,

Assistant Administrator, SBA/Office of Women's Business Ownership.

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[FR Doc. 02-16785 Filed 7-3-02; 8:45 am]