By Allie Quill
We can’t believe that it’s been a year since the opening of our Women’s Business Assistance Center opened in Dallas! It has been a year of immense growth and change, but ultimately it has been a year focused on driving women-owned businesses to thrive in their communities.
Over the past year, our fearless manager, Tassjania Lozano, along with our Advancement and Education team, has helped create a space to serve women entrepreneurs across North Texas. The WBAC has provided resources in all different areas from technical assistance, access to capital, financial education, and even special interest-rate reductions on loans for women owned businesses.
PeopleFund and Opportunity Plus teamed up to bring microloans, mentorship, and facilitated instruction to women owners across the greater Dallas region called EmpowHER: Financial Inclusion for Dallas Women. With a cohort of 8 incredible women, the WBAC has hosted a free monthly workshop covering topics like Personal Branding, Bookkeeping Basics, and Financial Statement Analysis. Our EmpowHER program has had over 50 participants and our cohort members have been committed to mentorship, classroom instruction and microloan capital.
One of our EmpowHER participants let us know that the WBAC ”gives such a good place to start for several processes that are vital to a thriving business.” The collaborative and encouraging environment has pushed many entrepreneurs in the right direction and “seeing people coming together to support one another is awesome!”
With only 25% of small businesses in Texas owned by women, the WBAC sought out a way to support women entrepreneurs. With the help from our friends at J.P. Morgan Chase, the WBAC organized Flourish- a pop-up marketplace designed to help female entrepreneurs share their merchandise, meet fellow women in business, break glass ceilings, and connect with new customers. With two successful Flourishes, we’ve seen remarkable engagement with 41 vendors, 263 participants, and a total of 6 inspiring panelists at the WeWork Thanksgiving Tower.
As the WBAC manager, Tass said, “The best part of running the WBAC has been the opportunity to be innovative. It’s incredibly fulfilling to spend time with women entrepreneurs in “the trenches” and build pathways tailored around their needs. New programs, new speakers, new workshops all birthed from what women in Dallas are looking for, and PeopleFund gets to connect those needs to resources that are available. This way, we’re able to grow impact responsibly, organically and sustainably.”
We’re so proud of how far the Women’s Business Assistance Center has come and are even more excited to see what the next year has in store!