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By Dawn Kraus

The struggle to survive and succeed has always been an uphill climb for women-owned businesses and it is even more so during the current economic crisis. There are approximately 19.1 million people employed by the 10.6 million women-owned businesses in America, contributing approximately $2.46 trillion to the economy. Fortunately, there are a variety of opportunities and resources to help overcome the unique obstacles that women must face in the business world. Organizations like the Association of Women’s Business Centers, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council are all available to help women succeed in the work place. Below are some links and helpful tips that you may be able to use in your business.

The Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC), http://awbc.biz, provides support for women business owners through a system of women’s business centers. These centers network throughout a coalition of members and a web of strategic alliances. This national not for profit organization was originally founded in 1998 and supports entrepreneurial development among women, helping them achieve economic self-sufficiency and create wealth as well as participate in economic development. This is accomplished through education, training and mentoring, in addition to business development and financing opportunities. Through advocacy, capacity building and research, the AWBC would like to reach their goal of “a world where economic justice, wealth and well-being are realized through the collective leadership and power of successful entrepreneurial women.” With membership containing hundreds of thousands of women, the AWBC develops public and private strategies for sustainability and funding for its members. The services range from providing support to underserved women entrepreneurs to securing rounds of venture capital.

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