With a launch scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, 2024 featuring remarks by  Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, VSEDC's Women's Business Center powered by Wells Fargo will offer coaching, mentoring, networking, and more to help women entrepreneurs thrive

LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) announced today that it has been selected as one of 17 new U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Women's Business Centers. Powered by Wells Fargo, the VSEDC Women's Business Center (WBC) will support women entrepreneurs during every stage of their journey by providing free coaching, mentorship, access to capital, business education, and more. With an official launch scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at VSEDC headquarters including remarks by SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, VSEDC's WBC will be the first in the history of South Los Angeles and one of only 20 throughout California. As part of its mission to drive economic growth, the WBC will also help women scale their enterprises effectively and efficiently by focusing on expanding through acquisitions.

Vermont Slauson Economic Development Center has served South LA's small businesses and entrepreneurs for forty years. (PRNewsfoto/Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation)

"I have worked with Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation for years and have seen firsthand the positive impact the organization is making for small businesses and their contributions to the South Los Angeles community," said Mayor Bass. "Together with VSEDC and organizations like it, we are working to open the city for business and make sure that City Hall is an advocate, not a barrier, to helping small businesses grow and thrive. I want to thank the Small Business Administration for recognizing VSEDC with this significant, very well-deserved distinction that reflects the organization's proven commitment to supporting small businesses and women-owned businesses in the community. I encourage women entrepreneurs and business owners alike to visit the VSEDC to tap into the coaching, mentoring, networking and resources available to guide their business' growth and development. Together, we can continue our work to help businesses succeed."

An institution dedicated to serving minority communities offering one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, and technical assistance, VSEDC's WBC helps clients to focus on strategic planning, financial management, marketing, procurement, and more. Considering Black women are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the country, they disproportionately lack access to capital while navigating the traditional hurdles that start-ups face.

"We are thrilled to partner with SBA and Wells Fargo to provide extraordinary resources that help women business owners excel," said Quentin Strode, President & CEO of VSEDC. "With a history that spans more than four decades, we understand the unique obstacles that women entrepreneurs face, especially women of color who have been underserved and excluded from comprehensive support that leads to generational wealth."

In response to women facing historic exclusion from entrepreneurship, SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership is a solution that empowers women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support. As a Community Development Financial Institution that will create a lending pipeline, VSEDC guides women from the margins of entrepreneurship into a realm where they can scale to new heights. 

"We are excited that through our collaboration with VSEDC, we will bring the first SBA small business women's center to the South Los Angeles area," said Jack Olree, Vice President Community Impact and Sustainability at Wells Fargo. "This will provide emerging and established small business owners with the critical tools and assistance needed for long-term growth and allow for our local communities to thrive."

VSEDC welcomes interview requests and credential requests for the official launch: 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | 9:45 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation
1130 W. Slauson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044

For more than four decades, VSEDC has facilitated community development of the South Los Angeles area by providing programs that revitalize the physical, economic, and social life of the community. A newly-designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), VSEDC has developed and implemented a comprehensive approach to community economic development that includes business development, access to capital, technical assistance and training, residential housing, commercial, and industrial development. Founded by the late Marva Smith Battle-Bey in 1981, VSEDC works to create a South Los Angeles with strong neighborhoods and thriving communities. To learn more, please visit www.vsedc.org.  

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 47 on Fortune's 2023 rankings of America's largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

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SOURCE Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation

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