The City of Tampa has a responsibility to ensure women entrepreneurs have access to the resources and tools they need to start and run their businesses. For this reason, the City has set aside various assistance programs to provide business opportunities, benefits, and grants for women to enable them to thrive. Looking for support to start or grow a successful business? Then, keep reading this article for business support resources in the City of Tampa.
Equal Business Opportunity (EBO)
The Equal Business Opportunity program is specifically designed to ensure the success of women-owned small businesses in the City of Tampa. Through this program, businesswomen can have access to resources, business opportunities, including training services to make their enterprises flourish and get somewhere. The EBO program also provides woman-owned business and small local business certification to female entrepreneurs. Visit https://tampa.diversitysoftware.com/?tn=tampa to apply for business certification. Certification exposes them to more opportunities, including contracting and improving their businesses’ visibility. You can also register your business enterprise through this program. Want to get started? Well, you will start with the Equal Business Opportunity Orientation Class, which provides information on what is expected of you as the program participant. The orientation class also lets you know of the business opportunities and benefits that await you at the end of the program. Please note that these services are provided to women business owners at no cost. Visit https://www.tampa.gov/msbd to learn more about the EBO program in the City of Tampa.
Florida Business Development Corporation (FBDC)
The Florida Business Development Corporation was established in 1989, to support women-owned small businesses and make them thrive in the highly competitive marketplace. FBDC is considered the most active lender for small businesses in the East Coast region of the United States. The Corporation ensures small businesses get access to financing through long-term loans, which are offered at low-interest rates. The purpose of FBDC funding is to enable women-owned small businesses to acquire and develop fixed assets, including equipment and inventory for their enterprises. For more details about FBDC, please visit https://fbdc.net/about-us/.
FBDC Loan Products for Small Businesses
Need support with financing? FBDC offers loan services that help meet your business needs. There are many options that you can always explore to find the product that best suits the needs of your business:
- SBA 504 Loan Program. The loan program offers loans to women-owned small businesses at interest rates below market price and up to 10% to be used in the purchase of fixed assets. Find out more at https://fbdc.net/sba-504-loan-program/.
- Community Advantage. This loan product provides female entrepreneurs with loans not exceeding $250,000 to help them thrive in markets regarded as “underserved”. CA was introduced by the U.S. Small Business administration to provide financing and to meet the technical support needs of women-owned small businesses. What are the benefits of participating in the CA program? Once you apply for this program support, getting approved is easier and doesn’t take time. Also, you get the advantage of making lower payments every month. Why go for Community Advantage? The size of the loan is too small, thus manageable. With this program, you can qualify for loans ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. You will not require any collateral to secure your loan, something that doesn’t happen with traditional banks. Find out more about the program at https://fbdc.net/community-advantage/.
- VetLoan Advantage Plus. The purpose of the VetLoan Advantage Plus program is to support women veterans’ success in small business ownership. Visit to learn more about the program.
- Loan Refinancing. The purpose of this product is to reduce the burdens of financing to women-owned small businesses and help them obtain financing at stabilized rates. What are the advantages of the SBA 504 Refinance Program? Well, with this program, you stand high chances of increasing cash flow in your business and stabilize your budgeting. Also, you can refinance any other debt your business has. Loan refinancing allows you to make reduced monthly repayments. Find out more at https://fbdc.net/loan-refinancing/.
Working Women Foundation
The number of women business founders has grown and many females keep coming up with ideas that they eventually turn into successful ventures in the City of Tampa. The Working Women Foundation of Tampa Bay was established to support women entrepreneurs through start-up grants to enable them to launch successful business ventures. The Foundation believes in working together to help educate and inspire women to drive them towards achieving their business goals. Need help launching your business idea? Want to pursue some project for your existing enterprise? Well, the Working Women Foundation can help you through their “Seed Money” Grants program. So, if you need assistance in expanding your business, then reach and send an application. You may get grant awards ranging from $500 to $1,000. To qualify for the grant program, you must demonstrate how will use the funds. Develop a plan describing how you will spend the ash and get approved. The Working Women Foundation has managed to fund more than 20 women-owned startups, and they have given positive reports, that is, increased revenue, staff, and networking, after getting support from the seed grant. Want to apply? Visit https://www.workingwomenoftampabay.com/WWFoundationSeedMoney. Interested in helping fellow women to flourish in the world of business? The Working Women Foundation is running a project, named, the Power of 100, which aims to support women-owned small businesses in the City of Tampa. Join the movement and help by donating. Find out more at https://www.workingwomenoftampabay.com/WW-Foundation.
City of Tampa Women/Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) Program
The WMBE program was launched in 1991 to provide women and minority-owned small businesses with equal opportunities in contracting professional and non-professional services. the program ensures women-owned businesses are certified and have a chance to participate in the City contracts and access other benefits. To qualify as the program participant, your business must be at least 51% owned by a woman, black, or Hispanic. Want to take part in the program? You will need to fill out an application form at TampaGov.net. You can also pick the application form at the MMBD Office of the City of Tampa at 306 E. Jackson St. 7th Floor East. Visit https://www.tampabaychamber.com/Your-Chamber/Business-Resources/Minority-Business/City-of-Tampa-WMBE-program.aspx for more details about the program.