New business center opens to help women entrepreneurs

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COLUMBIA- Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) opened the Missouri Women’s Business Center (MoWBC) Wednesday.

Jaime Freidrichs is the director of the MoWBC and she said it is a program to help promote women entrepreneurs and business owners to start or grow their existing businesses.

“We will have classes, coaching, networks, resources, and opportunities for women to come together and learn from each other, all in service of growing our economy by promoting small business among women,” Freidrichs said.

The United States Small Business Administration gave CMCA the opportunity to bring the program to Columbia after going through a competitive process.

“It is really bringing a new resource to promote women business ownership here, which is a really big priority for any community that wants to grow and wants to grow its economy,” Freidrichs said.

Friedrichs said she wants women who visit the center to find resources that support their goals and dreams.

“I don’t know exactly what all of our services will look like because we are just getting started, but we are in a listening phase right now of finding out what women business owners and potential entrepreneurs want. I want them to find a place where they will feel comfortable at really exploring what their ideas are, where they will find both optimism and realism about their goals and dreams, and really find a way to make their small business goals happen,” Freidrichs said.

Representatives from the MoWBC and the U.S. small business administration wanted to hear from people and answer questions at the open house.

Freidrichs said she is interested in hearing from people as to what services they are looking for and what they are not finding in the community that could be improved.

The center will provide services to assist women entrepreneurs in eight counties: Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau and Osage.

“We will have a presence in all eight counties. Not sure exactly what that will look like yet but this isn’t just a Columbia program, we’ll reach all of the counties by CMCA,” Freidrichs said.

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