Chatham University

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The Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Mission

The Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University creates economic opportunities for women through entrepreneurial counseling, education and training. Building on Chatham University's tradition of educating women for 150 years, The Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University has provided high quality education and training for women entrepreneurs since 2005.

The Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University (CWE) is funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide services geared specifically to women and underserved populations, minority entrepreneurs and veterans throughout Western Pennsylvania. CWE offers aspiring and existing business owners free or low-cost business counseling, training programs, technical support, networking and mentoring focused on business planning and leadership, marketing, financing, access to capital, federal contracting, and business expansion through international markets and exporting. CWE offers a suite of programs for early stage to established stage businesses. CWE's signature programs include, Concept to Launch, Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series, IncubateHER, Roadmap to $1MM+ and Membership. With the support of the SBA Women's Business Center award in 2016, CWE expanded its programming to offer free one-on-one business counseling and technical assistance.

CWE designs and implements programs and services that are targeted to women in underserved communities and the challenges they face in starting, growing, and succeeding in business. The programs are structured to meet the needs of regional communities and are offered with the assistance and support of community organizations, at no or minimal cost to the participants. CWE serves women within the 11 counties surrounding Pittsburgh, PA.

Impact

In its 15 years of operation, the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University (the Center) has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses gain a foothold in business, while also serving to grow our regional economy. Over the past five years, the Center has met and exceeded the annual performance targets established by OWBO. Since receiving SBA Women's Business Center award in 2016 the Center has offered 270 training programs from April 2016 through April 2021, to train entrepreneurs to start, manage and expand their businesses. Through these programs, CWE has served over 8133 women entrepreneurs with 725 training hours.

The Center offers free business counseling and technical assistance to startup and established women entrepreneurs at our Chatham Eastside location, and multiple locations in Allegheny, Butler, Beaver and Westmorland counties. The business counseling and technical assistance is provided in person, online and by phone. From April 2016 to April 2021, the Center provided 3160 hours of business counseling to 1599 clients, which directly contributed to 185 new businesses and $15M in raised capital through a combination of equity, SBA loans, and private loans.

Since April 1, 2020, CWE has provided COVID-19 resource, recovery and loan counseling sessions to nearly 288 unique clients, resulting in over $6.1M in capital infusion.