Chatham University

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.

Mission

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

Since receiving SBA Women's Business Center award in 2016 and with the support of community partners and economic development agencies, CWE has offered 138 training programs from April 2016 through October 2019, including Concept to Launch a 6-week entrepreneurial training program, Build Your Business workshop, webinars, and seminars on topics including financing a business, digital marketing, branding, accounting, exporting, certification, legal issues, hiring employees, veteran business ownership, and business startup, growth, and new product/service development. Through these programs, CWE has served over 3800 women entrepreneurs with 443 training hours.

CWE 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 October 2019, CWE provided 1643 hours of counseling to 876 clients, which directly contributed to 128 new businesses and $5.8M in raised capital through a combination of equity, SBA loans, and private loans.