Florida Tech to Open Women’s Business Center in Orlando Area with $750,000 SBA Grant
The award-winning Women’s Business Center at Florida Institute of Technology will launch an Orlando-area operation early next year after receiving $750,000 in funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Central Florida Women’s Business Center (CFWBC) will serve Lake, Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Seminole counties and be centrally located.
“We applied for this grant because of the strong support and encouragement we received from the community,” said Leslie Hielema, vice president of Florida Tech’s Central Florida facility, the Orlando Center. “Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the economic engine of our region and the mission of this new Women’s Business Center will be to increase the impact of those companies.”
Hielema added, “Since we have some fantastic resources to serve the entrepreneurial community in the Orlando area, this center will offer synergistic programs that address clearly identified issues and opportunities facing women-owned businesses.”
The CFWBC is expected to open in the first-quarter 2015. It will be structured to drive economic development goals that are aligned with key emerging industry clusters in the Central Florida region. Areas of focus will include:
- access to capital and financial fluency
- starting and growing a technology or science company
- leveraging technology for business innovation and growth
- mentoring girls and women in STEM careers
- access to resources within the women’s leadership ecosystem
This will be Florida Tech’s third such facility serving the region, with the others housed at the university’s Melbourne campus and CareerSource Brevard’s Rockledge facility.
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