NEW ORLEANS – Yesterday, the Urban League of Louisiana’s Women’s Business Resource Center (WBRC) received the Region VI Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award during the Louisiana Small Business Awards Ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion. The center was selected for the award based on its excellence and innovation in assisting diverse women entrepreneurs. Klassi Duncan, Director of the WBRC, accepted the award on behalf of the center. The WBRC provides training, assistance and other diverse resources to existing business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 2001, the WBRC has assisted over 15,000 aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the SBA and so very proud of the work and achievements of our Women’s Business Resource Center,” said Judy Reese Morse, Urban League of Louisiana President and CEO. “Our team is strongly committed to empowering the entrepreneurial spirit in women from all walks of life, as well as facilitating their goals and aspirations through training, counseling and additional opportunities.”

Pictured from L-R: Michael Ricks, District Director, SBA Louisiana District Office, Klassi Duncan, Director of the Women’s Business Resource Center, John Matthews, Senior Director, Business Services, Louisiana Economic Development and Don Pierson, Secretary of Economic Development, State of Louisiana

Over the past year, the WBRC partnered with the Urban Green Council to offer the Green Professional Building Skills (GPRO) training and certificate program across the state of Louisiana, hosted its first Small and Emerging Business Development Program Roundtable and its second Annual Women in Construction Convening. The center is also known for its Women in Business Challenge, a business accelerator program and seed capital competition for early stage businesses owned by female entrepreneurs. The center just held its seventh competition in March and awarded $10,000. The center also recently launched Scale-Up Louisiana, a statewide entrepreneurial education program geared towards existing small business owners. The inaugural program received an overwhelming response and is currently training 30 small business owners free of charge.

“The WBRC is honored to receive this award in recognition for its excellence in providing services and support for women entrepreneurs. We are fortunate to work with the great people of the SBA Louisiana District Office, the SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership, and the Association of Women’s Business Centers to carry out our mission. We are excited and look forward to continuing to create programs and offer resources that yield positive outcomes for women entrepreneurs across the state,” said Klassi Duncan, Director of the WBRC.
The SBA’s Louisiana district covers 64 parishes in the state. It is estimated that well over 400,000 small businesses are located throughout the state of Louisiana.