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The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre partners with the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce to provide free business coaching for female entrepreneurs

Lakeland, FL – The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre is partnering with the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce to provide free business coaching, training, networking events, and access to financial resources for female entrepreneurs. One of the major outcomes of the pandemic is that it further reinforced the disproportionate struggle of minority, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses and realigned the Lakeland Chamber’s efforts towards addressing these segments of our economy. As the Lakeland Chamber serves as the catalyst for business success, convener of leaders and influencers, and champion for our thriving community, the partnership with The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre will offer free business coaching, training, networking, workshops, access to capital, and mentorship programs to female entrepreneurs in Lakeland and Polk County both before, and upon establishment of The Works Business Resource Center. Bilingual coaches can help entrepreneurs in Spanish as well as English.

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce has made supporting, recognizing, and honoring women business leaders in our community a centerpiece of its mission through the adoption of the ATHENA International Awards program. This prestigious awards celebration is an initial step in investing in women-owned businesses which will undoubtedly enhance the economic vitality of the businesses, owners, and their employees while also improving our community’s overall business environment.

The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre opened in 2013 as part of The Centre for Women’s mission to help women achieve economic prosperity. It is the only Small Business Administration (SBA)-designated Women’s Business Centre on the west coast of Florida and is part of a national network of 135 women’s business centers nationwide funded in part by the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership.

Since Tampa’s Women’s Business Centre first opened, more than 6,000 women have been served. Funding will support plans to significantly expand engagement and outreach to female entrepreneurs in the six counties served: Hillsborough, Hernando, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk, and Pasco.

Dr. Kerry Szymanski, Director of the Women’s Business Centre, said:

“We are excited to partner with the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and share our wonderful services including free business coaching, trainings, networking opportunities, and access to educational and financial resources.  Through the funding of the SBA and other generous donors, our team of business coaches can help meet the differing and varying needs of entrepreneurs. We have a particular focus on the unique barriers that minority business owners face, especially during times of crisis. Additionally, we have strengthened our diversity and inclusion by offering services in Spanish so that clients who may have a language barrier can still access much-needed resources.”

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