SBA Administrator announces plans to elevate the Office of Women’s Business Ownership

Earlier last week,  U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced that the SBA intends to elevate its Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) to directly report to the Office of the Administrator. The proposed change reflects the importance of women entrepreneurs held by the Biden-Harris Administration and SBA.

Established by Executive Order in 1979 and codified through the Women’s Small Business Act of 1988, OWBO’s mission has been to empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support.

Under Administrator Guzman, the SBA has expanded the number of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) to a record 140 locations nationwide. These WBCs offer a network of extensive on-the-ground resources that include free to low-cost counseling, training, business development technical assistance and are dedicated to assisting women entrepreneurs to start, grow, and expand their enterprises.

SBA, Isabella Casillas Guzman

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. (Photo Source)

“In 1972, there were a little over 400,000 women-owned businesses in the United States. Today, there are over 12 million proving that women entrepreneurs have become the fastest growing and one of the most impactful segments of the business community,” said Administrator Guzman in a press release. “While there has been historic progress in women’s entrepreneurship, significant disparities still persist, impacting women entrepreneurs’ access to resources and opportunity, especially in the face of the economic challenges posed by COVID. That is why I am proud to advance the mission of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership and reaffirm our commitment to America’s women-owned small businesses.”

This announcement comes after the release of the first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality commissioned by the White House outlining objectives and priorities for obtaining equity for women. 

“Women entrepreneurs are key to spurring innovation and supporting local economies and families across the country. That is why it’s so important that we continue to invest in women-owned businesses and give them the tools they need to succeed and grow. The elevation of this office sends a clear signal of this Administration’s commitment to ensure an equitable economic recovery, putting women at the forefront of our efforts to build back better for everyone. The White House Gender Policy Council looks forward to an ongoing strong partnership with the Office of Women’s Business Ownership in the months and years ahead,” said Jennifer Klein, Deputy Assistant to the President and Co-Chair and Executive Director of the WH Gender Policy Council.

Women represent the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segment in the country, with particularly high growth in entrepreneurship amongst multicultural women. Data from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy found that between 2014 and 2016, the number of employer firms owned by women grew six percent, twice the growth rate of employer firms owned by men. This exponential growth was mainly driven by an increase in employer businesses owned by minority women, which grew 14 percent in that time.

Photo created by tirachardz on Freepik.

COVID-19 dealt a severe blow to women-owned businesses which is why prioritizing recovery and addressing long standing inequities for women entrepreneurs is crucial to the survival and continued growth of these businesses. The elevation of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership will help ensure the continued success of the Women’s Business Center network. 

While it is evident that women entrepreneurs play a key role in our society and economy, they still remain underrepresented in many key factors, including access to capital, contracts, and connections. Led by OWBO, the SBA assists women-owned businesses in leveraging government resources – including recently announced opportunities through an equitable federal procurement strategy, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Build Back Better Act – to level the playing field. 

Currently, the OWBO is an organizational component of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development. The SBA emphasizes that the reorganization is still in the planning stages and likely will not be finalized until the close of fiscal year 2022.

To find Women’s Business Center locations and additional SBA resources in your area, visit

Isabella Guzman, Isabel Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator,

Isabella Casillas Guzman confirmed as new SBA Administrator, a big win for small businesses

Isabella Casillas Guzman has been confirmed as the 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. A Latina business leader, Guzman is among a group of high-caliber Latinos that were nominated by the Biden Administration. 

Latinos nominated to the Cabinet, Isabel Guzman, Isabella Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator

Isabella Casillas Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator. (State of California, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

This past Tuesday, on March 16, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s nominee with broad bipartisan support, 81-17 votes as Administrator of the SBA. In this position, Guzman will represent the more than 30 million U.S. small businesses and lead an agency committed to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs start, grow and be resilient.

Commenting on Guzman’s appointment, Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin (D-MD) said: 

 “SBA must continue to be a lifeline for small businesses in the months ahead, and I am confident that Isabel Guzman is the best person to lead the agency out of the pandemic and through the economic recovery to follow. Mrs. Guzman’s commitment to equity and her deep knowledge of the needs of small businesses will make her a strong advocate for all small businesses in the Biden Administration. I am looking forward to working with Mrs. Guzman as we in Congress work to fine-tune SBA to better meet the needs of small businesses in Black, Latino, Native, and other underserved communities.”

Administrator Guzman will lead a workforce of over 9,000 SBA employees and administer the SBA’s portfolio of loans, investments, disaster assistance, contracting, and counseling.  Additionally, she will implement critical financial relief for small businesses impacted by the pandemic through the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, and additional support recently passed in the American Rescue Plan.

Isabella Guzman, Isabel Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator,

Isabella Guzman previously worked in the SBA during the Obama administration as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser. (U.S Small Business Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I learned firsthand the ins and outs of managing a business from my father and gained an appreciation for the challenges small business owners face every day.  Throughout my public and private sector career, I have been dedicated to helping small businesses grow and succeed,” said Administrator Guzman. “Now more than ever, our impacted small businesses need our support, and the SBA stands ready to help them reopen and thrive.”  

Previously, Guzman served as the director of the Office of Small Business Advocate in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development where she served California’s four million small businesses, which employ 7.1 million Californians, the largest state network of small businesses in the country. Prior to her work in California, she worked in the SBA during the Obama administration as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser. Guzman has also started small businesses as an entrepreneur. 

You might be interested: Innovative attitude: the 7 keys to becoming an innovative entrepreneur

 “I am excited to return to the SBA and serve as the voice of small business in the Biden-Harris Administration. I am committed to championing the Agency’s mission and helping equitably build back the economy,” Administrator Guzman continued. “I also look forward to working with the dedicated team of SBA professionals to ensure that the SBA creates and sustains inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems for all of our diverse small businesses across the nation to thrive.”

business loan

SBA provides Disaster Assistance Loans for Coronavirus impacted small businesses by states

Disaster Assistance Loans will be offered to small businesses in designated areas or regions to mitigate the effect of the pandemic caused by Coronavirus. The loans will be available once each state Governor requests the assistance. Stay tuned to receive additional information on when and were those loans will be available.

disaster assistance loans

Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement today in response to the President’s address to the nation: “The President took bold, decisive action to make our 30 million small businesses more resilient to Coronavirus-related economic disruptions. Small businesses are vital economic engines in every community and state, and they have helped make our economy the strongest in the world,” said Carranza.

The Agency will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest disaster assistance loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation. Additionally, the SBA continues to assist small businesses with counseling and navigating their own preparedness plans through our network of 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners located around the country.

“The SBA will continue to provide every small business with the most effective and customer-focused response possible during these times of uncertainty,” Carranza stated.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Process for Accessing SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending (Disaster Assistance Loans)

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
  • Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
  • Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.
  • These Disaster Assistance Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

You might be interested: Coronavirus: Information for Communities and the General Public from NJ.GOV

For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail sends e-mail).

Nely Galan Self-Made

Latina entrepreneur Nely Galán SELF-MADE an inspiring story of empowerment and self-reliance

Nely Galan Self-Made

Nely Galan, Author, Emmy-Award winner and Self-Made entrepreneur, founder of The Adelante Movement.

Nely Galán SELF-MADE, the inspiring story that celebrates the triumph of persistence and determination, touches the lives of thousands of women –and men- and encourages them to become rich in every way, money, family, love and abundant time to enjoy it all!


This week, entrepreneur, TV producer and real estate mogul Nely Galán launched SELF-MADE –Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant and Rich in Every Way, her first book. Galán has made her mission to train and empower women to become successful entrepreneurs—regardless of age or background—so they too can become “self-made.”

The Emmy Award-winning producer and advocate for gender parity, Cuban born Galán started at the very bottom when her parents were forced to leave their country of origin and migrate to the United States. She worked her way up to become the first female president of entertainment of a U.S. Hispanic television network (Telemundo).

Although a big achievement in her life, she did not feel satisfied until she became successful in her own terms by building a real estate empire and a global multicultural media company that has created over 700 television shows and helped launch 10 channels around the world.

Always looking for purpose in her life, she then started The Adelante Movement (“Move it forward!” in English), a non-profit organization sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co., which kicked off in 2012.

Nely Galán SELF-MADE a thought-provoking book of empowerment

“This book is one of my greatest achievements,” she told in an exclusive interview. “It took me over a year but it is a unique tool for women to start their journey of empowerment and self-reliance,” she said.

Galán, a Psychology trained professional, nails down some of the most ingrained issues in women’s behaviors and offers profound insights into a woman’s soul. But the book is not only a soul-searching tool, it is also strategic and practical, providing tips and tricks for making money, saving money, and finding “hidden money in America,” some little known material that can push women into their self-made journey.

Prince Charming is not coming to save you

Nely Galan Self-Made

Nely Galan at Barnard College 2016 (Courtesy of the Self-Made Movement).

“From the time we are born,” Galán said, “we are dependent on our parents so issues of attachment are very insidious and they show up every day in our lives,” she explained. “When we are young, women have this secret expectation that Prince Charming, our husband or significant other will come and save us,” she said.

The Latina entrepreneur admits she had a turning point in her life the day she and her first husband decided to part ways and she was left with a newborn son. She remembers being in despair until a good friend told her she needed to “do the math.” She then went and made the most money she ever did in the following three years of this disappointment.

“We can also think other people or situations in our lives as being ‘Prince Charming’ for us, people or situations that will finally save us or take care of us,” she explained. “For instance, we expect our boss to notice we did a great job and reward us but reality is, they are human too!”

Galán experienced that disillusionment in one of her jobs as the manager of a small Spanish-language TV station in New Jersey, she narrates in her book. Despite her full-time efforts –“I worked 24 hours a day and had no life,” – the media company sold the station and she lost her job.

“That was another breakthrough,” she said. “Your job or the company you work for, your boss or your colleagues are not your Prince Charming.”

“By the time you are in your thirties, you have been disappointed by many people: corporations you work for, co-workers, your boss, your government, even your family and relatives. Then it is time to kill the fantasy and become your own Prince Charming,” Galán affirms. “With this book, training and mentorship, I help women to build their lives around themselves and succeed in whatever they put their mind into.”

“In your pain is your brand” empowerment for entrepreneurship

Nely Galan Self-Made

Susana G Baumann,, meets Nely Galan at Hispanicize 2015.

The most touching aspect of this book is that Galán explains her step by step growth as a self-reliant and empowered woman through her own most vulnerable moments. “I believe that pain is a gateway to growth,” she says in the book.

“Vulnerability is important,” she told “To be tough and strong in business, you have to recognize your mistakes and weaknesses but also own the parts you are good at,” she explains.

Being an immigrant and learning to live within a different culture put her in the best position to make a career in the Latino television market. As a woman entrepreneur, she had to struggle to be taken seriously in an industry dominated by men. When she was discriminated against, she used that pain as an unstoppable force to advocate for multicultural and gender minorities.

“Women have a great advantage as we are not afraid of talking about pain or our painful experiences,” she said. “I teach women to take their pain and build a business around it instead of thinking their pain prevents them to reach their goals,” she explains. Brilliant!

Entrepreneurship is not a short-term self-gratification road

Nely Galan launches her first book Self Made.

Nely Galan launches her first book Self Made. Click here to see reviews!

In detail, Galán explains how to start a business that can bring financial freedom and a rich life in every way.

“To achieve this optimal state, though, you have to make hard choices and lots of sacrifices,” Galán advises. “You need to clearly define your life-term goals and work your way backwards into the present, always keeping an eye on that final end,” she said.

Through exercises and sound advice, Galán guides her readers through a step-by-step game plan that includes falling in love with saving money, getting out of debt in a realistic way, saving a year’s salary before starting their own business, and even finding hidden money in their own home!

“You need to be prepared before you start your business,” she said. “While doing it, you can start considering what kind of entrepreneurial business matches your skills, find a niche to solve a problem, and the people who have this problem,” she shared.

Access to capital and other sources of hidden money in America

For the last four years, Galán has been touring the country with her Adelante Movement and speaking with women from all walks of life. One of main issues these potential or established entrepreneurs mentioned to her is lack of access to capital.

“However, they don’t apply for the money! There are government contracts and corporate contracts that are untouched because many of these women are unwilling or unable to fill out the paperwork,” Galán said.

The Adelante Movement is working with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to solve this hurdle. “I met with Maria Contreras-Sweet, another powerful Latina who wants to give money to women entrepreneurs, and we will help them promote government contracts and ease the application process,” she announced.

The idea is to explain in detail how government contracts work but also find opportunities through her website’s resources and mentorship with companies like Wal-Mart or Coca-Cola. “You can follow a Golden Triangle Approach by researching corporate, government and non-profit opportunities through their supplier diversity programs, low-interest rate loans, and federal and state tax incentives,” she explained.

Rigoberta Menchu and the entrepreneurial spirit that brings life into the world

Rigoberta Menchú in the March 2009 march commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Rigoberta Menchú in the March 2009 commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Towards the end of the book, Galán speaks with great emotion about the opportunity she had to bring Rigoberta Menchu with her on tour. In 1992, Menchu won the Novel Peace Prize for her work advocating for indigenous people in Guatemala and Latin America.

In her words, Galán describes the amazing story of an illiterate woman whose determination drove her to become a spiritual leader of a people. “Rigoberta taught me to dream big and imagine things that are not possible, and then remind ourselves that we need to ground those dreams in reality,” she said.

Galán ends her book stating that for us women, bringing life is one of our deepest urges and we have been prepared to take care of others. But now, she believes we need to create new pathways, new models for our daughters and their daughters, raising a generation that becomes self-made and changes the world around them.

“One of my strengths is that I complete everything I start. I get afraid but I don’t quit. Find the angles, build baby steps. Don’t overwhelm yourself but keep your grit, one day at a time, until you achieve the success of being self-made the way you want to be,” she concluded.



Tour Dates & Events

Don’t miss Nely Galán, SELF MADE’s author and founder, appearing live:

August 3 – Washington DC

National Association of Black Journalists/National Association of Hispanic Journalists Joint Convention and Career Fair

June 17 & 18 – Washington DC

White House Makers Event

June 14 – Washington DC

The United State of Women Summit

June 13 – Washington DC

SBA / Adelante Movement Announcement, 12:00 – 12:45 pm


Speaking engagement inquiries? Email: