Women’s Business Center @JSU Hosts Official Grand Opening to Spotlight and Aid Small, Disadvantaged Businesses

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State hosted its official grand opening for the Women’s Business Center @JSU in the College of Business Rotunda on Friday. It provides business services to women seeking federal contract dollars as women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB).

The official ribbon-cutting for the Women’s Business Center @JSU was held on Friday, Feb. 7. Pictured from (L to R): David Johnson, Sr., senior vice president and director of Community Development; Janita Stewart, district director of the Mississippi Small Business Administration; Fidelis Ikem, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business; Natalie Madeira Cofield, assistant administrator for the Women’s Business Ownership Office of the SBA; Alisa Mosley, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs; and Sydney Brown, director of the Women’s Business Center @JSU.

“We understand that the fastest growing entrepreneurial demographic in this country is women, and that isn’t going to change,” Natalie Cofield, assistant administrator for the Women’s Business Ownership Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA), said. “I’m immensely proud that our office has, to-date, opened 140 centers. This gives women the opportunity to walk out of the labor force and into the door of entrepreneurship.”

Natalie Cofield poses after the ribbon cutting ceremony with Sharon Simmons, Ph.D., J.D., professor of Entrepreneurship.

The center offers confidential one-on-one counseling, low-cost training, networking, free workshops, technical assistance and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on numerous business development topics. Assistance also will include providing information about business startup, financial reporting and procurement.

Natalie Cofield gives a dynamic keynote address during the official grand opening of the WBC @JSU.

To participate in the Women’s Business Center @JSU, individual participants must meet the following criteria:

(1) Be a U.S. citizen

(2) Be a woman

(3) Own and control at least 51 percent of a small business that is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, S Corporation or C Corporation

(4) Nonprofits are ineligible. Debarred or suspended firms or firms owned by debarred or suspended individual(s) are also ineligible.

(5) Business must operate primarily within the U.S. or make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor.

(6) Business is considered small in accordance with its primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

The WBC @JSU is located on the 3rd Floor/Suite 332 in the College of Business.

The in-take process and needs assessment will allow the center to identify the needs of the clients and customize support to meet those needs. The center will capitalize on the strengths of the JSU Small Business Development Center; the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development; and faculty expertise in the College of Business.

For more information regarding The Women’s Business Center @JSU, contact Sydney Brown, director, at 601.979.4186or Sydney.brown@jsums.edu.