Women’s Business Center at First State Community Loan Fund

Our Mission

The mission of the Women’s Business Center at First State Community Loan Fund (WBC) is to act as the catalyst for providing in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services to women entrepreneurs. The WBC provides intensive business training that includes courses on business plans, business financing, social media, and marketing analysis. In addition, the WBC will provide the opportunity for new women-owned businesses to be mentored by existing, successful women business owners.

The WBC not only offers business assistance services, but helps connect women business owners to capital to help start or grow their business. The partnership between the WBC and First State Community Loan Fund allows women and entrepreneurs to not only access much needed capital, but receive valuable business assistance pre and post loan.  As an official SBA Resource Partner, the WBC also partners with SCORE and the Small Business Development Center, in addition to other State agencies to help ensure the success women and entrepreneurs.

Another key factor for Women in business is creating a “Work Life Balance”.  The concern is addressed through mentoring and networking opportunities offered several times a year.

WBC Client Focus: Laborers Unlimited, LLC

Building Up a Solid Business

The military precision of business operations appeals to entrepreneur LaVerna Womack. The married mother of four joined the Delaware Army National Guard when she was just a senior in high school. Now, she applies that same drive and determination to running Laborers Unlimited, Inc., which provides quality laborers to construction projects.

Like so many others in her industry, the recent economic downturn was a blow to business. “I knew we needed to grow beyond the construction industry to position ourselves for future success,” LaVerna says.

A chance meeting with First State Community Loan Fund introduced her to the Women’s Business Center (WBC) and its director, who’s helped LaVerna open doors to new lines of revenue.

“Jessica [Gibson] and I just clicked,” she says. “She’s helped me revise my business plan and navigate the certification process for Laborers Unlimited to be designated as a WBE, MBE and VBE.”

These designations help woman-owned, minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses compete for federal and state contracts. “These programs are underutilized in Delaware,” explains the program’s director Jessica Carmona Gibson. “We have a very small percentage of women business owners involved in government contracting.”

Through the WBC at First State Community Loan Fund, LaVerna has also connected with like-minded entrepreneurs and benefited from the advice others have to share.

“I can’t say enough good things about it,” LaVerna says. “The WBC offers entrepreneurs so much, and I’m taking advantage of every option I have to learn and grow.”

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Training Program Includes:

  • Creating a Passport to Success (Business Plan)
  • Using Social Media
  • Government Contracting and Certification
  • Creating a Market Analysis and implementation plan
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Internal Controls
  • Industry Specific Business Best Practices
  • Starting and sustaining a Business
  • Networking
  • Business Savers Program
  • How to Finance Your Business
  • Mentoring
  • Starting a Child Care
  • Insurance Compliance
  • Bi-Lingual Training

For more information about The WBC, fill out a “Request for Counseling Form”, or email us at wbc@firststateloan.org.

Photo by Misty Dawn Photography