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SBA launches new online platform Ascent

Ascent, built to assist nearly 13 million women-owned small businesses, contains valuable content such as tips on preparing and recovering from disasters, strategic marketing and business financial strategy development

Ascent, a first-of-its-kind, free digital e-learning platform geared to help women entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses, was launched in mid-January by the U.S. Small Business Administration .  

Ascent is a joint initiative between the White House, the SBA, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  Designed to support women entrepreneurs looking to remain resilient in their operations, Ascent is packed with content and resources from each agency and backed by academic research. It contains valuable content such as tips on preparing and recovering from disasters, strategic marketing and business financial strategy development.

“I am pleased to announce the launch of our ground-breaking interactive-virtual learning platform to guide women-owned businesses through the journey of growing their business," said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza . "Throughout this year alone, we know that small businesses need our support now more than ever as they evaluate, retool and pivot from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic."

The Ascent platform is divided into major topics called 'Journeys', developed by experts in women's entrepreneurship.  Within each journey, participants will find "Excursions," that include exercises and tools, fireside chats, discussion guides, videos, and infographics. There are also success stories, key insights and info graphics. According to the website, the excursions will provide you "with the tools you need to master a topic."

“It is an incredible privilege to assist women-owned businesses – a key pillar of our nation’s economic firepower – thrive and achieve success.  This initiative, along with the recent announcement of opening 20 new Women’s Business Centers in 2021, is the SBA’s largest single expansion of resources specifically tailored for women in more than 30 years and furthers our nation’s commitment to nearly 13 million women-owned businesses.  I look forward to working with our partners nationwide to shine a light on American women business owners and their journey to success, job creation and economic independence.”

Women entrepreneurs start and own nearly half of all businesses in the United States, employ 9.4 million workers, generate $1.9 trillion in revenue and represent all industries.  Ascent offers several key journeys to assist women business owners with strategies towards growth and success, including Disaster & Economic Recovery, Strategic Marketing, Your People, Your Business Financial Strategy and Access to Capital.  Each journey contains content and tools needed to grow your business. Additional topics will be added over time.

“The Ascent digital learning platform is a practical, user-friendly tool and a one-stop-shop for female entrepreneurs to gain knowledge on how to elevate their business goals, overcome burdensome challenges and grow their existing business,” said Allen Gutierrez, Associate Administrator, Office of Entrepreneurial Development.  “The launch of this useful and timely platform will provide women-owned small businesses the resources they need to start, grow and expand their business.  We hope that you enjoy your journey with Ascent.”

Visit Ascent.SBA.gov and register for your free access today. For additional opportunities on how women entrepreneurs can start, grow and recover, visit SBA.gov or contact your local SBA District Office.

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.