Women entrepreneurs have a brand-new resource for information on starting a company, courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Last week the SBA launched Ascent, a free e-learning platform that provides help with issues ranging from hazard pay to how to create a profit and loss statement. The agency partnered with the White House, the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to develop the new tool.
Along with informational content, the platform has inspirational stories and resources for women, such as a fireside chat with Dr. Patricia Greene, former director of the Labor Department's Women's Bureau.
While Ascent is targeted to women business owners, the platform offers useful features for any entrepreneur. It breaks down the early stages of starting a business into modules called "journeys" and weaves together PDFs, videos, and other material from government and private sector sources. The first journey offers tips on disaster preparedness, including the SBA's checklist for hurricane readiness, the Center for Disease Control's Covid-19 updates, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's guide for preparing for a winter storm.
After the disaster preparedness journey, the platform delves into marketing, hiring, and access to capital.
According to the SBA's press release, Ascent is part of a larger effort to support female-run businesses. Along with a plan to launch 20 new Women's Business Centers this year, the initiative is "the SBA's largest single expansion of resources specifically tailored for women in more than 30 years," said SBA administrator Jovita Carranza.