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Pasadena City College Opens Trailblazing Women’s Business Center

In a move to foster economic growth, the community college is the sole recipient among educational institutions to host an SBA-backed entrepreneurial hub for women

Published on Friday, April 12, 2024 | 8:50 pm

Pasadena City College has made a groundbreaking stride in empowering women entrepreneurs with the launch of its Women’s Business Center, a first-of-its-kind initiative among Southern California’s educational institutions. 

The center, unveiled as part of a broader program by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), aims to provide specialized support and resources to women seeking to grow their businesses.

The SBA announced the selection of 17 new Women’s Business Centers nationwide, with 13 of them hosted by established Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across 10 states. PCC’s center distinguishes itself as the sole recipient located within a community college setting.

“This new center is an exciting addition to the mix of incredible resources already available for entrepreneurs at Pasadena City College and the surrounding community,” Alton Wang, president of the Board of Trustees of the Pasadena Area Community College District, said. “We know that women leaders face unique challenges as they grow their businesses. This center will help empower these entrepreneurs and drive our local economy.”

The Women’s Business Center will operate in conjunction with PCC’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which has a decade-long track record of supporting over 4,000 clients, facilitating more than 300 business startups, securing $130 million in capital infusion, and contributing to the creation of over 11,000 local jobs.

“Our college contributes more than $680 million of economic output to the San Gabriel Valley,” Dr. José A. Gómez, interim superintendent/president of Pasadena City College, said. “Our students and alumni drive our local labor markets. The Women’s Business Center is just another shot in the arm for our local businesses and entrepreneurs.” 

Dr. Salvatrice Cummo, vice president for economic and workforce development at PCC, said the Center’s strategic focus will be on addressing the unique needs of women business leaders. 

“PCC has a proven track record of providing valuable services to emerging entrepreneurs, startups, and established businesses,” Dr. Cummo said. “We are thrilled to be able to focus this work on the unique needs of women business leaders.”

The Women’s Business Center at PCC will offer a comprehensive suite of services tailored to women entrepreneurs, including one-on-one counseling, training, workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring across various business development domains such as startups, financial management, marketing, and procurement.

According to the Biden administration, women-led businesses are currently experiencing notable growth and SBA-backed loans to women-owned businesses have surged by 70 percent, surpassing $5 billion in 2023.

Pasadena City College, a cornerstone of the San Gabriel Valley since 1924, continues its legacy of providing a high-quality, innovative learning environment that propels student success, solidifying its position as a leader in fostering entrepreneurship and economic development in the region.

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