Greenville, SC | Monday, July 6, 2020 – CommunityWorks is proud to announce their selection by the Small Business Administration as one of two organizations in South Carolina to house a Women’s Business Center. The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center will enable and empower women entrepreneurs and will be led by Program Director, Ana Parra, who will manage the programming and operations of the center.
Parra joins CommunityWorks from a local marketing agency and brings a background in community development, nonprofit leadership, and communications. A current board member of Public Education Partners and Speaking Down Barriers, and a graduate of Leadership Greenville, Parra’s passion for the community and professional experience lays a strong foundation for the center.
The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center focuses on serving women, particularly minorities, who may be economically disadvantaged, and works to offer comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of business-related topics. CommunityWorks, an SBA approved lender, has the mission to build opportunities for all through equitable lending, investing and financial education. This mission closely aligns with the goal of the new center to provide tailored services through advocacy, outreach, education and support to women entrepreneurs who are seeking to start or grow their own business.
“The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center will serve to broaden the reach and scope of their current programming, and place a unique focus on supporting underserved and underrepresented women entrepreneurs,” said Greenville Chamber CEO, Carlos Phillips. “Their ability to expand their services in this way will ensure Upstate South Carolina’s women entrepreneurs will have greater access to capital and coaching to expand or start their small business. We at the Greenville Chamber see great value of such an effort.”
Tammie Hoy Hawkins, CEO of CommunityWorks, added, “We believe small businesses are the backbone of our community, and we look forward to serving more women entrepreneurs throughout South Carolina.”
The center will be operated out of CommunityWorks office at 100 W. Antrim Drive in Greenville. Those who are interested in learning more about the CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center can visit the webpage.
The Women’s Business Center is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA-funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
CommunityWorks was established in 2008 as a local housing trust fund through a partnership between the City of Greenville, United Way of Greenville County and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. CommunityWorks’ mission is to build a brighter future for underserved families and communities through financial education, lending, and investing. In 2011 CommunityWorks was certified by U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which operates a community loan fund that supports community economic development.
Since its inception, CW has generated over $221 million in local economic impact and has provided 33,900 hours of training and coaching, served 4,008 families, provided over $3.9 million loans to startups and existing small businesses, and deployed over $6.3 million in affordable housing and community loans that have created or preserved over 662 affordable housing units.