SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A program designed to support women looking to start their own businesses is now expanding to eastern KELOLAND.
South Dakota’s Women’s Business Center currently operates out of Black Hills State University Foundation in Spearfish. Soon they will be opening up a second office in Sioux Falls to support more women looking to open a business in the state.
“Less than four percent of actual brewers are women, less than two percent of breweries are owned exclusively by women,” Nicki Werner said.
Werner is in the process of opening a brewery in Jefferson, South Dakota.
“I knew a lot about brewing, but I really didn’t know that much about business at all and what to do to start a business,” Werner said.
With no business resources in her rural community, Werner turned to Google to try and find help getting started.
“Seriously here in town it’s just me, so networking with the Women’s Business Center has been really great,” Werner said. “They connected me with a lot resources in the state that could help me get things going. Practical things like how to find financing, how to work with the state for all the different regulations.”
“We really want to reach all women wherever they are and really level the playing field,” South Dakota Women’s Business Center Director Michelle Kane said.
Since 2009 the state’s small business center has helped people all over the state out of the Black Hills State University Foundation in Spearfish. Next month, a new center will be opening in Sioux Falls.
“We’re going to have the opportunity to split the state as far as counseling goes which means we’re really going to be doubling our outreach to really reach more women,” Kane said.
The Sioux falls office will also bring some new offerings to the state.
“We’re going to be doing some training in Spanish to better reach the growing Latino community in the Sioux Falls area,” Kane said.
The new Sioux Falls Women’s Business Center is part of a nationwide expansion; the Small Business Administration is sponsoring 20 new centers across the country, the largest expansion in the program’s 30 year history.