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Benedict College in Partnership with the Small Business Administration to Host a Press Conference to Celebrate the Launch of the New Benedict College Women’s Business Center

Wednesday, September 2nd at 4 p.m. at the Benedict College Business Development Center located at 2601 Read Street, Columbia, SC 29204

COLUMBIA, SC– (August 27, 2020) — U.S. Small Business Administration  (SBA) recently announced the launch of the Benedict College Women’s Business Center in Columbia, SC. The Media and Press are invited to an outdoor Press Conference along with several national and local dignitaries on Wednesday, September 2nd at 4 p.m. at the Benedict College Business Development Center which is located at 2601 Read Street, Columbia, SC.

The Benedict College Women’s Business Center will help women-owned small businesses start, grow, expand, and recover their businesses as America works to restart the economy.  The commitment to safely open and expand Women Business Centers (WBC) reflects the SBA’s priority to increase access for women entrepreneurs to make an impact on job creation and economic recovery.

“This is an historic moment for our Benedict College as we will be one of only two HBCUs in the nation to house a Women Business Center (WBC) on our campus; and the only one to offer state-wide services” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President and CEO of Benedict College. ”The launch of the Benedict College WBC is a logical extension of Benedict College’s steadfast commitment to stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship in underserved communities by supporting and growing women and minority-owned businesses.”

Jovita Carranza, SBA Administrator who will provide remarks during the press conference said “The new centers are a key part of the SBA’s expansion of service to foster stronger local economic opportunities, especially to those businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic and are now focusing on a safe reopening of our great country. The soul and spirit of American entrepreneurs and small business owners will continue to thrive and grow in the community and workforce as they participate in the pursuit of the American dream.”

Cheryl SalleyThe Benedict College WBC will be led by Cheryl K. Salley, former Manager of Minority Business Development for the SC Small Business Development Centers. “We are experiencing unprecedented historical times on many fronts.  It is at this time that we must collectively act to make a difference like never before,” said Cheryl Salley, Director of the Benedict College WBC. “Recent studies estimate that 40% of African American businesses had to close as of April 2020, and a great number of those were owned by minority entrepreneurs, more specifically women of color.  The primary focus of the BCWBC is to work directly with these businesses that have historically experienced more social and economic disparities in comparison to their counterparts.”

The BCWBC will allow us to initiate the leveraging required to support our minority small business community, by providing equal opportunities for growth and development, bridging disparities, and equalizing the playing field across all industries.  Aligning with Benedict College’s mission as a catalyst for economic development, the BCWBC will serve as the first Women’s Business Center housed at an HBCU with a gender focused federally funded statewide entrepreneurial initiative for disadvantaged small, minority, and women-owned businesses in the United States.

Located in the heart of the state’s capital, the BCWBC provides:

  • Customized business one-on-one counseling.
  • Lender referrals and loan package preparation assistance.
  • Seminars and classes (web-based), focused on key business topics.
  • Review and feedback on written business plans.
  • Networking opportunities to find mutual support, access to resources, and business referrals.
  • Certification assistance and review.
  • Local and global business development.

Additional information about the BCWBC’s programs and services can be found on the Center’s website at www.bcwbc.org. The virtual ceremony be available for viewing to the general public on the Benedict’s website at benedict.edu/livestream and You Tube channel.

We hope that you will join us as a partner on this historical journey.   If you have any questions or need additional information, please call Cheryl Salley at 803-476-2165 or email at csalley@bcwbc.org.

About the S.C. Small Business Administration

To learn more about SBA’s programs and services for women entrepreneurs, visit online at www.sba.gov/women, and to find other WBC locations and SBA resources, visit www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance.  Richard “Gregg” White is the District Director for the South Carolina local district office. The South Carolina District Office includes the main office in Columbia and a branch office (“Alternate Worksite”) in Charleston, which serves the low country and coastal areas. The South Carolina District Office is responsible for the delivery of SBA’s programs and services throughout the Palmetto State. The District Office also partners with state economic development organizations to provide South Carolina small businesses with assistance and further business opportunities through events, presentations and educational materials.

To download a copy of the South Carolina SBA Small Business Resource Guide, please visit  https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/resourceguide_3145.pdf

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution with over 2,100 students enrolled in its 25 baccalaureate degree programs. Defying trends, Benedict College maintains an equal male and female student population. This Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty of which 80 percent are full-time, and 60 percent hold doctorates or the equivalent. 

Over the past ten years, three out of five Benedict College graduates have attended professional or graduate schools. There are over 17,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest. Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Five of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work, Environmental Health Science, Arts and Sciences and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship.

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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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