$1.35 Million Grant Establishes Florida Tech Womens Business Center

MELBOURNE, FLA. — A Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Florida Tech will provide a wide range of training and resources for women to start or grow their small
businesses. Establishing the center is a grant of $1.35 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a five-year period.

To be located on the third floor of the Link Building on campus, the WBC will have a grand opening in November. Part of the College of Business, it will
take advantage of an existing infrastructure created by the National Center for Small Business Information (NCSBI), funded by a U.S. Department of Labor

“A key objective of the WBC is to work with community partners in building one of the top regions in the nation conducive to women’s business,” said Ann
Becker, Ph.D., NCSBI director and principal investigator on the award.

The WBC will address regional needs for training, counseling, mentoring and technical assistance for entrepreneurial women and women-owned small businesses
in Brevard, Indian River and St. Lucie counties. There will be no charge for counseling, mentoring and basic courses; there will be minimal charges for
some of the center’s more advanced courses, workshops and seminars.

“The WBC complements the College of Business in promoting quality education and training for small businesses in our region,” said Dean of the College of
Business Robert Niebuhr. “We have an exciting opportunity to create a synergy among our faculty, student and community resources to promote economic growth
by increasing women-owned small businesses.”

Becker describes the WBC as offering prospective clients the “Power of Four” — the right place, people, partners and products.
Center Director Donn Miller-Kermani outlines the attributes of the center as offering well-equipped facilities conveniently located at Florida Tech;
providing teachers, mentors and volunteers with expertise and business knowledge; partnering with community organizations for broad outreach, and making
available training and resources that are onsite, remotely and online to accommodate busy schedules and offer easy access.

The WBC will become partners with such community resources as chambers of commerce, economic development councils and local, government, nonprofit and
faith-based organizations. These partnerships are intended to have a broad impact on increasing the number of women-owned businesses by addressing
potential barriers and maximizing regional opportunities. A board of directors, primarily composed of community leaders, will be integral to augmenting the
SBA seed grant through fund-raising activities.

For more information, contact Becker, chair of the board of directors, at (321) 674-8780 or at abecker@fit.edu, or WBC Director Miller-Kermani at (321)
674-7007 or at dkermani@fit.edu.

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