Small Business ShowsSBA UpdateSBA Update: Access to capital for women-owned businesses – Allen Thomas & Leslie...

SBA Update: Access to capital for women-owned businesses – Allen Thomas & Leslie Zinn

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and there are over 13 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. As a result, organizations like the SBA provide resources to help women entrepreneurs. On this edition of the SBA Update, we’re joined by Leslie Zinn, CEO of Arden’s Garden, and Allen Thomas, SBA Regional Administrator.

Zinn developed a deep-seated fascination for health and nutrition at a young age since she was raised drinking various nutritional concoctions as Arden’s daughter. She continues to create and cultivate the business, cementing Arden’s Garden’s position as the finest juice company in the Southeast. 

Key Takeaways:

1. In the 1970s and 1980s, SBA was used as a vessel to assist Zinn’s mother in navigating how to sell her cold press smoothies and juices. 

2. Thomas noted, “With the post-pandemic era, we saw a trend of women exploding the entrepreneurial landscape.” 

3. SBA assists women entrepreneurs daily by helping them with training and resources for free. “SBA’s goal is, every new business idea, we want banks competing for your products, so we have 136 women’s business centers across the country, so for free, you can set up an appointment, walk in, and we find you partners to launch your business,” says Thomas. 

4. The federal government gives out $368 billion in contracts annually; currently, 23% of that goes to small businesses, and 5% is specifically designated for women-owned SMBs.

5. SBA had over five million more women lending last year than in the previous three years. 

6. Thomas said, “If you’re an entrepreneur, come see us at SBA. If you’re in it for the long run, understand cycles will come and go, but good products and good ideas will follow through.”

“Believe in yourself and go for it. Don’t listen to the imposter syndrome that’s going on in your head.” – Leslie Zinn

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for ASBN. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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