Women's Business Advocacy Challenge

Patty Cantrell
March 29, 2023

Women-owned firms are the leading edge of Missouri’s economic recovery and the most dynamic part of the economy, starting businesses at higher rates; nearly double nationally since the Covid-19 pandemic at 49% of all new U.S. businesses in 2021 compared to 28% in 2019.

States that ensure women-owned businesses have the resources they need are the states that will lead the future.

Missouri can be an economic leader with investment in resources for its women-owned businesses, especially in rural areas where resources are scarce and scattered.

We are Missouri’s rural Women’s Business Centers

We believe it is time for women-owned businesses to be heard. Read on for action steps and policy priorities!

Share your business story. Change your business world.


The most powerful voice in small business policy making is the individual entrepreneur. But small businesses are generally not at the table.

The 2023 Women’s Business Advocacy Challenge is an easy way to give it a try. You can make a difference.


Webinar: Small Business Advocacy 101

In this webinar, you will learn how to successfully bring your small business concerns to local, state, and federal lawmakers. You will also learn about opportunities and assistance for taking action.

View Webinar


We invite you to help us get women-owned businesses on the map for state lawmakers by writing a letter to introduce yourself and share your small business journey.

  • Your story will help greatly in building lawmaker awareness about the importance of woman-owned small businesses to Missouri’s communities and economy.
  • It can also highlight the need for their support of Women’s Business Centers as local resources that help small businesses, men and women, get going and growing.

We have resources to help you. Sign up for next steps!



Attend a Regional Roundtable

Missouri’s rural Women’s Business Centers will host Women’s Business Roundtable events during May and June in central and west central Missouri.

Join us for an inspiring and instructive evening, together with local, state, and federal business policy makers.

We will:

  • Recognize and celebrate rural women in business.
  • Discuss issues and opportunities with key decision makers and resource providers.

Find more information on dates and times at this registration link:



Technical Assistance

Education and training plus one-on-one assistance with business planning, financials, marketing and more is ground zero for encouraging, building, and advancing entrepreneurs.

Rural areas have few such technical assistance resources. We need more boots on the ground.

The state’s two rural Women’s Business Centers provide these services and help rural entrepreneurs link to other resources, such as the Missouri Small Business Development Center and local and state economic development.

But it’s not enough. Support the stability and growth of Women’s Business Centers and other on-the-ground business technical assistance resources.

Access to Credit and Capital

Women entrepreneurs continue to face unequal access to financing. In rural areas, it is more difficult with fewer financing options available for new, small, and often credit challenged entrepreneurs.

Support is needed for:

  • Alternative financing sources: Rural loan funds and micro-enterprise lenders can help fill the gap. But these are also few and under-resourced. Capital and operational support is needed.
  • Credit building assistance: Help establishing and improving credit scores is a first step toward accessing the financial mainstream. Assistance to organizations in this space is essential.

Child Care Business Development

Women’s Business Centers are on the job of building the pipeline of child care businesses that are critically needed for all Missouri businesses and their employees to succeed.

We work with many home-based providers that could grow to serve more children and families. However, most small home-based child care businesses are typically not large enough to qualify for most state child care development incentives.

The Missouri Legislature can help by recognizing this important base layer of small home-based child care businesses and support resources, like Women’s Business Centers, that help them develop step-by-step so they can serve more children and families.


New Growth Women’s Business Center
Director: Tiffany Frost

Missouri Women’s Business Center
Director: Jayme Prenger