CommunityWorks opens business center, receives award.

As one of seven new women's business centers across the country opened its doors for the first time in Greenville, national and local business leaders gathered on Sept. 4 onsite to celebrate the state's female entrepreneurs.

The center, housed in CommunityWorks, will assist business owners with consulting and coaching services, seminars and networking opportunities, especially the unique additional hurdles women entrepreneurs face, according to Ana Parra, the center's director.

"This was definitely something that we applied for before the pandemic happened we had a lot of things in mind but of course the pandemic has exacerbated some of the challenges and barriers women business owners face," Parra said. Consultant services will be tailored to meet the needs of both first-time startups and legacy businesses seeking to expand or stay afloat, especially during a time of financial hardship.

"Women, in particular, already face those challenges in accessing capital," she said. "This, even more so if they've had a hard time connecting with the right people. We're hoping to make those connections happen for women business owners."

Speakers included Jovita Carranza, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and former U.S. treasurer, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, Greenville City Councilor Lillian Brock Flemming and CommunityWorks CEO Tammie Hoy-Hawkins.

"This is an exciting day, a much-needed bright spot as we emerge from several extraordinary, challenging months," Carranza said. "The opening of the center is the result of so many...

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