Mission & History

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is a 501(c)(3) nationally recognized leader in the field of women’s economic development.  The organization was founded in 1986 to provide programs and services to support and accelerate women’s business ownership and strengthen the impact of women on the economy by creating jobs, fueling economic growth, and building strong communities.

The mission of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is to support and accelerate business development and growth, targeting women and serving all diverse business owners, in order to strengthen their participation in, and impact on, the economy.

The WBDC serves clients from all walks of life with a focus on women, minorities, and veterans (majority from low to moderate income areas), providing:

  • Capacity building to scale businesses to compete in the marketplace;
  • Technical assistance and financial support to help clients develop, manage, and grow businesses;
  • Business financial education, including  debt/equity placement and direct lending
  • Customized business development services and support for veterans, childcare entrepreneurs, Latinas, and high science entrepreneurs;
  • Corporate and public sector procurement opportunities; and
  • Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification.

The WBDC is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with other Illinois offices in Aurora, Richton Park, and Little Village.

Outside of Illinois, the WBDC covers eight other Midwestern states (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) providing certification, capacity building, and procurement opportunities. Additional WBDC offices are located in Minneapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.

Since inception, the WBDC has served over 85,000 women, held more than 13,000 entrepreneurial training workshops, secured over $82 million in financing, and facilitated more than $1 billion in government and corporate contracts. We certify approximately 1,900 Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) annually.


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Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

Learn more about WBENC opportunities and certification

Regional Partner Organizations

A list of the 14 certifying partners throughout the United States

WBDC WBE Certification Brochure

Learn more about WBENC WBE Certification and the WBDC's partnership

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