A popular DLBA grant program designed to give a boost to women-owned businesses in DTLB returns in September. 

DLBA announced that application submissions for the Woman-Owned Business Accelerator (WOBA) program open on September 15 through Oct. 6. Up to five business owners in Downtown not only have the chance to share $10,000 in grants, but they gain access to free technical assistance and coaching from Cal State Long Beach’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and direct support from the Fuller Management Corporation.

“For our second year of participating as a service provider through the program, we are excited to continue our support by offering full-service, customized, comprehensive business development and coaching to all program participants,” said Kena Fuller, Owner/Executive Director, Fuller Management Corporation. “The WOBA program is fantastic. It provides a tangible means of assistance that reflects within every business served. It is such a joy to collaborate with all partners; we look forward to another successful year.”

This is the fourth year of the DLBA program that is funded by Long Beach-based Farmers and Merchants Bank. “Farmers & Merchants Bank supports the entrepreneurs of Downtown Long Beach and recognizes the importance of continuing to invest in women-owned businesses, which is an investment in our future,” said F&M Bank President Henry Walker.

To qualify, woman-owned or majority-owned businesses have to be located within the DLBA’s downtown improvement area with an active business license or the owner must be willing to relocate to the area. The program is open to both for-profit or non-profit businesses with a maximum of 24 employees.

“DLBA continues to connect with great partners that share a common goal of assisting women entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. We encourage all Downtown businesses that are majority-owned by women, including those in the start-up phase, to apply for the WOBA grant program. Especially during this recovery period, it’s a great opportunity for small companies to access key funding and support,” said Austin Metoyer, DLBA Economic and Development Policy Manager.

WOBA grants are expected to be awarded in November after approval through DLBA’s Economic Development Committee. 

“The objective is to provide both a direct economic boost and valuable coaching and technical support to women entrepreneurs that lead to growth and stability,” said Dr. Wade Martin, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Long Beach.

 Click here to learn about last year’s WOBA grant winners.