Small Business Administration: Preliminary Views on Issues Related to the Women's Business Center Program

GAO-07-1244T Published: Sep 20, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2007.
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The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides training and counseling services to women entrepreneurs through the Women's Business Center (WBC) program. With approximately $12 million in fiscal year 2007, SBA funded awards to 99 WBCs. However, Congress and WBCs have expressed concerns about the uncertain nature of the program's funding structure. Concerns have also been raised about the possibility that the WBC and two other SBA programs, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SCORE programs, are duplicating each other's efforts. This testimony discusses preliminary views on (1) uncertainties associated with the funding process for WBCs; (2) SBA's oversight of the WBC program; and (3) actions that SBA and WBCs have taken to avoid duplication among the WBC, SBDC, and SCORE programs. GAO reviewed policies, procedures, examinations, and studies related to the funding, oversight, and services of WBCs and interviewed SBA, WBC, SBDC, and SCORE officials.

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