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Keeping you updated on what’s happening at CEI


October 30, 2018

SBA Recognizes Women’s Business Centers at CEI for their Commitment to Entrepreneurs in Maine

2018 Marks the 30th Anniversary of H.R. 5050

October 25th marks the 30th anniversary of H.R. 5050.  On this day in 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed H.R. 5050 into law, offering women business owners access to a multitude of critical resources to help build their businesses.  H.R. 5050 was also known as the Women’s Business Ownership Act and established the Women’s Business Center program, created the National Women’s Business Council, and required the U.S. Census Bureau to include women-owned C-corporations when reporting data.  It also eliminated state laws requiring women to have a husband or male relative cosign their business loans.

The Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership was established in 1979 and in 1988 established the Women’s Business Center Program now with over 100 centers throughout the United States.  Each WBC provides services specifically designed for their community including training in financial management and marketing as well as individualized business counseling services.

In 1995, funded by the SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership, the Women’s Business Center at CEI was founded.  In 2006, CEI received additional funding from the SBA to establish the Rural Maine Women’s Business Center targeting many of Maine’ s most rural, sparsely populated and distressed counties.

“The State of Maine is fortunate to have two exceptional Women’s Business Centers,” said SBA Maine District Director Amy Bassett.

“In the past 15 years, they have helped 380 businesses start, aided in the creation or retention of 1,425 jobs and leveraged $33 million in capital.  The SBA is extremely thankful for the commitment and service provided by the business advisors at CEI and for the valued small business resource they have become.”

The Women’s Business Centers at CEI offer experienced, knowledgeable business specialists who provide assistance at any business stage: from start-up to expansion. Within a setting that respects each entrepreneur’s experience, skills, and learning style, WBC staff help build business skills through access to timely, accurate, tailored information and resources. WBC clients include lawyers, lobsterwomen, daycares, restaurants, hair dressers, environmental engineers, truck drivers, consultants, doctors, gardeners, and so many more.  It’s amazing what women can do with the proper support and financing.  The Women’s Business Centers at CEI programs span all 16 counties providing much of their assistance virtually to ensure entrepreneurs are helped regardless of where in Maine they live.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

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