Virginia Union University Launches New Center to Help Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders Advance

March 19, 2021

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Angela Hayes
Director, Communications
Virginia Union University

March 18, 2021
Virginia Union University Launches New Center to Help Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders Advance

  • Program is in collaboration with the National Institute of Economic Development and will be housed at the Virginia Union University
  • Center will assist women business leaders at all stages by helping close the equity and access to capital gap for economically disadvantaged business owners
  • Funding from the small business administration allows the center to offer 90% of its tools and services for free

RICHMOND, VA – Today, the National Institute of Economic Development, in partnership with Virginia Union University, launched the Women's Business Center of Richmond. The center will serve as a resource to provide business counseling, training, technical assistance and networking for entrepreneurs in the Richmond market. The program is made possible by a grant-funded through US Small Business Administration.

“I am delighted to welcome the Richmond Women’s Business Development Center to the 3 rd district—home to a robust community of thriving small businesses owned and operated by minorities
here in Richmond,” said the Honorable Councilmember Ann-Frances Lambert, of Richmond’s 3 rd District.“  This Center, appropriately housed at Virginia Union University, will be a beacon of economic development not only in the third district, but also throughout the City. All too often minorities, and, women in particular, do not have ready access to guidance, mentorship, and resources to help make their journey towards self-empowerment easier. This much-needed center will help in our collective efforts to close the wealth gap. It will enable hundreds to thousands of women entrepreneurs like me to realize their dream of business ownership and to create industries that will help uplift not only themselves, but the communities in which they live.”  Virginia Union University is excited to serve as home to the Women's Business Center of Richmond. Building generational wealth through education and entrepreneurship is core to our mission" said Dr. Hakim Lucas, President and CEO of Virginia Union University." By supporting them with resources, we empower women to turn the skills and passions in viable and thriving businesses."

Dr. Dannellia Gladden-Green will serve as executive director of the Women's Business Center of Richmond. She is the Founder of SAGEsse Consulting, a general management and marketing strategy firm. In her new role as executive director of WBC, Green will be responsible for client relationship management, business counseling, leading solutions engagement efforts, developing partnerships, and creating new business leaders' opportunities to have greater access to capital.

"For such a time as this, the Women Business Center of Richmond will become a leading complement to the entrepreneurial efforts of, for, and through women-owned enterprises, and I am excited to add my leadership to the team, making this center a reality for the Richmond community," said Dr. Gladden-Green.