REAP Women's Business Center

You have the dream. We provide the resources.

The Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Women’s Business Center provides free services to all Nebraskans to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow successful businesses. Funds from the Small Business Administration and private donors secure our ability to work in communities across the state.

Training

Whether for a luncheon or classroom workshop, we offer business startup and management training across the state, year-round. We cover topics ranging from QuickBooks, and advertising, to business startup, and strategic planning. Please email wbc@cfra.org to receive an updated list of our trainings.

Find upcoming trainings near you.

Networking

Our business specialists host regularly scheduled networking events in towns across the state. These events serve as a venue for local entrepreneurs and business owners to connect, share ideas, and learn more about new business management practices.

Contact our staff in your area to find an event near you.

Coaching

We offer personal, one-on-one business assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state. Our business specialists and consultants can work with you over online platforms or meet with you personally. For more information and to request an appointment, please email our staff in your region, or email wbc@cfra.org  

Additional resources

  • Visit our Online Training Center to access in-demand business resources.
     
  • Protect your small business against fraud. Learn more here from the Small Business Administration.
     
  • Dreambuilder.org - Do you need help thinking through a business plan? This may be a good place to begin. Dreambuilder.org offers 13 sessions in a fun, interactive environment. Sessions average 1.5 hours. Sign up through the website and there is no fee. Available in English or Spanish.
     
  • Information for women in business - Small Business Administration provides resources to help women entrepreneurs launch your new businesses, grow your businesses, and compete in the global marketplace. With online resources, financing opportunities, and Women’s Business Centers, they are there to help you succeed. Find out more.

Answers to questions from women in business

Question: Are there grants to help fund a for-profit business?

Answer: Generally not, but there are a few grants available for specific purposes. For example, there are grants for childcare operations, grants for upgrading energy efficient equipment, grants for manufacturing companies, and grants for commercialization of innovations. These grants have a specific audience and application process and they are not available for funding general business operating purposes. Even though, receiving grant money is money that a business owner doesn’t have to pay back, there is a cost for the business owner: Time. It takes time to prepare and apply for a competitive grant and there are reporting requirements from granting agencies that the small business owner must comply with if the grant is awarded.

The Small Business Innovation Research program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development that has the potential for commercialization. Contact the Nebraska Business Development Center if you want to learn more about this program and if you want to check qualifications and processes to apply for this research grant.  Also, companies engaged in research and development may want to check grant matching programs available through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

Question: Where can I get a loan to start or grow my small business?

Answer: The Center for Rural Affairs has loan funds from $1,000 to $150,000. Access the loan application and information here.

The Small Business Administration has a number of programs to financially and technically assist developing small businesses. Call them at 202.205.6600, or toll-free at 1.800.UASKSBA. Click here to visit their website in Spanish.

The Department of Commerce also has programs to assist small businesses. Contact them at 202.482.2000.


Helpful links for women in business

Credit Report Reviews is a comprehensive review guide of top credit monitoring companies.

Chic CEO gives easy to understand, easy to implement business knowledge. Even better, other women share their advice and experiences because someone else did the same for them.

WomensNet.net specializes in small grant awards to women business owners. Their Amber Grants for Women honor the memory of the founder's younger sister, Amber.

Start Up Nation - "A website for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs." The site features success stories, step-by-step advice, tips, newsletters, blogs, forums, etc.

Small Business and Self-Employed IRS Resource Website - Links to major business subjects, such as Business Expenses. Lists information by business topics, or by business type such as sole proprietor, corporation, etc.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Small Business Programs

Doing Business with the Government - If you intend to buy from, sell to, or do business with the State of Nebraska you need to register with the State Procurement Office.

Register your business with the Nebraska Secretary of State. Download a packet of material for new Nebraska businesses at their site.

How to Protect your Idea - Contact the Patent & Trademark Office.

US Small Business Administration has loads of information to help you. And, in Spanish.

SCORE: Senior Corps of Retired Executives offers advice, training and mentoring.

BusinessFinancing.org is a non-promotional website built to help guide business owners with simple and straight-to-the-point facts about financing.


Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (click here to visit SBA's page in Spanish). SBA's Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) fosters participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy who have been historically underserved or excluded. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) will be made if requested in advance.