Women's Business Development Center

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) supports and accelerates business development and growth, targeting women and serving all diverse business owners, in order to strengthen their participation in, and impact on, the economy.


The Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) is recognized nationally as a leader in small business development. The WBDC provides programs and services to support and accelerate small business ownership, create jobs, fuel economic growth, and build strong communities. A major differentiator for the WBDC is that it is a one stop shop for business development. The WBDC hosts a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with offices in Downtown Chicago, the Chicago Southland, and Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and two Women's Business Centers (WBC) (one in Chicago and one in Aurora, Illinois).

The WBDC has the added distinction of running a Direct Lending Program as well as InventIllinois (SBA’s Federal and State Technology program) to support diverse entrepreneurs in obtaining Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. Services are provided in English and Spanish. The WBDC operates several cohort-based programs, including Plan for Profit for startups and the ScaleUp program, which assists high-potential entrepreneurs and growth-oriented small businesses with revenues between $50,000 and $300,000. The WBDC is also a Regional Partner Organization for the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, certifying Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) in nine states for companies wishing to sell to major corporations and governments. Thus, the WBDC delivers a full range of business services for every stage of the business life cycle.


Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Diversification
  • Forming a Business
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research

Buying or Selling a Business

  • Purchasing or Selling an Existing Business

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training
  • Debt Funding
  • Government Funding
  • Grant Funding
  • Loans
  • Microloans
  • Technology Grants

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Hiring and Firing
  • Retention

Management Issues

  • Human Resources
  • Leadership/Professional Development

Manufacturing, High Tech, Life Sciences Development

  • Commercialization
  • Quality Improvement (Supply Chain, Six Sigma)


  • One-on-One Counseling

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • Small Business Policy
  • Women's Business Issues

Regulatory Compliance

  • Patent Information
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits
  • Trademark and Copyright Information

Selling to the Government and Large Corporations

  • Government and Military Specifications
  • HUBZone Certification
  • Obtaining Certification
  • Obtaining Corporate Contracts
  • Obtaining Government Contracts
  • Registration Assistance
  • Subcontracting Opportunities

Starting a Business

  • Business Research Resources
  • Forming a Business
  • Home-Based Business Training
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits
  • Startup Business Counseling
  • Startup Classes

Technical Assistance

  • Commercialization


  • Budget, Cash Flow and Financial Statements Training
  • Business Management Training
  • Business Plan Training and Assistance
  • Home-Based Business Training
  • Online Courses and Videos
  • Startup Classes
Primary ContactMaura Mitchell
Address8 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone(312) 853-3477 x100