top of page

Spokes of the Same Wheel

How collaboration between resource providers impacts outcomes for female small business owners in Western North Carolina.

Research spotlight produced jointly between Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the Western Women's Business Center.


Female small business owners face numerous hurdles to maintaining and growing their firms and these barriers have become increasingly difficult to surmount in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. While small business resource providers deliver needed funding and technical assistance, the perspectives and experiences of female small business owners are often missing from dialogues regarding the efficacy of local small business ecosystems. Interviews reveal that while female clients of the Western Women’s Business Center (WWBC) benefit from the program’s services – including business coaching, community events, and access to capital – some of the BIPOC and Spanish-speaking small business owners that were interviewed feel alienated from the resource provider community more broadly. Although collaboration between resource providers maximizes available services, increases their quality, and minimizes redundant offerings, organizations must employ a culturally competent, linguistically accessible approach to effectively serve marginalized populations.


In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many small businesses struggle to return to profitability, while others have closed their doors permanently. Although small business resource providers may be more important now than ever, these organizations must employ collaborative, culturally competent, linguistically accessible approaches to effectively reach marginalized groups, such as female small business owners of color.


WWBC+CSBDF-Research-Report Brief
Download PDF • 747KB

Download PDF • 1.12MB


Safer, Adam, Noor Kazi, James R. Onorevole, John Carter Roberson & Rachel Werz. 2023. “Spokes of the Same Wheel: How Collaboration Between Resource Providers Impacts Outcomes for Female Small Business Owners in Western North Carolina.” Carolina Small Business Development Fund. doi: 10.46712/N6YJ2dksdH

Recent Posts

See All

Lending Economic Impact Analysis

Evaluation of Lending Outcomes, Updated Annually FINDINGS SUMMARY CSBDF’s releases annual aggregate economic impact numbers for its lending activities. The period analyzed is by fiscal year, which is


bottom of page