Center for Women & Enterprise awarded Veterans Business Outreach Center for New England

May, 2016 –Providence, RI– The Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) was selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration as part of the national $1.5 million grant funding supporting the expansion of the Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC’s) program.

States and regions were selected as potential VBOC sites based on “Boots to Business” program demand, military installation, and transitioning population data.

The VBOCs are responsible for supporting transitioning service members as they embark on self-employment or entrepreneurship. Part of the VBOC funding is used to cover costs involved in doing outreach to increase participation in the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program on military installations in the U.S. and its territories.

CWE Rhode Island will house the VBOC.  CWE is a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to helping people start, grow and maintain a viable business.  Business development services, trainings and workshops will be provided by CWE Centers to VBOC clients throughout New England.

"CWE’s experience in delivering programs to people in transition, aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners, will enable us to uniquely curate our programs and services for the veteran population. We are honored to have been selected as the SBA’s resource partner and look forward to working with the men and women who have been in service to our nation,” said Susan Rittscher, President & CEO, Center for Women & Enterprise.

“The SBA welcomes the new VBOC award recipients,” said Barbara Carson, Associate Administrator, SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development.  “VBOCs are out front, synergizing the veteran small business ecosystem. We look forward to continuing to work with the centers to empower U.S. service members, military spouses, and all eras of veterans in starting and growing small businesses.”

VBOCs are directed by the Small Business Act (Title 15 U.S.C. sec 637 (b)) to participate in the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program. Since 2013, the Boots to Business program has trained over 40,000 transitioning service members, Reservists and National Guard members, and military spouses. The VBOCs also counsel and mentor approximately 60,000 veteran clients each year.

Each year SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans, and National Guard and Reserve service members, and military spouses start and grow their small businesses.  Veterans business development is available in each state at SBA District Offices and at VBOCs located throughout the U.S.  To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit

About the Center for Women & Enterprise

Established in 1995, the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women start and grow their own businesses. As New England's leading organization for women entrepreneurs, we work hard to ensure that all women, regardless of their economic status, are provided access to our programs and services. CWE offers scholarships to disadvantaged clients while fostering influential relationships for successful business women at the other end of the financial spectrum.

The Center for Women & Enterprise provides education, training, resources and connections to women (and men) throughout MA, RI, NH and VT, with office locations in Eastern MA (Boston), Central MA (Westborough), New Hampshire (Nashua), and Rhode Island (Providence) and Vermont.  

In addition, CWE is the New England affiliate for Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), serving as their certification arm for women-owned businesses. WBENC Certification is nationally recognized in helping established women business owners access new corporate contracts with organizations that are actively seeking supplier diversity.
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About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.  The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses.  Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.