Community Navigator Pilot Project - Vermont

CWE Vermont’s Women’s Business Center (CWE VT) is thrilled to be joining the Community Navigator Pilot Project in partnership with the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VT SBDC) ‘hub’ and 9 small business assistance program ‘spokes’ from across the state. Through this collaborative program, we are joining with our partners to provide technical assistance to even more rural Vermonters, women, LGBTQ+, veterans, BIPOC Vermonters, and New American community members so they can make an informed decision about business ownership and growth in their lives!

CWE VT will:

  • Focus on building affinity spaces for women entrepreneurs and veterans, especially in Southern Vermont
  • Serve rural-concentrated industries, like makers/artists and people making the transition from side-hustles to full-time business engagements, through educational experiences and individual business counseling
  • Provide a specialized cohort entrepreneurship training program that recognizes the unique needs and challenges of people in the military and their spouses

Overview of the Vermont Program

As part of a national initiative introduced by President Biden and Vice President Harris, Vermont Small Business Development Center (VT SBDC) has been chosen as one of 51 grantees nationwide to be part of the Small Business Administration’s Community Navigator Pilot Program. There were more than 700 submissions for the program.

According to the SBA, the Community Navigator Pilot Program is designed to “reduce barriers that all small businesses — including those owned by disadvantaged groups such as veterans, women and those from rural communities —often face in accessing critical support.”

The Community Navigator Pilot Program uses a “hub and spoke” model, with VT SBDC as the hub, and nine spoke organizations that will create impact through the central hub. Together, they will leverage partnerships with deeply trusted community-based organizations to help small businesses navigate government resources and tap into critical resources, according to the SBA’s plan.

The "spoke" partner organizations are:

Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC)
Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE VT)
Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation (CVEDC)
Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) Financial Futures Program
Main Street Alliance-Vermont (MSA VT)
Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA)
Vermont Professionals of Color Network (VT POC)
Vermont Law School (VLS)
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF)


Small Business Administration

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Learn More