The Women’s Business Center South opened in Crosstown Concourse on Wednesday.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new business center for the Mid-South is open to help women-owned businesses succeed, and the support they provide is all free.

The Women’s Business Center South opened inside Crosstown Concourse on Wednesday. It will help cover businesses in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and the Florida Panhandle.

“It’s a space where women business enterprises or WBE’s of all types come and find out how to access capital, opportunities for investment, learn how to grow their business if they want procurement opportunities or opportunities to contract with corporations,” Women’s Business Center South Executive Director Vonesha Mitchell said.

The pandemic saw a rise in opportunity with more women opening their own businesses, but it also showed to have disproportionally affect women-owned businesses.

“This is a really pivotal point coming out of the pandemic – how do we support women-owned businesses?” Program Manager Lamisa Hassan said.

Hassan said the center can help both businesses that are new or ones more established but that are in need of more support.

“We can work with them to figure out what is it they’re struggling with or how do we help them move forward in their business planning so that they get a more of a standpoint where they feel comfortable moving forward,” she said.

The center is a regional partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). It’s opening is part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) largest expansion of women’s business centers opening in underserved communities across the country.

Mitchell said through the WBC South office women will have a business coach to help connect them to resources they need while also giving them the ability to network.

“What are the needs of women, the ways that which women-owned businesses need to grow and be supported?” Mitchell said. “There are a lot of statistics that show there is some disparity in how women businesses can access capital or resources so our objective is really to clear those hurdles.”

She said the need for support was already felt when already 100 businesses had signed up over the weekend to receive support.

“We’re really excited because it really indicates the appetite for it,” she said. “There’s interest in this.”

The official grand opening will be held next month but women can go to now to sign up to get connected.