Week highlights resources for women- and minority-owned businesses

Published on June 22, 2021

As Fort Worth businesses work to recover from the struggles encountered during the pandemic, smaller businesses – including those owned by women and minorities – might have a harder time finding the support they need. During the week of June 21-25, the city will present information and resources to support those businesses.

Each day during the week at noon, the Fort Worth Public Library will host a virtual 1-hour program on a relevant topic. The program is presented in partnership with Texas Woman's University Center for Women Entrepreneurs and the Fort Worth Diversity and Inclusion department's Business Equity division.

Cheryl Jones, Business Equity division project coordinator, said highlighting support available to businesses is an ongoing process, the time is always right. Firms that fall under the Business Equity Firm definition may face additional challenges in finding success.

“An overall awareness of the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ may be a contributing factor for some of these businesses,” Jones said. “Therefore, our goal is to focus on connecting them to available opportunities as well as to help identify some possible training and mentoring needs by referring them to the resources that the City of Fort Worth offers for small businesses.” That especially includes the Business Assistance Center south of downtown on the James Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus.

Partnering with the Library makes sense, she said, because it is a free source of information for everyone.

Business Equity Week Program Schedule

  • June 21: Tracy Irby, director of the Texas Woman’s University Center for Women Entrepreneurs, will provide an overview of the center and talk about the entrepreneurial environment and role of women business owners in North Texas. Learn more and sign up.
  • June 22: Christina Brooks, director of the city’s Diversity and Inclusion Division, will provide an overview of the new department’s role. Cheryl Jones will outline the many resources and tools available for women- and minority-owned businesses. Learn more and sign up.
  • June 23: Irby will present on funding opportunities especially for woman-owned startups and businesses. Learn more and sign up.
  • June 24: Tracy Dickerson, senior librarian, will present on using the Library's Reference Resource to research consumers, demographics, and existing and former businesses locally and across the country. Learn more and sign up.  
  • June 25: Irby will provide a roadmap for women considering or preparing to start a new business. Learn more and sign up.

The sessions will be available soon for viewing on demand on the Library’s YouTube channel.

The Business Equity Division supports aspiring and existing businesses in Business Equity Firm categories: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). The Fort Worth Public Library also works to support community vitality through offering space for creativity and development, and empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs with a variety of resources.