SD CEO East Women’s Business Center celebrates grand opening at Zeal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Since the pandemic began, there’s been a big shift in business across the country, with many people deciding to start their own company. Now there’s a new resource center now open for women entrepreneurs in Eastern South Dakota.

“We’ve really seen an increase in the amount of women wanting to start their own business and the SBA really sought that out,” said Ashley Biggar, the Director of SDCEO East Women’s Business Center.

In 2021 the Small Business Administration announced 20 new Women’s Business Centers across the country, including the new SDCEO East location in Sioux Falls.

“We cover the whole eastern side of the state, so about 22 counties over here is what we cover,” Biggar said.
South Dakota’s Western Women’s Business Center opened about 14 years ago at Black Hills State University. Now the new Sioux Falls office celebrated its grand opening Wednesday, welcoming the east side entrepreneurs already benefiting from this new support program.

“There’s about 80 people so far just since August,” Biggar said. 

“Just kind of that guiding light to connect me wherever I need to go,” Salas Salsas owner Marcela Salas said. 
Marcela Salas is one of the local women business owners now benefiting from the program.

“With any kind of business, you’ll run into those issues of permits you need, licenses, tax ID, things like that,” Salas said. “Ashley has been great about letting me know, these are the things you should watch out for.”

From figuring out logistics, to social media, your business plan or just connecting with other local entrepreneurs, the SDCEO Women’s Business Center is a great, free resource for anyone looking to start a business.

“I help provide one on one free business advising to anyone in their Entrepreneurial journey. So if they are looking to start a business or growing a business, expanding it or even buying or selling that business,” Biggar said. 

Guidance that’s helping women join the entrepreneur community all over eastern South Dakota.

“It just takes a little courage to say, hey, I need help, and when you say you need help, Ashley is always there to say, hey this is what you can work on, this is what you can improve on,” Salas said. “To have that connection is just so inspiring, gained a new confidence that I didn’t have before.”

Any woman in Eastern South Dakota can get involved with the new Women’s Business Center or take part in a seminar.