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Tampa Executive Elected to National Board of Association of Women Business Centers

TAMPA, FL  - Ann W. Madsen, Executive Director of The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women in Tampa, has been elected to the National Board of the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization representing women business owners through a network of women's business centers.

The Centre for Women operates the only SBA-designated Women’s Business Centre on the west coast of Florida.  Madsen launched a Women’s Business Centre at the Centre for Women in 2013 and secured funding from the Office of Women’s Business Ownership the following year to make the national resources of the SBA available to aspiring and nascent female entrepreneurs.

Since then, more than two thousand women have turned to the Centre’s WBC for training and the WBC has helped to launch 30-plus female-led businesses.  The Centre also secured funding from Hillsborough County to launch a special program for female veterans entitled Bravo 5.

Madsen said: “It is an honor to join this organization to support women entrepreneurs throughout the United States. I am delighted to bring our expertise to a national level and make an impact beyond the borders of Florida to support women entrepreneurs as they create more jobs for the U.S. economy.”

She credits the leadership of WBC Director Stacey Banks-Houston for spurring on the growth of The Centre’s WBC.  Madsen said due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the WBC, we are now adding staff to help meet the needs of more women aspiring to own their own business. The WBC serves a six-county area on the west coast of Florida.

“Florida is the fastest-growing state for women-owned firms according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by American Express OPEN.  Innovative ideas brought to the marketplace by women entrepreneurs are significantly impacting our economy. Growth by female-led businesses is surging at a pace faster than that of any other group — over the past 15 years, 1.5 times greater than other groups. AWBC’s mission is to support these women entrepreneurs so that they create more jobs for the U.S. economy,” Madsen said.

The Centre for Women was founded nearly 40 years ago by the late Senator Helen Gordon Davis who wanted to help women to lead financially independent lives.  Today, the Centre for Women offers six distinct yet interrelated programs to help women in the Tampa Bay Region to succeed both personally and professionally.

Founded in 1998, the AWBC supports entrepreneurial development among women as a way to achieve economic self-sufficiency, create wealth and participate in economic development through education, training, mentoring, business development and financing opportunities.

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ABOUT THE HELEN GORDON DAVIS CENTRE FOR WOMEN

The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women is a nonprofit organization offering a diverse array of programs to help women in Hillsborough County to succeed both personally and professionally. Our programs and services encourage, educate and empower women. Our dedicated staff and loyal volunteers are involved in helping more than 3,000 people each year through our services which focus on success strategies for workforce development, entrepreneurial and employment strategies, individual and family counseling, services for girls and senior citizens.

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