Business Boost

Business Boost

Business Boost


This program has reached full capacity, and as a result, we are no longer accepting new applications. We sincerely appreciate the overwhelming interest and support for the program.

We invite all entrepreneurs to take advantage of our free WWBIC business training offerings which can be found here:

For entrepreneurs in need of access to capital who are looking to apply for a WWBIC or KIVA loan, please visit the following:

WWBIC lending:


Please feel free to send us an email at or check back periodically for updates on program availability.

The Business Boost program encourages entrepreneurs to position their small businesses as a pathway to building generational wealth. It is open to start-up and existing businesses, and takes participants on a sequenced journey through four building blocks that remove the traditional barriers in accessing capital. WWBIC, in collaboration with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM), administer the Business Boost program. PNC Bank is a foundational partner.

Credit Recovery & Support

Business Boost understands the important role that credit plays in the wealth gap that has hindered business owners of color. To eradicate this barrier, our program provides scholarships for program participants to recover and optimize their credit through one-on-one credit coaching with credit recovery experts to improve credit scores and financial wellness.

Acceleration & Incubation

Understanding the importance of diverse businesses to be able to make strategic connections, plan and grow in a professional setting, Business Boost provides scholarships for businesses to participate in Acceleration & Incubation programs that support ideation and growth for early stage and developing companies. Some options include (but are not limited to): Wellspace MKE and Upstart Kitchen coworking spaces; accelerators such as Scale-up’s SPARC, and RISE offered by the African American Chamber of Commerce.

Technical Assistance and Training

Business Boost provides clients with business technical assistance. This assistance is available in the form of business training, one-on-one business coaching, and group training events. Scholarships are available for WWBIC’s at-cost trainings, and all participants will have access to technical assistance services provided by WWBIC.

Equity and Loan Support

Business Boost recognizes that one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs face is finding the money they need. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), WWBIC provides fair and responsible lending to communities that mainstream finance doesn’t traditionally reach. Business Boost participants ready for capital are encouraged to apply. Lending clients are paired with a small business consultant to support them throughout the life of the loan.

Questions? Contact:
Aldira Aldape
Greater Milwaukee Regional Director
Business Boost is for start-up or existing businesses, and takes participants on a sequenced journey through four building blocks (credit recovery, technical assitance, training, acceleration and incubation, equity and loan support) that remove the traditional barriers in accessing capital. Applications are currently closed but stay tuned for more program details coming soon!


Building Generational Wealth Series of Training Sessions

The right business ecosystems can support and reduce the effects of structural obstacles to business building, especially for entrepreneurs of color. This series breaks down the four pillars of WWBIC’s Business Boost program and how it is a unique program that has created an ecosystem to help build generational wealth for local entrepreneurs. 

All sessions are in person, take place from 8:30-11:00 am, and include a hot breakfast. NO FEE 

Schlitz Park Auditorium
1555 RiverCenter Dr., Milwaukee

Initiate Prosperity – Building Generational Entrepreneurial Knowledge

Monday, July 29th, 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Click here to register:

Milwaukee County Restart Grants Program

Milwaukee County Restart Grants Program

Milwaukee County Restart Grants Program

Located in Milwaukee County? WWBIC is here for you! The Milwaukee County Restart Grants Program is focused on existing businesses located in Milwaukee County looking for business financing during COVID-19.

Additional Details:
• Maximum of $10,000
• Grants can be used for assistance with but not limited to; payroll; rent; utilities; inventory for reopen-ing; PPE for employees, clients or customers to safely reopen; or physical modifications of the space to align with COVID Guidance
• Business must be located in Milwaukee County. Businesses located in the City of Milwaukee, River Hills, West Allis or Wauwatosa are NOT ELIGIBLE

• Businesses cannot be a START-UP (less than 12 months) – must have been operating in 2020
• Businesses cannot be a non-profit business structure
• Business needs to be in good standing with State of WI
• Current on all local, state and federal taxes
• Business has not applied or received assistance through the Small Business Administration, Federal Emergency Management Program, or other federal government program.
• The business owner must meet the following criteria:
1. The business is a small business, with 20 full time equivalent or fewer jobs
2. The business owner’s or employees single household income is under 80% of the Milwaukee County Area Median; less than $47,250

Required Documents: 
• Tax returns no older than 2019
• DUNS Number
• Payroll expenses
• Application of benefits (listing all federal funds received)
• WWBIC Client Information Form and Employee Form

Please apply at The application will be available on Friday, July 30th at noon. All applications will be reviewed in the order they are received (time stamped) and will be equitably considered. The application will remain open until 11:59 PM on Friday, August 6th.

Making a Splash: WWBIC Southwest La Crosse Grand Opening

Making a Splash: WWBIC Southwest La Crosse Grand Opening

Making a Splash: WWBIC Southwest La Crosse Grand Opening

Join WWBIC as we officially celebrate the opening of WWBIC’s 6th Wisconsin office serving our Southwest Region, specifically Crawford, Grant, Juneau, Iowa, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, and Vernon counties. As an official Women’s Business Center (WBC) powered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this office will support entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, training programs, lending, coaching, and financial wellness.

WWBIC was awarded funding for its new WBC in October 2020 and hit the ground running in the search for a location that would be centrally located ensuring ease of accessibility for our clients. The office is situated in an unused BMO Harris Bank building in La Crosse, and is equipped with ample space for in-person classes and events.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the location and are grateful for our solid partnership with BMO, who is always working alongside us to serve the needs of the community,” said Wendy K. Baumann, President and Chief Visionary Officer.

Members of the community are invited to WWBIC’s Southwest Office Community Grand Opening Open House on Monday, June 28th. The event will run from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm with a short program beginning at noon.

Stop in to meet WWBIC’s leadership team and find out about the many services WWBIC provides to help entrepreneurs start, strengthen or grow their small businesses.

3500 State Road 16
La Crosse, WI 54601

Light refreshments available.  Please RSVP at

“The pandemic, social, and economic challenges that we faced as a community, state, and nation has been exhausting and the grand opening of this office showcases that we are resilient and that our collective efforts do remain strong in times of plenty, but even more so during scarcity. WWBIC has been here and will be here for generations to come to continue the impactful work to serve women, people of color, low-income individuals, and veterans. None of this would be possible without our solid and impactful partnership with the La Crosse community. We look forward to amplifying our impact in the region to help support small business sustainability and growth,” said Wendy K. Baumann, President and Chief Visionary Officer.

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Receives $500,000 Investment From Otto Bremer Trust to Support Small Businesses

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Receives $500,000 Investment From Otto Bremer Trust to Support Small Businesses

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Receives $500,000 Investment From Otto Bremer Trust to Support Small Businesses

PRI and Grant Will Provide Capital, Technical Assistance to Diverse and Disadvantaged Small Businesses


MILWAUKEE, June 14, 2021 – The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, the state’s largest SBA microlender, has received a $500,000 investment from Otto Bremer Trust to provide responsible loan capital for diverse and disadvantaged small businesses in Wisconsin that are unable to access bank financing.

The investment includes a $400,000 program-related investment to be loaned to small business owners, supported by a $100,000 grant that will provide one-on-one technical business counseling and access to business education, networks, volunteers and other resources for those receiving loans through the program-related investment.

“We are gratified by the investment that the Otto Bremer Trust has made in WWBIC and our commitment to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in communities of color across the state,” said Wendy Baumann, President and CVO, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation. “These loans will impact businesses started, strengthened and expanded as well as jobs created and retained by them.”

During times of economic challenge, WWBIC has been the front line for economic development for entrepreneurs and small business owners of color. Demand for capital and business assistance took on even greater urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant economic and social justice crises that followed. WWBIC staff have consciously worked against structural inequities and are recognized for their expertise in effectively coaching low-income and disadvantaged target populations to successful entrepreneurship.

“WWBIC has an impressive track record of improving the well-being of individuals by advancing inclusive entrepreneurship and facilitating self-sufficiency strategies,” said Daniel Reardon, Co-CEO and Trustee, Otto Bremer Trust. “This investment will provide access to fair and responsible capital coupled with business education and technical assistance.”




Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color and low- income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability.  Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $82 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $23.5 million and over 564 active borrowers.  To learn more about WWBIC visit: 


About the Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust is a bank holding company and a private charitable trust based in Saint Paul, Minn., that works at the intersection of finance and philanthropy. Created in 1944 by Otto Bremer, it is today one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations and is committed to supporting a better quality of life for residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. OBT is the majority owner of Bremer Financial Corporation, a regional financial services company; manages a diversified investment portfolio; and operates Community Benefit Financial Company, a financial resources subsidiary. Since its founding, OBT has invested more than $841 million in people, places, and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Visit

Businesses in Bloom

Businesses in Bloom

Businesses in Bloom

Yelp Milwaukee and Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) are teaming up this spring to celebrate 2021 Small Business Month, May 1 – 31. Throughout the month, we will be highlighting some of the amazing local businesses around the Greater Milwaukee area.

Make sure to follow Yelp Wisconsin and WWBIC on social media to learn more about featured businesses and information about supporting small businesses in your area.









Follow along each day on @YelpWisconsin to learn more about each featured businesses and how you can support small.

WWBIC to open new women’s business center in Southwestern Wisconsin

WWBIC to open new women’s business center in Southwestern Wisconsin

WWBIC to open new women’s business center in Southwestern Wisconsin

For Immediate Release: WWBIC to open new women’s business center in Southwestern Wisconsin


The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) has received additional funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to open a new Women’s Business Center in southwest Wisconsin. This new center will serve entrepreneurs and business owners throughout nine counties of southwestern Wisconsin.

Funded by a $750,000 multiyear grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, it will open in 2021. The center will support programming in nine counties: Crawford, Grant, Juneau, Iowa, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, and Vernon.  The SBA grant funds the center with an annual grant of $150,000 for five years.

“WWBIC is thrilled to receive additional federal funding from the SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership to continue to expand and meet the needs of so many interested in starting and expanding that business in the southwest part of our state,” said Wendy K. Baumann, President and CVO. 

“We are all so pleased and honored that WWBIC is opening a new Southwestern Wisconsin Women’s Business Center here in La Crosse. The City is a proud partner with WWBIC, sharing the goal of supporting our women entrepreneurs and small business opportunities here in our area. We look forward to continuing and building that relationship, especially with this new office located right here in the Coulee Region,” said Mayor Tim Kabat.

WWBIC has had a presence in the La Crosse and Viroqua areas for the past 6 years and in 2019 alone, served 1,217 unduplicated clients and worked with key strategic partners among others, City of La Crosse La Crosse Area Development Corporation, Viroqua Chamber Main Street’s, SW SBDC, SBDC at UW-La Crosse, Couleecap, Driftless Development, Juneau Economic Development Corporation, SWCAP, Coulee Region Business Center, YWCA-La Crosse to advance the important work of assisting small businesses through technical assistance and lending services.

WWBIC has offices across Wisconsin serving the Appleton area, Green Bay area, Greater Madison, Greater Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and surrounding counties. This will be its first office located in the southwest region of Wisconsin.