Empowering Women: North State Resources for Women


Good news for female entrepreneurs: according to Jefferson Economic Development Institute Executive Director Nancy Swift, “Women-owned and small businesses are the fastest-growing part of our country’s economy.” And even better news: You do not have to attempt to start or run a business alone. Through business development classes, workshops and individual counseling, entrepreneurs have more local resources than ever before.  Multiple organizations, including those below, offer resources tailored to assist female business owners.

Butte College’s NEC Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Butte College 

Serving Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties

This center’s wide range of resources available to entrepreneurs has ranked it as one of the top-performing small business development centers in the region. Throughout the year, for either a nominal fee or no cost at all, business starters and owners can benefit from one-on-one consultations or entrepreneur trainings. For female entrepreneurs especially, SBDC at Butte College offers the Women in Business Conference, held annually for the past 18 years. Targeting women’s unique needs, this single-day conference features guest speakers, relevant workshops, helpful break-out sessions, and lunch catered by a local business owner.

Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)

Serving Siskiyou, Shasta, Trinity & Humboldt Counties

Two years ago, the Small Business Association designated JEDI as a Women’s Business Center. As Executive Director Nancy Swift explains, “There is a widely noted gap in resource allocation. Women only get 5 percent of the funding available. There is also a confidence gap; very few women have female role models who have been through the business development process, so it’s more difficult to stand up in their communities and start their own businesses.” JEDI exists to help bridge these gaps for women, in part through certified Etsy trainings. As only the second organization in California to become a certified Etsy partner, JEDI trains women how to harness this worldwide market to create flexible, creative businesses.

  • Action Steps: JEDI will work with women entrepreneurs remotely and in person. Call the center to discuss your goals and become connected with the best resources for your situation.
  • Research: http://www.e-jedi.org/sba-womens-business-center
  • Visit: 205 Chestnut St., Mount Shasta
  • Call: (530) 926-6670

The Women’s Fund (TWF)

Serving Shasta County

As a collective, philanthropic organization, the Women’s Fund works to make a difference in the Redding area by raising awareness of – and funding for – issues affecting women and families. TWF members pool their donations and work together to direct these funds toward worthy causes in the Redding area. Last year TWF presented JEDI with a grant to support women in business. TWF also acts as an avenue for community service and a great networking opportunity. Through member-only events and TWF educational forums for the public, entrepreneurial women can connect with like-minded individuals to exchange ideas and inspire one another.

  • Action Steps: Learn about upcoming forums and events by checking out The Women’s Fund blog. Visit the website to become an official TWF member.
  • Research: womensfundredding.com
  • Visit: Shasta Regional Community Foundation
    1335 Arboretum Dr., Redding
  • Call: (530) 244-1219
Jenna Christophersen
About Jenna Christophersen

Jenna Christophersen is a Chico native who loves her community and can never get quite enough of the arts. She supports fostering creativity in any venue, especially as a part of young people’s daily lives.

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