In April 2021, the GROW Nebraska Foundation launched the

GROW Nebraska Women's Business Center (GNWBC)

in the Omaha Metro area to serve Nebraska’s critical need in leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs while providing real-time resources, education, and training.

Entrepreneurial density for urban and suburban start-ups presents a unique challenge and opportunities that are presently unmet for women-owned businesses in the Omaha Metro area.

There is no like organization offering this service, nor one location for like-minded partners to bring ideas in one space. The center will bring together community resources in an aligned program, leveraging knowledge experts and specialized resources, and on-demand training. This need has become more necessary during the pandemic that has wreaked havoc on small businesses.

The GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center (GNWBC) is focused on intentionally creating a community of aspiring and established women entrepreneurs to connect, grow, and prosper together. The GNWBC will represent the programs and resources available through the SBA in addition to face-to-face, 1-on-1, and online technical training and business counseling (live and on-demand) to support entrepreneurs looking to start, sustain, and grow businesses.

Our Mission

To act as the catalyst for providing in-depth, substantive, outcome-oriented business services to women entrepreneurs, both nascent and established businesses, a representative number of which are socially and economically disadvantaged.

The programming will support small business owners to create sustainable businesses that will create jobs and revenue for the local economy. GNWBC is 1 of only 20 SBA newly funded Women’s Business Centers in 2021 as the Omaha metro area stood out as a place of opportunity. This certification will support the full implementation of SBA services and support, including evidence-based training and small business loans.

The main barrier to small business success surrounds training and resources. The GNWBC will bring together a menu of training and support opportunities while creating a small business network that will allow entrepreneurs to gain information and skills to create success. The center will focus on women entrepreneurs, as they are underserved compared to their male counterparts.

Our Vision

To be the greatest champion of women entrepreneurs in the Midwest; changing the business landscape through training, advocacy, assistance with access to capital, and overall economic development of women-owned enterprises.

Other underserved small business owners will also be a point of focus: veterans, and minorities. 

The overarching goal of the GROW Nebraska Women’s Business Center is to offer support, training, and networking in an efficient and affordable manner to entrepreneurs who, otherwise lack the resources and ability to access needed services. The GNWBC is a coordinated effort amongst NEF and MOWBC which will allow each organization to exude its strengths making this a successful and efficient endeavor creating a “one-stop” coordinated program allowing small business owners to grow and learn enhancing the local workforce with job creation, business skills, and business growth.

Our Staff

Eden Butler
Executive Director, GROW Nebraska Women's Business Center
Nekola Distefano
Business Development Specialist, GROW Nebraska Women's Business Center
Janell Anderson Erhke
Founder & CEO for the GROW Nebraska Foundation
Tonja Hahn
Membership Resources Coordinator for the GROW Nebraska Foundation
Zoe Terry
E-Commerce Marketing Specialist for the GROW Nebraska Foundation
Jodi Bronson
Special Projects Coordinator for the GROW Nebraska Foundation
Katee Daly
Product & Content Developer Coordinator for the GROW Nebraska Foundation
Lauren Kantaras
Online & Retail Store Assistant for the GROW Nebraska Foundation

GNWBC Advisory Board

Johnny Nesbit
Community and Employee Involvement Manager at FNBO
Mercedes Fonte
Market Director at Thrivent
Marcos Hernandez
Market President, AltCap
Janell Anderson Ehrke
Founder & CEO of GROW Nebraska Foundation
Jim Reiff
Executive Director of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund
Veronica Doga
Nebraska Business Development Center
Jillian Humphries
Frost Media Group