E-business boost for women-owned firms

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Southwest Tennessee Community College recently helped four women build their own web-based businesses.

TSBDC provided 15-week, business-building course sponsorships to the women, who demonstrated a need and willingness to set up and grow their own profitable e-businesses. Also key to the empowerment move were scholarships from and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Along with one-on-one counseling from TSBDC, the group had access to a facilitator.

Jasmine Garner is developing an online business that sells plus-size fashions to teens and young women. "After much frustration trying to find stylish clothing to fit me, I wanted to build a business to make it easier for women to find plus size clothing that was stylish and appealing," Garner said.

Racheal Little's philosophy is that parents are a child's first teacher. She developed a website to help parents become more confident teachers for their traditional or home schooled children.

Gloria Singleton is offering customized furniture online. She was the group's senior member and was initially challenged by computer inexperience.

"However, her limited computer skills were no match for her perseverance and determination to successfully launch her website, another e-business success secret," said Facilitator Cozette Wallace of Divine Solutions for Leadership in Business.

Lasheka Orr, a registered nurse, is providing online and traditional instruction, as well as in-service training for certified nursing assistants and other healthcare professionals.

"Not often do you get the chance to develop a business idea, and fifteen weeks later you're in business," said David Doyle, executive director, TSBDC. (Just think, we've just created four new businesses and four new jobs."

(For more, contact Cozette Wallace at 641-715-3800, access code: 88300 or visit

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