WBC Richmond Open For Business
On March 18, 2021, the National Institute of Minority Economic Development, in partnership with Virginia Union University, opened the doors of the Women's Business Center of Richmond.
The WBC Richmond provides one-on-one counseling, training, technical assistance, networking, and resources vital to the success of women entrepreneurs in the Richmond area. Services that are desperately needed as female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses struggle to recover during an economic downturn and worldwide pandemic.
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Contact WBC Richmond
The Women's Business Center Richmond
Virginia Union University
1500 N. Lombardy Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Hours of Operation
Monday - Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
* Alternative hours available via appointment
Expand the economic impact and footprint of aspiring, existing and growing economically disadvantaged women-owned businesses by delivering the most comprehensive portfolio of small business development services and resources.
We seek to become a leader in the Greater Richmond business community promoting economic opportunities and equitable participation for Richmond’s most diverse communities.
The WBC Richmond provides services for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs seeking operational, financial, and marketing assistance for their business.
- Entrepreneurial Assistance
- Marketing and Branding
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Network-building events
- Social Integration activities
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion events
- Credit Profile Assessment
- Loan Readiness & Preparation
- Financial Sustainability
Get Involved With WBC Richmond
WBC Richmond Staff
Shara is an accomplished economic development professional with a decade of experience designing and executing small business development programs, optimizing commercial space usage, fostering strategic partnerships, and implementing outreach strategies for small and minority-owned enterprises. She has also established programs that help businesses navigate local, state, and federal government contracting and resources.
As a true entrepreneur at heart, Shara founded Caniventures, a consulting firm that assists new cannabis entrepreneurs, and SG Consulting, where she offers grant writing and project management services. Throughout her career, Shara has impacted over 4,000 entrepreneurs in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area and secured over $2.1 million in new funding. Her most notable program, CEO Growth Academy, saw its inaugural cohort collectively acquire $14.2 million in contracts while participating in the program. Additionally, Shara conducts workshops for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in collaboration with local community development organizations.
Shara graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Hampton University and obtained her MBA from Howard University. She currently serves as Program Director for the Women’s Business Center of Richmond and is a member of the young professional BRIDGE Board at the Metropolitan Business League. In her free time, she enjoys attending local festivals and exploring Richmond's picturesque sites.
WIN Advisory Council Members
Felicia Brown has over 20 years building and leading programs that address the needs of communities. She is responsible for determining the strategic direction, developing collaborations, supporting research and creating content and resources while increasing AARP’s visibility in the small business space. As a Senior Advisor, she leads AARP’s Small Business/ Entrepreneurship Initiative, which is keenly focused on supporting and advocating for people of color, seniors, women and veteran entrepreneurs.
Dr. Robin Davis serves as Dean of the Sydney Lewis School of Business. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of economic development and higher education and has taught classes at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Dr. Davis has deep entrepreneurial roots marked by prior leadership of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC as well as the South Carolina Department of Commerce as the Economic Development Manager.
Ms. Vicky Lyle brings more than 30 years of corporate leadership with one of the area’s largest employers. She has a vast background and expertise gained in roles that include strategic planning and execution, business acquisition and distribution strategy. She is the vice president of Industry Associations at Owens & Minor responsible for the company’s global strategy and presence in trade associations. Moreover, Ms. Lyle is the current Chair of Professional Women in Healthcare (PWH) whose mission is to promote a Healthcare Industry equally led by women.
Mrs. My Lan Tran has spent the last decade driving economic development through Virginia’s Asian American Chamber of Commerce (VAACC). With a wealth of experience and relationships from roles within the City of Richmond, she sought to support the VAACC in its quest to leverage business development as a means to positively impact community development. She is respected in all communities as Mrs. Tran works collaboratively with economic development colleagues in the African-Am and Hispanic communities.
Ms. Angela Wilkes is known throughout the Healthcare Industry as a champion of supplier diversity and a beacon of innovative ways to do so. As the founder and CEO of Angela T. Wilkes and Associates, she has cultivated almost 25 years of expertise in supply chain diversity, equity and inclusion in the corporate and entrepreneurial arenas. Ms. Wilkes lead her former employers efforts in this space by establishing best practices which included the creation of an industry wide advocacy arm, an annual symposium, and recognition awards.
Mr. Michel Zajur immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico City with his family when he was just a child. He learned the value of hard work by working in his family’s restaurant, La Siesta Mexican Restaurant. Remaining as staple in Richmond for over thirty years, La Siesta was not only known for delicious food, but also as a place for the Hispanics to gather and find out about everything going on in the community. Michel and his wife Lisa's developed a passion to provide community information which led to the establishment of multiple educational programs and gave birth of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber & Foundation.
The Women's Business Center of Richmond is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.