CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) – There’s a new resource working to help Illinois women as they navigate the world of entrepreneurship.

It’s called “WE Hub” or “Women’s Entrepreneurship Hub.” The Illinois non-profit, Women Employed started the initiative with a focus on advancing workplace equity. The website pulls together statewide resources for women, particularly those that are Black and Latina, who are looking to start and grow their businesses.

“Women starting their businesses, knowing where to go, where to get their resources,” said Ibie Hart, the director of business development at Women Employed. “Being some of the first to know when grants are hitting, how to apply and to increase those numbers for those applications, to increase awareness around even the benefits of certification with the government, the benefits of filing your taxes and understanding what you can write off and what you can get credit for.”

Based on information the user shares about where they are in their business development phase, the website curates a toolkit. It tracks the entrepreneur’s progress, documents achievements, offers information about local business resource centers and webinars for mentorship. Hart shares the goal is to fill a community void.

“What we found was that there is no specific space that was created not just for women, but included the experiences of Black women, Latinx women as well as women in low-wage roles.”

Ibie Hart

Hart said, “A lot of times you want your resources to speak to you and feel like they’re meeting your needs. So bring all the resources together because really there is lack of access to capital, lack of access to information. And there are so many businesses that are being started or women who have been doing this through their side hustles. They just haven’t formalized it, that we’re like let’s put everything in one place to remove this barrier.”

If you’re looking to get more information, you can visit wehub.org.