Unveiling the Rise of Women Entrepreneurs in the ‘Land of Enchantment’: A Spotlight on New Mexico

In Focus: Some Initiatives, Schemes & Grants for women entrepreneurs in New Mexico

#WomenEntrepreneurs #NewMexicoBusiness #LandOfEnchantment #EmpoweringWomen

Nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, New Mexico, known as the ‘Land of Enchantment’, boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. But beyond its scenic allure lies a thriving business environment that beckons entrepreneurs from far and wide. With a strategic tax structure and an array of incentives, the state has emerged as a beacon for small businesses and startups, offering a fertile ground for innovation and growth. The ‘Land of Enchantment’, New Mexico is today considered to have one of the best pro-business environments in the country.

New Mexico’s economy is diverse, with key industries ranging from energy and aerospace to tourism and food production. The Local Economic Development Act (LEDA), enacted in 2002, further fuels economic growth by providing support to businesses seeking to establish or expand operations within the state. Despite these favorable conditions, women entrepreneurs face unique challenges, including limited networking opportunities, access to capital, and inflationary pressures.

As the state’s population continues to grow and its gross state product surges, there’s a growing recognition of the vital role women entrepreneurs play in driving economic prosperity. However, to fully harness their potential, concerted efforts are needed to address the barriers they encounter and foster an ecosystem conducive to their success.

Let us delve into the landscape of women entrepreneurship in New Mexico, exploring the opportunities, challenges, and initiatives aimed at empowering women to thrive in the Land of Enchantment. Here are some initiatives, schemes and grants for women entrepreneurs in New Mexico. So, empower your New Mexico business journey now!

New Mexico Government Agencies
> State of New Mexico – Economic Development Department

The mission of the New Mexico Economic Development Department is – to improve the lives of New Mexico families by increasing economic opportunities and providing a place for businesses to thrive.

For those interested in starting or expanding a business in New Mexico, the Department of Economic Development has some programs to help you succeed.

  • Job training incentive program
  • International trade
  • ISO 9001 training and preparation
  • Office of science and technology
  • Finance department
  • Office of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Business finance finder
New Mexico Small Business Administration – SBA

The New Mexico SBA is supported by a district office in Albuquerque. They provide services including – funding programs, counseling, federal contracting, certifications, and disaster recovery. They can also connect you to partner organizations, lenders, and other community groups that help small businesses succeed.

The district office in Albuquerque is open to all 33 counties in New Mexico.

New Mexico Agencies & Nonprofit Organizations
> New Mexico Small Business Development Center – NMSBDC

The New Mexico Small Business Development Center helps New Mexico small businesses start, grow, and succeed.

Their International Business Accelerator is a one-stop shop of resources for New Mexico businesses and individuals wishing to introduce their product or service into the global market. They provide assistance to small businesses who want to sell their goods or services to the government, educational institutions, or tribal entities. And, they provide no-cost, confidential counseling regarding intellectual property.

> Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Team – WESST

WESST understands the unique challenges and needs of female entrepreneurs. They offer a variety of workshops designed to help aspiring and established women business owners succeed – many of which are scheduled during evening hours to accommodate busy daytime schedules. WESST’s popular Brown Bag Lunch workshops, held conveniently during lunch time, are free; and topics can range from money management and Quickbooks training, to leveraging Facebook and writing an effective Business Plan.

Individual consulting appointments can be arranged to discuss a specific topic in depth, at a time that’s convenient to the client. While its Women’s Business Center Programs are geared to women they are open to anyone, at any stage of their business development.

> SCORE New Mexico

Whether you need help evaluating a new business idea or plan, stimulating business growth, or developing long-term stability – SCORE can help at little to no cost. The organization’s volunteers are successful real-world business professionals, who volunteer to help existing and startup businesses succeed. They are experts with experience in areas such as accounting, finance, human resources, consulting, import/export, law, operations, production, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, sales, marketing, management, business plan preparation, strategic planning, and many other business disciplines.

SCORE provides a number of facilities like: Volunteer mentors who share their
expertise across many industries; Free, confidential business mentoring in person, via
email, or by video; Free business tools, templates, and tips; and Inexpensive or free
business workshops (locally) and webinars (online 24/7).

> Arrowhead Center

Arrowhead Center provides resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses across New Mexico, helping ventures to launch and grow. Arrowhead Accelerators (Sprints) include four accelerators that support technology-based and export-base companies through education, mentorship, and financing in a virtual, cohort-based setting.

The New Mexico Federal and State Technology (NM FAST) partnership program provides SBIR and STTR proposal development assistance to small businesses throughout New Mexico.

Arrowhead Center, as a contractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), brings the unique resources of New Mexico State University through faculty and staff to assist in a variety of technical and/or business challenges.

The hub of innovation and entrepreneurship for southern New Mexico and Borderlands region. Opportunities are available – to partner in research, technology commercialization, and growing regional clusters in Life Sciences, Aerospace, Agri-Biz, Digital Media, amongst others.

Arrowhead Ventures is a post-accelerator program that provides follow-on support for
businesses who have participated in one of Arrowhead’s Accelerator programs.

> National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) New Mexico

NAWBO propels women entrepreneurs – one of the fastest growing and most dynamic sectors in US, business-into economic, social and political spheres of power by: strengthening the wealth-creating capacity of our members and promoting economic develop; creating innovative and effective changes in the business culture; building strategic alliances, coalitions, and affiliations and transforming public policy and influencing opinion.

Funding – State and Federal Sources

> U.S. Small Business Administration – Funding Resources

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps small businesses get the funding they need. Funding resources include:

  • Loans: Start or expand your business with loans guaranteed by the SBA.
  • Investment capital: Find an investor for your business. Investors make both debt and equity investments.
  • Disaster assistance: Get help after a disaster with low-interest disaster loans.
  • Surety bonds: Protect your work and your client with an SBA-guaranteed surety bond.
  • Grants: Look for government grants that help businesses do scientific research and development.
  • Finance New Mexico
    From special grants to government-backed loans, tax incentives and venture capital, find the funding source that’s right for your business.

> The Loan Fund

The Loan Fund helps financially underserved small businesses and nonprofits across New Mexico to start, grow, and thrive.

Services include:

  • Loans and lines of credit at affordable rates to new and existing small businesses, as well as nonprofit organizations. Loans range from $5,000 to $1,000,000.
  • Pre-loan consulting services to help clients become credit-ready
  • Active-loan consulting and training services to help clients’ businesses succeed.

Types of loans available include:

  • Microloans (under $50,000)
  • Small business loans up to $500,000
  • Loans to nonprofits
  • SBA 504 Loans (Equipment & Buildings)
  • Business Lines of Credit


> New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA)

The NMSBA program assists for-profit small businesses in New Mexico with technical and/or business challenges. This is organized by Arrowhead Center, as a contractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), brings the unique resources of New Mexico State University through faculty and staff to assist in a variety of technical and/or business challenges.

Working teams for NMSBA projects are comprised of cross-disciplinary groups of technology entrepreneurs, technical staff, subject matter experts, and inter-disciplinary graduate students.


> 78 Women Grants for New Mexico

Grants for women entrepreneurs, seed money to individual women, college grants for women, small business grants for women, enterprise grants and grants for minority women.


> Amber Grant

If you’re looking at starting your own business, you can start by applying for A $10,000 Monthly Amber Grant. So, a simple place to start is with – Amber Grants for Women. Businesswomen from New Mexico are eligible to win one of these three $10,000 monthly grants.


> Free Grants & Loans (for minority or women-owned businesses New Mexico)

New Mexico Black owned, women, Latino, LGBTQ and other minority owned (or run) businesses can get financing from various loan or free grant programs. There banks, non-profits and lenders listed below that are issuing funds. The list of grants and loans is updated daily. The funds are for any small to mid-sized business in New Mexico, but some of the money will be designated for minority, veteran, and also women businesses. Find free MWBE business grants or loans in NM.

Each of the financial assistance programs has its own an application process with terms and conditions needed. The amount of funding will vary. There may be funds to help a small business grow its sales or maybe help them keep their “doors” open. The banks, non-profits, corporations and government agencies will always allocate a certain amount of loans and grants for Latino, Black, women owned and other disadvantaged businesses.

While most of the small business loans and free grants are for companies in Albuquerque as well as Santa Fe, assistance is available across the state. The grant programs and loans for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) as well as MWBE-owned businesses also often come with free counseling and business advice.


> Small business loans and free grants for women or minorities in New Mexico

Any business in New Mexico can apply for funds. But the lenders and/or programs listed
below will allocate a certain amount of funds to minority companies, including Black
Owned, LGBTQ. Latino, Asians, and other groups. Women owned companies in the
state can also get assistance.

> Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP)

New Mexico has one of the most generous training incentive programs in the country. The Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) funds classroom and on-the-job training for newly-created jobs in expanding or relocating businesses for up to 6 months. The program reimburses 50-75% of employee wages. Custom training at a New Mexico public educational institution may also be reimbursed.


> New Mexico MainStreet Program

A program of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, New Mexico MainStreet works throughout the state to help affiliated local organizations create an economically viable business environment while preserving cultural and historic resources.

Learn more: www.nmmainstreet.org

The mission of New Mexico MainStreetis – to develop local capacity to engage people, rebuild places and grow the entrepreneurial, creative and business environment that will result in economically thriving downtowns, greater business and employment opportunities and a higher quality of life.

New Mexico MainStreet has adopted the following strategies in partnership with local organizations to implement asset-based community economic development. A community’s assets may include the natural environment, socio-cultural, and economic assets.

Their goals are defined as –

Build Capacity for Local Economic Revitalization and Re-development Efforts Develop local leadership and capacity to implement projects and initiatives that accelerate community appropriate economic growth and revitalization through the MainStreet Four Point Approach™.

Enhance the Entrepreneurial and Creative Economy

Building on the existing commercial base, arts, culture, advanced technology and creative assets in New Mexico MainStreet communities, strive to strengthen and support entrepreneurial and creative endeavors through assessment, education, planning, and collaboration.

Create Thriving Places in New Mexico

Develop strategies, tools and techniques and implement them with local partners to transform our downtowns, squares and villages into community assets where their greatest economic potential and realization can occur. This includes great public spaces, buildings, streets and pedestrian areas, increasing economic viability through revitalization, resulting in places to live and work that enhance people’s health, happiness, and well-being.


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