A-B Tech Small Business Center Assists Women During Pandemic

Nadja Simon, center, is an A-B Tech graduate and client of the Small Business Center, who was able to thrive in her new business during the pandemic.
Nadja Simon, center, is an A-B Tech graduate and client of the Small Business Center, who was able to thrive in her new business during the pandemic.

Jill Sparks, Executive Director of the Small Business Center at A-B Tech, is used to serving more women than men through client counseling and seminars.

During the 2019-20 year, 74% of the seminar attendees were women and 65% of clients that received counseling were women.

“One of the biggest issues our Small Business Center heard from these clients was trying to manage virtual schooling and running their business with kids at home. And trying to determine if various government loans made sense to them,” Sparks said.

Dry Apron, LLC, is a company that manufacturers specialty underwear for plus-size women who suffer from intertrigo. Owner and inventor of No Sweat Undies, CarolAnn Bauer, has been a client of the Small Business Center. She has received numerous recognitions for her design and business.

I am totally an online business,” Bauer said. “I think women in particular have been spending more time looking for things to improve their lives, and the internet is the best option. Self-care is important in this time of isolation and No Sweat Undies is all about self-care.”

Nadja Simon, personal trainer and owner of Allon Health and Wellness LLC said the pandemic actually caused her to start her business. “When the Y closed the doors on March 16, I was left without a job and no safety net,” she said. “I had to pivot right away and began virtually personal training clients. With the warmer weather came outdoor, masked, in-person training sessions. That led to renting a space, getting an LLC established and purchasing a squat rack. I have been personal training one-on-one and virtually full time. I am very thankful and lucky to have been able to not only survive but thrive during this challenging time.”

For more information about the Small Business Center and its programs, visit abtech.edu/sbc.

About A-B Tech Community College

One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 60 curriculum programs through its six academic divisions: Allied Health, Academic Success and Public Service, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality, Emergency Services and Engineering and Applied Technology. The Division of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers opportunities for workforce partnerships, specific job training and retraining, as well as personal enrichment classes. A-B Tech enrolls more than 25,000 curriculum and continuing education students in programs at its Asheville, Enka, Madison, South, Woodfin and Goodwill locations.

Learn more at abtech.edu.

Leave a Reply

Mostly Cloudy
6:58am8:02pm EDT
Feels like: 75°F
Wind: 11mph SW
Humidity: 27%
Pressure: 29.89"Hg
UV index: 4