The Western Women's Business Center meets the needs of women entrepreneurs through one-on-one business coaching, workshops, and access to capital. Our team of experts offer support on a range of topics small businesses need to start and grow.
We are a program of Carolina Small Business Development Fund, a statewide nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with a mission to foster economic development in the state of North Carolina.
The counties in our service area are: Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey.
Since 2014, the Western Women’s Business Center has served as a catalyst for the success of women entrepreneurs in the mountain region.
We are proud to have supported thousands of businesses in Western North Carolina.
Jobs created and retained
Clients attending training and events
One-on-one coaching clients
Our team brings a high level of expertise, professionalism, and engagement with entrepreneurs across the region. Our knowledge and passion is reflected in all of the services we offer.
Zurilma Anuel serves as Director of the Western Women's Business Center. In that role she oversees the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the center, which seeks to promote entrepreneurship in the western region of North Carolina. She was previously Director of CSBDF's Latino Program. Prior her career at CSBDF, Zuri was Latino Program coordinator for Mountain BizWorks and worked for over a decade as a personal banker at Wells Fargo. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Commercial and Financial Administration from the Central University of Caracas and certificates in economic development finance and business credit analysis.
Amy Cervantez serves as the E-Learning Manager at the Western Women's Business Center, a program of Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF). Her responsibilities include providing support to all WWBC programming and coordinating 1:1 coaching sessions between clients and coaches. She is also the manager of CSBDF's Digital Learning Academy, which provides small businesses with technical assistance through online learning. The DLA is a free program that offers courses from expert practitioners on a range of topics and includes courses in both English and Spanish.
Amy is originally from the Littleton, Colorado area. She moved to the Asheville area to bring her 501(C)3 organization, the Angel K Love Project to life. Amy and her wife wanted to help children with mental health and wellness needs through holistic therapies. Amy has also owned a few small businesses and has first-hand experience understanding the importance of small businesses to our ecosystem and the American dream.
Vania Ramos Ponce
Bilingual Business Lending Consultant
Vania Ramos Ponce previously worked for Prospera-USA, a nonprofit organization that provides business education and support to Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs, as a business development consultant and was responsible for running the office in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to moving to the U.S., she received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and auditing, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in political economy of development at the University of Puebla in Puebla, Mexico. She is certified as a financial modeling and valuation analyst by the Corporate Finance Institute. She has eight years of entrepreneurial experience in Mexico and worked in the private sector as an accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Schaeffler Group and Schnellecke Logistics in Mexico and for Robert Half International, and Paccar in Seattle, Washington.
Marketing & Communications Director
Emily Blevins serves as Marketing & Communications Director for Carolina Small Business Development Fund and its associated programs, including the Western Women's Business Center. Prior to joining CSBDF, she served as the communications manager for the NC Rural Center, where she supported the marketing and communications efforts of its leadership development, community engagement, advocacy, and small business lending programs.
Thank you so much to the generous funders of the Western Women’s Business Center who make our work possible.