Local entrepreneur appointed to lead new women’s business center

Local marketing entrepreneur Tarsha Polk has been selected to lead a new business center designed with DFW’s businesswomen in mind.

LiftFund’s Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center (WBC), a new U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) resource center, will provide business education, consultations, training and mentorship for women and minorities in North Texas. Polk brings more than 20 years of combined entrepreneurial, marketing, corporate training and sales experience to the LiftFund DFW WBC, which opened earlier this year.

LiftFund is a financial and business-support service organization that helps entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, create employment opportunities and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Since 1999, LiftFund has served the North Texas’ small business economy and provided more than 2,800 entrepreneurs with over $40 million in small business loans. As one of the largest microlenders in the nation, LiftFund is committed to providing capital to business owners who are left out of the financial mainstream.

tarsha polk

Tarsha Polk

LiftFund was among the 30 nonprofit organizations in the country selected by SBA to administer business assistance to entrepreneurs through Women’s Business Centers in new and expanded markets. This is LiftFund’s second WBC location since its San Antonio center opened in 2008. 

The Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center will further LiftFund’s support for women entrepreneurs. Since 1999, LiftFund has disbursed more than $14.6 million in capital to over 1,100 women business owners and provided more than 2,100 consultation hours to more than 1,200 female entrepreneurs.

“LiftFund is proud to serve North Texas’ thriving entrepreneurial communities with a mission-driven approach to microlending: to provide capital and technical know-how through our lending process,” said Isaac Elizondo, Vice President of Lending, North Texas Region. “We are excited to welcome Tarsha to the LiftFund family as the Director of the Dallas/Fort Worth WBC to further our support for regional small business owners, and strengthen our relationship with the SBA at the local and national level.”

Polk began her career in corporate sales before she opened her own marketing firm, The Marketing Lady, in 2003. She has since worked with hundreds of small business owners and organizations to create successful brand strategies and attract new clients. She is an active member of the small business community and currently serves on the Dallas Independent School District’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee. She has also earned many business and leadership awards including the NAWBO Leadership Award, Who’s Who: 40 Under 40, and the Business Trailblazer Award.   

“I’m thrilled to join LiftFund and establish the Dallas/Fort Worth WBC as a premiere resource for women entrepreneurs at any stage of their business journey,” Polk said. “Small businesses create new jobs and spur economic development in our communities, and I look forward to being part of that growth.”    

“It’s a prime time to open a women’s business center here, and we are thankful that it’s LiftFund [who will administer it].” said Herbert Austin, District Director for the SBA Dallas/Fort Worth office. “LiftFund has always been a great partner to the SBA, helping us as a district to increase capacity building and lending opportunities.”

The LiftFund Dallas/Fort Worth Women’s Business Center is hosting an open house on Tuesday, October 23rd, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and a lunch and learn workshop at 11:30 am, at 8828 N. Stemmons Fwy, Suite 510, Dallas, Texas 75247. Members of the small business community are invited to attend and can find more details at www.liftfund.com/events.  

A Look At The Numbers

2016 OPEN, American Express Report:

  • 8 out of 10 new women-owned businesses are started by minority women in Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Dallas-Fort Worth is ranked No. 12 in growth for the number of women-owned firms among the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas with a 116.9% increase over the past 15 years
    • Ranked No. 23 in growth of jobs created with a 33.5% increase
    • Ranked No. 9 in growth of firm revenues with a 114.7% increase