Women In Trucking Association (WIT), Plover, Wis., announced an innovative new program that will serve as a platform to assist in establishing 150 new women-owned small businesses within in the transportation sector over the next 12 months.

The program–developed as part of a strategic partnership with Expediter Services, Memphis, Tenn.—will offer accessible financing as well as operational and business support for women interested in entering the trucking industry.

The goal of the new program is to focus on key areas of need within the trucking industry. The women in the program will be on a path to establishing their own small businesses as owner-operators and fleet owners.

WIT’s new program also offers a strong solution in a challenging driver market for carriers seeking capacity growth to meet the increasing shipping needs of customers.

Panther Premium Logistics, Fort Smith, Ark., and Forward Air, Groveport, Ohio, are the first carriers to pledge their support in welcoming the capacity that will be generated by the small businesses produced through WIT’s new program.

“One of the goals of Women In Trucking Association is to address obstacles a woman might face in her career,” says Jason Williams, president of Expediter Services and a member of WIT’s board of directors. “We value the partnership that Expediter Services has built with Women In Trucking, and through our experience in developing our scope of services, we know that women are a very important and growing part of a changing marketplace in trucking. We have been working for some time now to put the financing, operational support and infrastructure in place that can serve as a strong springboard for the launch and growth of 150 new women-owned small businesses over the next year.”

“For drivers, this is often about obtaining funding, which our partnership with Expediter Services will eliminate. Not only will she receive financial support, she will [also] learn how to become a small business owner in the process. We are so excited to be able to provide this service to our members," adds Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT.