The historic growth of women-owned businesses in the United States has generated increased demand for the creation of innovative programs and policies to foster their growth. Today, for the first time, two new reports from the National Women’s Business Council document this progress by examining current best practices in support of women’s entrepreneurship and by recording the history of policies that have resulted in today’s unprecedented 10.6 million U.S. businesses in which women are equal or majority owners.
“We are extremely pleased to announce the publication of these two reports, which have both documented and addressed some very timely and important questions about how to further the growth of women’s entrepreneurship,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies and Chair of the National Women’s Business Council. “It is our hope that these reports will not only provide women business owners with comprehensive information about policies and programs for women’s enterprise development, but that this information will be used to enlighten and inform future policy and programmatic action in the United States and in other countries.”
The first report, “Best Practices in Supporting Women’s Entrepreneurship: A Compendium of Public and Private Sector Organizations and Initiatives,” profiles 24 selected organizations or initiatives that provide outstanding support for women- owned businesses and that have widespread impact throughout the United States. The report answers such questions as:
The report contains a functional matrix that shows at a glance how the profiled organizations compare with each other in terms of the kind of support and assistance they offer to women entrepreneurs. It also contains short descriptions of 10 additional organizations or initiatives that did not fully meet the inclusion criteria for profiles but nevertheless offer important support to women-owned businesses. While the NWBC noted that it is extremely pleased to have been able to identify so many organizations that share a strong focus on and commitment to women’s entrepreneurship, the report also includes several recommendations, including:
“Policy and Progress: Supporting the Growth of Women’s Business Enterprise” is the second report recently published by the NWBC. The report documents the legal and policy changes that have had an impact on the growth of women’s business enterprises over the past several decades and serves to benchmark the progress that has been made from a policy standpoint, including key programs, legislation and necessary precursors to entry. The report addresses such questions as:
This report also includes policy recommendations for direction in areas that still need to be addressed by the Federal government and private sector, such as: