July 19, 2012



Statement of NeedHow we collectively and individually tell the story about women-owned businesses to policy makers when we make recommendations, to Congress when we testify, to the media, to our partners, to funders, to our members is crucial.  And the numbers behind our story can signal not only how far we have come, but also how much further we can go from an economic, social and political perspective. As leaders in the women’s business community, developing a shared voice and perspective across all segments of women-owned businesses is critical as we move forward.



 Over three sessions to develop and refine “Our Collective Voice”.

To weave together a tapestry of the statistical demographics, opportunities and challenges that best describe the segment each women’s group has chosen to serve into “One Shared Story” – a story, we can all tell, as a foundation for understanding and promoting the growth of women owned businesses, while supporting and honoring the unique needs and contributions of each segment of our market.  “One Shared Story” – understood and told by many, can help move the needle on key issues relating to scaling women-owned businesses, access to capital, access to markets, and encourage viable new small and high growth enterprises.


Initiative Key Objectives

During Event #1 on July 19th we will inventory our existing approach to the numbers and recognize the other numbers currently in use across our own organizations, our government, educational institutions, and the media.  Each of us will have the opportunity to briefly talk through the numbers that are important to their constituencies.

Event #2 is targeted for September and will focus on developing an aligned story that allows for a comprehensive approach to a statistical picture.  The inventory from the first event will also be used to identify differentiating segments of women-owned businesses, the critical vectors that need to be understood in any discussion of women-owned businesses, and how those vectors are potentially different across segments.  Our intended outcome for Event 2 is a shared vision for Our Collective Voice around women’s business ownership in the aggregate, by key segment and vectors.

Event #3 is targeted for November and moves us to action by thinking through how the numbers can be used within each of our organizations and how we can collaborate to create an impactful Collective Voice.  This event will also include developing a plan for how the new comprehensive message can best be disseminated externally to practitioners, educational, policy and media audiences in order to clarify the role of women business owners in the economy.