March 2016 was both a celebration of women in business and a call-to-action for continued support, empowerment, and investment. Here at the Council, we wanted to make sure that the world recognized the amazing progress in the movement and commemorate the milestone of 10 million business owners. It was a busy month. Here’s a recap…


Women’s Business Ownership is Booming! And Growing!

We released brand new research on the Growth and Development of Women-Owned Enterprises in the United States at the Council’s Public Meeting. This report is an analysis of the key trends and findings in women’s business ownership, comparing figures from the 2002, 2007, and 2012 Surveys of Business Owners. Women are launching a net of more than 1,100 new businesses every single day! 47 per hour! Women-owned businesses comprise 36% of the country’s businesses – which is an increase of 2 million women-owned businesses in this post-recession era. You can check out the Executive Summary or download the complete Report. You can also watch one of our Council Members interview Julie Weeks, the lead researcher, about the research; just skip to 30:00 here. We also released fact sheets for every single state and the District of Columbia: Women-Owned Business by State: 2012 U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners. Check them out; see how your state compares to others in regards to women-owned businesses! We closed out the month with a session in Miami with key stakeholders to learn more about the Miami ecosystem.

The Council celebrates Women Business Owners!  

  • We started the month in San Francisco, California. Thanks again to Bloomberg Beta for hosting an awesome event about the coverage of women’s entrepreneurship in the media, inspired by the Council’s Media Resource on Women and Entrepreneurship. Amanda moderated a panel. Here’s the Bloomberg recap: Making Headlines: How Women Entrepreneurs Work with the Media hosted by Bloomberg Beta, Bloomberg News and the NWBC.
  • The Council convened in Washington, DC for our quarterly public meeting – The Tipping Point for Women’s Entrepreneurship: It’s Her Time! Many thanks to the White House Council on Women and Girls for hosting us at the White House, and to the very special guests that joined us, including Maria Contreras-Sweet and Tina Tchen. No need to panic if you missed it, there is a video of the livestream.
  • Our Executive Director, Amanda Brown joined the Accessing Capital: Women & Business: An Atlantic Exchange panel hosted by Atlantic Live, as part of the SBA’s second annual InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Summit. She also participated in the Women Presidents’ Organization Greenbelt Chapter Meeting. And she moderated a robust panel about the unique experience of black women in business; the panel included: Sheila Brooks, President of SRB Communications, LLC, Patrina Clark, President and founder of Pivitol Practices Consulting, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, Founder, President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions and Melissa Bradley, Director of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative and Executive in Residence at the Kegod School of Business at American University.

Awesome women, awesome stories!

  • In an effort to showcase women and their journeys as business owners and leaders, we took to Facebook and Instagram. The Council reclaimed the meme and launched a #ThatsWhatSheSaid campaign. This graphic campaign featured the insights of some of the best of the best women entrepreneurs and leaders. And we also continued the #HerOwnBoss series, within which our Council Members shared their honest advice, nuggets of wisdom, and words of inspiration. You definitely don’t want to miss the advice from the following boss (ladies): Marsha Bailey, Anne Shybunko-Moore, Rosana Privitera Biondo, Kimberly Blackwell, Laura Yamanaka, and Kari Warberg Block. Dawn Hall, the first woman to receive a sole source WOSB contract, also participated. And Kate Glantz, CEO of and former Halcyon Incubator Fellow, joined the campaign too. On International Women’s Day – March 8th, we also put a spotlight – with #WomenEntrepreneursWorldwide – on a few women entrepreneurs around the world who are making a difference.

Lots of momentum in the movement.

  • Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet, alongside Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, Nydia Velazquez, Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee, and Congresswomen Judy Chu and Cheri Bustos made the historical announcement of the federal government meeting the 5% government-wide prime contracting goal for spend with women-owned small businesses for the first time ever. As a long time champion of women’s access to federal government contracting opportunities, the Council commends the federal government and this Administration for meeting the goal originally set in 1994.
  • The SBA’s InnovateHer competition culminated with a summit, during which the top 10 innovators came to the nation’s capital to pitch their ideas to a robust panel of judges, one of which included former Council Member Lisa Price. Microsoft, along with the SBA, awarded the top three winners with the prizes totaling in $70,000. First Place went to Elizabeth Craven founder of UpCraft Club.
  • Chairman Steve Chabot and Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez introduced the Developing the Next Generation of Small Businesses Act of 2016. This is a big win for Women’s Business Centers; it will increase the funding level from $14.5 million to $21.75 million.

The White House Council on Women and Girls hosted The White House United States of Young Women Forum. One of their breakout sessions focused on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The month might be over, but we’ll be continuing to support and celebrate women and their business dreams … and we created a great new playlist to keep us all moving and moving forward. We asked our Council Members to share their favorite pick-me-up or at-bat song for our ‘Power Plays’ Playlist, available on Spotify 365 days a year. Enjoy!


Stay tuned for more research, updates & other opportunities from the Council on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn in the months to come.


Author: Cristina Flores, Marketing and Engagement at the National Women’s Business Council.