2017 has been a busy year at the National Women’s Business Council and with our last Public Meeting of the calendar year (and first Public Meeting of Fiscal Year 2018), it was an opportunity to reflect on the progress made to advance women entrepreneurs, but also the priorities looking ahead to 2018. This year, the Council also celebrated 29 years of advising the White House, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on key issues facing women business owners, convening the best intellect and experience around entrepreneurial successes and challenges that women still face, and developing poignant research relevant to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

On the morning of December 7, 2017, leading up to our Public Meeting and the official release of the Council’s FY2017 Annual Report, our Chair Carla Harris released a statement on accelerating the future of women entrepreneurs, which can be found here.

The agenda for this December 2017 Public Meeting web-conference covered:

2:00pm ET  Opening Remarks and Call to Order of the National Women’s Business Council

  • Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women’s Business Council

2:15pm ET  NWBC Research, Communication and Engagement Updates

  • Kari Warberg Block, Council Member of the  National Women’s Business Council
  • Rose Wang,  Council Member of the National Women’s Business Council

2:30pm ET – Igniting the Future

  • Allen Gutierrez, Associate Administrator of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development of the U.S. Small Business Administration

2:45pm ET     Sneak Peek: NWBC’s FY2017 Annual Report and Policy Recommendations – Accelerating the Future of Women Entrepreneurs

  • Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women’s Business Council

3:00pm ET     Q&A

3:10pm ET     Closing Remarks & Adjournment

  • Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women’s Business Council
  • Mina Wales, Designated Federal Officer (DFO) of the National Women’s Business Council

NWBC Updates

This year, we executed the most ambitious research portfolio in the Council’s history – spanning from the contribution of important information on private markets and women in corporate supplier diversity programs; expanded the definition of necessity entrepreneurship for business origination; developed an original effective entrepreneurial ecosystem framework; and launched a regional solutions lab model to engage stakeholders to help women business owners succeed in their local ecosystems. In calendar year 2017, we released research reports on: supplier diversity programscommercialization among women in STEM fieldsincubators and acceleratorscrowdfundingsocial entrepreneurship; and millennialBlack and Hispanic women entrepreneurship, necessity as a driver of women’s entrepreneurship (part 1) and (Part 2), and veteran women in business. Over the coming months, we will be expanding on our crowdfunding research, releasing continued research on millennial women entrepreneurs, developing an original NWBC survey, and releasing the “Access to Capital” and “Access to Markets” reports through our efforts with the Library of Congress’ Federal Research Division.

We also ignited the NWBC Solutions Labs, a series of roundtable discussions that Council Members convened across the country in August and September 2017, to distribute and further explore data and findings of the Council’s new research reports released in FY 2017. The Council also engaged in a number of media and public engagement opportunities over October’s National Women’s Small Business Month and November’s National Entrepreneurship Month. To keep abreast of the Council’s activities, stay tuned via our website at www.nwbc.gov and follow along Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn at @nwbcgov and @National Women’s Business Council.

During this Public Meeting, we also took the time to recognize the tremendous service of Council Member Kari Warberg Block – whose commitment to the Council and to women entrepreneurs was above and beyond.

Igniting the Future – Remarks from the U.S. Small Business Administration

Along the theme of Accelerating the Future, the Council was joined by Allen Gutierrez, the Associate Administrator of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Through his work at the SBA, Allen is dedicated to enhancing the nationwide network of supports for entrepreneurs, which particularly includes the Women Business Center Program at the SBA. Allen spoke the accomplishments of the SBA and women business owners this year, which included another successful year of InnovateHER pitch competition, the continued strengthening of SBA’s resource partners (like the Women Business Centers), and the SBA’s Ignite Tour – a nationwide listening tour led by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon to travel and meet with all SBA district offices and local entrepreneurs to identify successes and opportunities for growth looking ahead to the future. We thank Allen Gutierrez for being a part of our Public Meeting.

Sneak Peek to the FY2017 Annual Report

This year’s annual report, Accelerating the Future of Women Entrepreneurs, with the tagline: The Power of the Ecosystem is the culmination of a momentous year for NWBC, but also the inspiration for this quarter’s Public Meeting. Council Chair, Carla Harris provided an overview of this year’s report which includes:

  • The Council’s research findings from our robust research portfolio, mentioned above;
  • Targeted policy recommendations: 11 policy recommendations from the Council and connections to the domains of the entrepreneurial ecosystem;
  • A summary of Council engagement and communications activities with key stakeholders within the entrepreneurial ecosystem;
  • A preview of our research topics on the radar for FY 2018.

You can find a digital copy of our Annual Report here. We hope you enjoy it!

As the Council looks ahead to 2018 and our 30 years, we will continue to focus on the pressing issues that impact women business owners. We invite all of you to join us in accelerating the policy of tomorrow to critically address the needs of women entrepreneurs of the present and the future. Please stay tuned for our FY2018 upcoming research releases, and don’t forget to look for our FY2017 Annual Report, which can be found on our website at www.nwbc.gov.