ByNWBC Council

NWBC Celebrates Entrepreneurship Month

November 2019 Newsletter

WASHINTON, D.C., December 5, 2019 – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) celebrated National Entrepreneurship Month this November. NWBC recognizes the tremendous accomplishments and contributions of the estimated 13 million women-owned businesses across the country. This year, women-owned businesses employed 9.4 million Americans and had a combined revenue of $1.9 trillion.

ByNWBC Council

NWBC SUPPORTS SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Temren Wroge
202-738-3523
Temren.Wroge@sba.gov

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL

ANNOUNCES CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Day Designated to Benefit Small Businesses Brings a Boon to Companies of Every Type and Industry

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 25, 2019 — The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a non-partisan federal advisory committee that serves as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on issues that affect women business owners and entrepreneurs, is calling upon the public to participate in this year’s Small Business Saturday (November 30) and support small businesses of all kinds.

small

After eight years of celebrating Small Business Saturday, consumers have invested about 85 billion dollars in small businesses, and these firms comprise 4.8 trillion dollars of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product according to the Small Business Economic Impact Study (AMEX).

The study also found that when a consumer shops at a local business, an average of 67 cents per dollar stays within the local economy unlike an average of 43 cents for large corporations. Small businesses also employ many residents from the local community, thus increasing their community’s overall economic growth through higher profits and lower unemployment. Consumers’ local impact during the busy holiday shopping season can be a game changer. Further, every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity as a result of employee spending and businesses purchasing local goods and services.

The National Women’s Business Council is the federal government’s only independent voice for women entrepreneurs and fully understands the importance of this day. The Council has been committed to advocating for women-owned businesses for the past three decades.

According to The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, there are nearly 13 million women owned firms in the U.S. accounting for 42% of all businesses. That means 4 out of every 10 businesses in the United States are now women-owned. Consumers should shop local women-owned firms on Small Business Saturday to ensure continued economic growth for women entrepreneurs.

“Women-owned small businesses are on the rise, and the smart entrepreneur recognizes the impact that days like Small Business Saturday have on their economic growth,” said Liz Sara, Chair of the NWBC. “At NWBC, we remain committed to ensuring that this special day makes a difference and continues to benefit the estimated 13 million women-owned businesses across the country.”

ByNWBC Council

13 Million Women Owned Businesses

October 2019 Newsletter

WASHINTON, D.C., October 31, 2019 – This month, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) celebrated National Women’s Small Business Month and the 31st anniversary of H.R. 5050, the Women’s Business Ownership Act. NWBC recognizes the tremendous accomplishments and contributions of the estimated 13 million women-owned businesses across the country and continues to connect the voices of women entrepreneurs to policymakers in Washington, D.C.

ByNWBC Council

RECAP: Women in Small Business Roundtable – ID

Nampa, ID

RECAP:

WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – NAMPA, IDAHO

WASHINTON, D.C., October 25, 2019 – As part of its ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable Series,’ the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held a roundtable in Nampa, Idaho on October 9, 2019, with U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), NWBC Chair Liz Sara, Council Members Jessica Flynn (Boise-based, Founder & CEO of Red Sky), Barbara Kniff McCulla (Owner of KLK Construction), and Bonnie Nawara (Past Chair of AWBC), and local women business owners. The discussion explored the unique challenges for rural women entrepreneurs and sought to identify untapped opportunities for growth.

The event began with NWBC Chair Liz Sara welcoming the roundtable participants and attendees. “NWBC is honored to be here at Idaho’s new Women’s Business Center. NWBC was established by the same legislation that established the Women’s Business Center program. Each year since our existence, we have advocated for the importance of this program and are pleased by its expansion to Idaho.” She continued, “This year, through the work of the Rural Subcommittee, led by Jessica Flynn, we focused on the importance of women’s business centers as a central resource for women entrepreneurs in rural communities.”

NWBC Council Member Jessica Flynn, a local of Boise, then introduced U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), who provided a brief legislative update and opened the conversation to the local business owners. The Senator noted that Idaho ranked 3rd in the nation for fastest growth of small business in 2018 and highlighted the economic impact of the female founders. He reiterated his commitment to empowering rural women entrepreneurs in the region.

Multiple participants referenced the absence of affordable childcare options in the state and suggested that this void prevents many women from launching new business ventures or entering the workforce altogether. Historically, Nampa has been known for its strong agricultural base. However, the city also has a large and diverse manufacturing and retail base and has gained strength from the technology industry.

A representative from the Small Business Administration recognized the cyclical nature of agriculture businesses and advised that the best time to get a line of credit is when you do not need it. He also highlighted SBA’s LenderMatch program, a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders.

The founder & CEO of an e-commerce apparel brand revealed the toll that subpar infrastructure took on her bottom line. “I spend more upgrading my city block than my buildings cost me,” she revealed.

Broadband was also a major topic of discussion. A recent ranking of fixed-broadband download speeds listed Idaho as the fourth slowest state in the country. The same study also examined broadband speeds in America’s 100 largest cities and ranked Boise’s speed as 95th. Council Member Jessica Flynn lamented, “Broadband continues to be a major barrier to local entrepreneurial success and, even more, to scaling the economy.” She then shared the Council’s plans to examine the FCC mapping process and gather further input from women around the country on the broadband challenges that they face. Access to reliable broadband has been a recurring theme for women entrepreneurs. NWBC Council Member Barbara Kniff McCulla noted a similar situation in her home city of Pella, Iowa. She briefly discussed the ways that Kim Reynolds, Governor of Iowa, was working to address the issue.

NWBC Council Member Bonnie Nawara wrapped up the roundtable discussion by highlighting the overarching themes and reiterated the Council’s commitment to employ the feedback received as a springboard for the Council’s policy recommendations to Congress, the President, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. The Council appreciates the participation from diverse business owners and stakeholders in the Nampa area.

ByNWBC Council

NWBC Chair in Forbes

Higher Revenues And Greater Optimism: Female-Owned Small Businesses Are Gaining Ground

While the two reports points to great strides for women-owned businesses, Liz Sara, National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) chair, thinks that it also speaks to “some of the major challenges that we’re trying to overcome to make it easier for women.” One major problem that persists: raising capital.

Read the full article on Forbes HERE

ByNWBC Council

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL: WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – Nampa, ID

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Temren Wroge
202-738-3523
Temren.Wroge@sba.gov

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL: WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – Nampa, ID

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2019 — As part of its ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable Series,’ NWBC is hosting a roundtable in Nampa, ID on October 9, 2019, with U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), NWBC Chair Liz Sara, Council Members Jessica Flynn (Boise-based, Founder & CEO of Red Sky), Barb Kniff McCulla (Owner of KLK Construction), Bonnie Nawara (Past Chair of AWBC & CEO of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women), and local women business owners. The discussion will explore the unique challenges rural women entrepreneurs face and identify untapped opportunities for growth.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Location: Idaho Small Business Development Center – Nampa Business Accelerator
5465 E. Terra Linda Way
Nampa, ID 83687
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM MDT

Press Inquiries


About National Women’s Business Council
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory committee created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. To learn more, please visit: www.NWBC.gov

ByNWBC Council

NWBC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

National Women’s Business Council member Rebecca Contreras acknowledges the 1.9 Million Hispanic women-owned businesses across the country who greatly impact the economy.

ByNWBC Council

Public Meeting in Washington, DC

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held its third public meeting of Fiscal Year 2019 on September 24, 2019, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC.

NWBC Executive Director Nina Roque welcomed Council Members and the public to the meeting. She then outlined her role as the Designated Federal Officer of the Council and detailed the ways in which the proceedings would accommodate the rules and regulations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

Therese Meers, Counsel for Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) on the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, then provided a brief overview of the Senator’s legislative priorities this Congress. She shared her personal story as a former small business owner and highlighted the programs and resources, including trainings at her local women’s business center, that helped her along the way.

Aneta Erdie, a representative from the U.S. Census Bureau, presented recently released 2018 Annual Business Survey results as they related to women-owned employer firms. As of 2017, there are 1.1 million women-owned employer firms in the United States – an increase of 100,000 from 2012. Erdie also provided an update on the Bureau’s pending project to develop statistics for non-employer firms.

Following the remarks from these key stakeholders, NWBC Chair Liz Sara provided a recap of the Council’s latest initiatives, including the ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable Series,’ the release of the ‘Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities’ research report, and efforts to increase external engagement with the community. She declared, “Together, this new Council set out to engage with more women business owners than ever before; To reach out and listen to key stakeholders from across the country in locations that this Council has never visited before; To connect and collaborate with the Administration, especially the Small Business Administration and both Republican and Democrat members of Congress.”

Chair Sara then outlined the focus areas for each of the Council’s three Subcommittees and invited the leading Members to present their policy recommendations to the full body for approval. Council Member Rebecca Contreras spoke for the Access to Capital and Opportunity Subcommittee, Council Member Jess Flynn presented on behalf of the Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship Subcommittee, and Council Member Monica Stynchula spoke for the Women in STEM Subcommittee.

Contreras shared her subcommittee’s desired changes to the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWSOB) Certification process. These reforms pertain to outreach efforts, criteria, and timelines for agency determinations. She then outlined a proposal for a Federal Angel Investment Tax Credit and expressed support for the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act, which would allow women-owned firms to accept venture capital and equity investments constituting more than 50 percent of the ownership of a firm and still maintain ownership and control of the business for purposes of WOSB or 8(a) contracting program certifications, so long as the venture capital or equity firm is also woman-owned.

Stynchula began her presentation with highlights from the STEM-focused roundtables in St. Petersburg, FL and Baltimore, MD. She then shared her subcommittee’s interest in the application process for SBIR/STTR grants and urged more federal agencies to consider the value of an initial pitch phase for potential applicants to receive feedback. She also encouraged more comprehensive partnerships with HBCUs to increase overall participation in these valuable programs. Stynchula identified further areas of study for the U.S. Patenting and Trademark Office involving challenges for female innovators and expressed support for the Building Blocks of STEM Act, which pertains to the usage of National Science Foundation grants for underrepresented populations.

Flynn then shared her subcommittee’s recommendations to improve the Women’s Business Center program, including national market scans for the purpose of identifying new grant opportunities and the allocation of supplementary grant money for accessible, offsite trainings in underserved rural communities. She also encouraged improved data sharing between the SBA and the AWBC. Additionally, Flynn noted their desire to see the SBA and USDA develop an online playbook of case studies on rural entrepreneurial development. Finally, she expressed the subcommittee’s commitment to explore challenges surrounding rural broadband access during the next fiscal year.

Stay tuned for the complete list of policy recommendations in the Council’s 2019 Annual Report to Congress, the White House, and the SBA. NWBC appreciates all who made this meeting possible. Thank you to everyone on the call and in person who joined the conversation. We look forward to reviewing your feedback and continuing our advocacy on behalf of the nation’s female founders.

To provide any additional comments or feedback, please email Ashley Judah at Ashley.Judah@Sba.gov.

Audio Recording – NWBC Public Meeting on September 24, 2019
ByNWBC Council

RECAP: Women in Small Business Roundtable – CA

Marina Del Rey, CA

RECAP:

WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – MARINA DEL REY, CA

WASHINTON, D.C., September 30, 2019 – As part of its ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable Series,’ the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held a roundtable in Los Angeles, CA on September 17, 2019, to better understand the specific challenges and opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship pertaining to access to capital, with a specific focus on angel investment and venture capital. California’s women owned firms employ more than 1 million people and generate a combined annual revenue of nearly $225.5 billion according to the 2017 AMEX State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

The event began with NWBC Chair Liz Sara welcoming the roundtable participants and attendees. She noted, “Los Angeles is a very important roundtable stop for the Council. California is home to the greatest number of women-owned businesses in the nation with about 1.55 million, according to estimates in a seventh annual American Express analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.”

NWBC Council Member Vanessa Dawson, a local of Los Angeles, then prompted the women entrepreneurs to share their experiences seeking funding to start and grow their businesses. Dawson noted that “unfortunately, female founders received only 2.2% or $2.88 billion of the total $130 billion in Venture Capital (VC) funding in 2018” and asked the roundtable participants to shed light on this phenomenon. All the participants recognized the difficulties of raising traditional forms of capital.

One participant, an angel investor, shared that the vast majority of founders in her portfolio were women because she had created an equally accessible platform and not because she had considered gender as a reason to fund. She also highlighted the low number of female investors willing to write the big checks.

Financial assistance was a recurring topic during the discussion. One investment partner lamented that she had never heard of the available Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs prior to the roundtable and regretted the missed opportunities to connect women founders to those resources. She also encouraged federal agency outreach to the angel community and early stage growth investors. A local SBA representative shared SBA’s community to increase outreach and highlighted SBA’s LenderMatch program, a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders.

NWBC Nicole Cober wrapped up the roundtable discussion by highlighting the overarching themes and reiterated the Council’s commitment to employ the feedback received as a springboard for the Council’s policy recommendations to Congress, the President, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. The Council appreciates the participation from diverse business owners and stakeholders in the Los Angeles area.

ByNWBC Council

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL HOSTS ROUNDTABLE IN LOS ANGELES, CA

September 2019 Newsletter

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL

ROUNDTABLE IN LOS ANGELES, CA

WASHINTON, D.C., September 6, 2019 – As part of it’s ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable’ series, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) will convene local women business owners and entrepreneurs, educators, investors, and community leaders, on September 17, 2019, in Los Angeles, California, to listen to their perspectives on the barriers that affect a woman entrepreneur’s access to capital.

Women-led firms struggle to obtain mainstream forms of funding and compete for federal contracts. At NWBC, we will continue to prioritize this challenge and strive to make inroads for women-owned businesses in acquiring capital for their businesses.

The roundtable will explore the challenges and opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship by delving into the topic of access to capital, with a specific focus on issues related to credit access, federal procurement, and venture capital. The conversation will serve as the springboard for the Council’s policy recommendations to Congress, the President, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration as they relate to issues surrounding women entrepreneurs and business owners.