For over 50 years, National Small Business Week has highlighted thriving small businesses and encouraged communities around the country to support local enterprises. This year, National Small Business Week has been postponed. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, women business owners have been forced to adapt rapidly to new realities and market demands. In the spirit of American innovation, women-owned small businesses are taking steps to adjust to new societal norms and continue to provide essential services and products – with an eye towards ecommerce and inventive approaches to marketing and funding their enterprises.
Women-owned businesses comprise 42% of all small businesses. The approximately 13 million women business owners in the U.S. have demonstrated great resiliency and a keen ability to adapt to our current “new normal” by providing products via ecommerce, leveraging digital marketing, and looking to alternative sources of funding.
With the recent, substantial shift toward online purchasing, the World Trade Organization delved into the impact that the pandemic has had on ecommerce. The analysis noted that ecommerce can benefit small businesses and make economies more competitive. Women are particularly equipped to pivot to online platforms and resources and fill commerce voids. Etsy’s 2019 report, Celebrating Creative Entrepreneurship Across the Globe, notes that of the 2.1 million Etsy active sellers, 87% are women. Online marketplaces like Etsy and Anytown USA are great platforms for business owners and entrepreneurs to reach consumers. Home-based solopreneurs in rural communities also rely heavily on digital platforms to expand their market reach and boost sales. They are leading the charge in keeping the economy strong under social distancing measures and online purchasing is a safe way to support women-owned businesses during the stay-at-home-order.
Social media is another great way to acknowledge and support small businesses. The lockdown has produced an uptick in social media engagement and activity, along with advertising that goes along with it. With more people online and scrolling through social media platforms, we have great opportunities to share and highlight small businesses across the country. Women entrepreneurs have certainly tapped into the benefits of social media to build awareness and raise capital.
According to the NWBC report, Crowdfunding as a Capital Source for Women Entrepreneurs, there is a positive association between social media engagement and success in crowdfunding. Storytelling through social media is an effective way for women to promote their businesses and connect to potential customers or clients. Sharing their stories with other networks can be very beneficial to small business owners and provides another outlet for them to reach consumers.
Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on our economy, women business owners and entrepreneurs continue to work diligently to provide for America’s consumers and innovate in newly-discovered fashions. Even as we transition back to our pre-pandemic way of life, women will have contributed and devised new means to do business.
We are thrilled to announce that the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a 2020 Census Partner! We look forward to supporting the U.S. Census Bureau in its monumental efforts to secure a successful decennial count across the nation.
H.R. 5050, the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988, established the NWBC as a federal advisory committee dedicated to the empowerment of women entrepreneurs, and among other provisions, required the U.S. Census Bureau to include women-owned C Corporations when reporting data. Before the passage of this landmark legislation, government agencies tracked mostly self-employed women but overlooked larger women-owned enterprises.
Since its inception, the NWBC has relied heavily on data collection from the U.S. Census Bureau to fulfill its statutory obligation and mission. The Council is statutorily charged with, in relevant part, promoting and assisting in the development of a women’s business census and other surveys of women-owned businesses.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that each person be counted every 10 years. These critical results determine the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives, direct the effective distribution of federal funds, and assist small business owners in choosing where to start, grow, and scale their businesses. The data also allows the NWBC to better convey the irreplaceable economic impact of women’s business enterprise and more effectively advocate for the policies that empower women business owners and entrepreneurs.
We cannot measure what we cannot count. So female founders…Make the pledge now! Achieving a complete and accurate 2020 Census starts with you!
Get started at 2020CENSUS.GOV
An Active Voice for Women in Business
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Updates From The National Women’s Business Council In The Face Of The Pandemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – (April 1, 2020) – In the midst of uncertainty, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a federal advisory committee comprised of small business owners and representatives of national women’s business organizations, acknowledges the detrimental effects coronavirus has had on small businesses. Council Members have shared the challenges that the outbreak has presented for their own enterprises or those of their organization’s members. From the disruption in the supply chain to the cancellation of annual industry trade shows, the impact can be felt across industries and state lines.
NWBC has also indefinitely postponed its signature #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable Series, which connects the voices of women entrepreneurs and business owners from across the country to policymakers in the Nation’s capital and helps serve as a springboard for the Council’s annual policy recommendations to Congress, the President, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Nonetheless, NWBC remains focused on carrying out its critical mission. As was reinforced at our first 2020 #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable last month in San Juan, Puerto Rico, women business owners are key to helping local and national economies recover from disasters as well as grow and thrive.
Women-owned businesses represent 42% of all businesses — nearly 13 million — employing 9.4 million workers and generating revenue of $1.9 trillion. Over the past five years, the annual growth rate in the number of women-owned firms has been more than double that of all businesses. Female founders have fought too hard for a true place in the economy to lose all gains now.
With COVID-19 abruptly and drastically changing the landscape of our economy and disrupting local ecosystems, small businesses are looking for resources and advice to help them navigate these uncertain times and persevere.
The SBA is offering small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus up to $2 million in low-interest loans. These loans—available in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories—can be used to “pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.” The interest rate offered to qualifying small businesses is 3.75%, and 2.75% for non-profits. The SBA is also providing deferment relief to its existing borrowers on certain SBA-serviced loans through December 31, 2020. You can find additional information at www.SBA.gov/disaster.
The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have also announced a tax filing extension for all taxpayers from April 15 to July 15, 2020.
As we adjust to the new realities this crisis brings, NWBC remains committed to advocating for the nation’s 13 million women business owners and entrepreneurs. Please email NWBC at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how the Coronavirus is impacting your business. Be sure to stay in touch with us as we work to develop a webinar series on assistance available for small businesses.
Check out these NWBC Council Member & Partner Resources:
|Women Business Enterprise Council (WBENC)|
|Association for Women in Science (AWIS)|
|The Vinetta Project|
|Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC)|
|Women President’s Organization (WPO)|
|Babson College Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL)|
|Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)|
|National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Women’s Business Council Welcomes New Member, Maria Rios
WASHINGTON, D.C.- (April 7, 2020) — The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) welcomes new Council Member, Maria Rios, President and CEO of Nation Waste, Inc. (NWI).
“I’m pleased to welcome Maria Rios to the Council” said Liz Sara, NWBC Chair. “Maria is the President and CEO of the first multi-million-dollar female, Hispanic-owned waste removal company in U.S. history and one of the largest minority-owned companies in Texas. Maria’s entrepreneurial skill is a great match for the Council’s work, and we look forward to her contributions to our team.”
NWI is a fully certified, commercial waste disposal company specializing in construction, demolition, commercial/industrial, non-hazardous waste removal, portable toilets and recycling services.
“With an abundance of enthusiasm, I am looking forward to serving with this outstanding collective of results-driven women visionaries,” said Rios, new NWBC Council Member. “I’m energized to join the National Women’s Business Council and bring my experience as a business owner to the table.”
In 2018, Rios revolutionized the workers safety industry by launching a new division, Nation Safety Net, which leverages a technology solution powered by IBM Watson IoT to keep workers safe and reduce the number of workplace injuries that occur.
Rios immigrated from El Salvador as a child and has dedicated her career to making life better for other Americans. She has been a featured speaker at the White House for several administrations.
With the addition of Rios, NWBC will continue to focus its advocacy efforts on Women in STEM, Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship, and Access to Capital and Opportunity. NWBC remains committed to expanding opportunities for women business owners and their enterprises.
President and CEO of Nation Waste, Inc.
Read Maria’s full bio HERE