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

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

TOMORROW: NWBC Public Meeting

PUBLIC MEETING IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

NWBC’s Public Meeting will be held on September 24, 2019

This meeting gives the Council the opportunity to recap its activity and engagement over the course of this fiscal year. Each of the Council’s three subcommittees – Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship, Women in S.T.E.M., and Access to Capital & Opportunity – will present their policy recommendations and initiatives to the Council. The Council will then vote on these policy recommendations and ultimately present them to the President, Congress, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration in its 2019 Annual Report.

The meeting is open to the public; however, advance notice of attendance is requested. To attend this event,

RSVP HERE

If you are planning to attend in person, please allow enough time for security. Before entering the Capitol Visitor Center, all visitors are screened by a magnetometer, and all items permitted inside the building are screened by an x-ray device. Please visit the Capitol Visitor Center’s website for a list of prohibited items. To avoid tourists and other visitors, mention to the police officers that you are at the Capitol for official business. Once you pass through security, look for NWBC signage to guide you to the correct meeting room. NWBC’s Public Meeting will be held in room SVC 203 – 202. 

A conference line will also be available for those unable to attend the meeting in person. Please call 1-208-391-5817 at the aforementioned event time. When prompted, enter conference ID number: 298732675.

To submit a written comment, the general public should email Ashley Judah with the subject line – “Response for 9/24/19 Public Meeting.”

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

NWBC 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.

ByNWBC Council

September 2019 Newsletter

NWBC Holds 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.

ByNWBC Council

NWBC Public Meeting Announced

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL PUBLIC MEETING ANNOUNCED

WASHINTON, D.C., August 30, 2019 – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) will host a public meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC 203-202, in Washington, DC.

This meeting will provide the Council with the opportunity to recap its activity and engagement over the course of this fiscal year. Each of the Council’s three subcommittees – Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship, Women in S.T.E.M., and Access to Capital & Opportunity – will present their policy recommendations and initiatives to the Council. The Council will then vote on these policy recommendations and ultimately present them to the President, Congress, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration in its 2019 Annual Report.

“As advocates for the nation’s women-owned businesses, NWBC strives to move the needle on the top issues identified by female founders and will continue to connect their voices to lawmakers in Washington,” said NWBC Chair Liz Sara.

The meeting is open to the public; however, advance notice of attendance is requested. To attend this event, RSVP HERE. To submit a written comment, the general public should email Ashley Judah with the subject line – “Response for 9/24/19 Public Meeting.”

The agenda will allow for 20 minutes of public statements. This time will be awarded in 4-minute increments to the first 5 people who confirm attendance and request to speak. All other submitted statements will be included in the meeting record.

A conference line will also be available for those unable to attend the meeting in person. Please call 1-208-391-5817 at the aforementioned event time. When prompted, enter conference ID number: 298732675.

For more information about upcoming events, please visit the NWBC website.

ByNWBC Council

Small Business Roundtable Series

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory council established to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the Small Business Administration. As advocates for the nation’s estimated 12.3 million women-owned businesses, NWBC is launching a series of roundtables across the country to convene women business owners and better understand the unique challenges they face and identify opportunities for growth. To better engage with the local business community, NWBC will travel to states in which NWBC Council members live and grow their business. The focus of the roundtables will be the Council’s three issue priorities:

  • Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship
  • Women in STEM
  • Access to Capital & Opportunity

March 21, 2019 ∙ Pella, IA: NWBC launched its Women in Small Business Roundtable Series in Pella, IA during Women’s History Month. This roundtable highlighted and explored the successes and hardships of the over 15 local women business owners who attended, representing various business sectors from construction and manufacturing to online floristry and microbrewing.

June 25, 2019 ∙ Baltimore, MD: In coordination with The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Conference, this roundtable will provide an opportunity to explore the rising attraction of women entrepreneurs to STEM fields. With three Council members located in the area, this roundtable is sure to provide robust conversation and feedback surrounding the opportunities and challenges that remain for women in STEM careers.

July 25, 2019 ∙ Austin, TX: The State of Texas is quickly becoming a destination for innovation and entrepreneurship. Austin has been labeled one of the best cities in the nation for job seekers and the best city in Texas to start a business.

August 6, 2019 ∙ St. Petersburg, FL:  With two Council members located on opposite coasts of central Florida, St. Petersburg provides a unique opportunity to engage with the vibrant Florida ecosystem about tools available for women entrepreneurs, with a focus on access to funding sources.

September 17, 2019 ∙ Los Angeles, CA: With a concentrated and large network of startups and technology companies located in nearby Silicon Valley, this roundtable will explore the tools and resources available to close the gender-based funding gap.   

October 9, 2019 ∙ Boise, ID: With the recently released ‘Rural Women Entrepreneurs: Challenges and Opportunities’ Report, the Council is eager to engage with women business owners in more rural regions to develop sound policy and better tailored economic empowerment initiatives.

For more information or to participate in a roundtable, please contact Ashley Judah, Legislative Aide, at Ashley.Judah@SBA.gov.