The economic impact of women business owners has long gone understated, according to a new two-part study released by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) today. Based on custom datasets from the Census Bureau’s 2002 Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons (SBO), the reports assess the economic impact of women-owned and women-led firms on the U.S. economy by examining their receipts, compensation, geography, industry, and ethnography. The 2002 SBO is the most current information available on the distribution and contribution of women-led businesses.
In March and June 2007, the National Women’s Business Council held two town hall meetings with women business owners in St. Louis, Missouri and in Portland, Oregon. The objective of the meetings was to collect viewpoints and ideas from women business owners that could inform the Council’s policy positions and their future recommendations to government leaders. This report outlines policy issues that are relevant to women business owners and summarizes the content of the town hall meetings as it relates to those policy issues.
Fiscal Year 2006 was one of transition and growth for the National Women’s Business Council. Over the course of the year, eight Council members completed their terms and five new women joined the Council. Together, the members of the Council worked throughout the year to promote policies and programs designed to support women’s entrepreneurship.
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) today released a new study, Explaining State- Level Differences in Women-Owned Business Performance, which indicates that the success of women-owned businesses is impacted by particular state-level factors, such as the availability of technology infrastructure and an educated workforce. Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s special tabulations of 1997-2001 data on women-owned businesses’ (WOB) performance, the research is one of the first attempts to evaluate systematically the influence of factors that underlie state differences in WOB performance.
Based on a procurement roundtable discussion held at a meeting of the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) in 2004, the NWBC commissioned a study of the best practices of small business advocates in federal government agencies. The small business office in most federal agencies is called the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). Other agencies, such as the Department of Defense and General Services Administration, have different names for their offices — Office of Small Business Programs (DOD) and Office of Small Business Utilization (GSA). The name OSDBU not only refers to the offices themselves, but also to the advocates within them. Many OSDBU offices designate women-owned business advocates to whom the responsibility of working with women business owners falls. The goal of this project was to identify OSDBU best practices which result in more effective assistance to small, women-owned businesses involved in federal contracting.
The National Women’s Business Council convened a roundtable discussion of government officials and women business owners in September to air issues and concerns for achieving the five-percent goal for federal procurement by women-owned businesses. The Council has just released the transcript and summary report of this Roundtable as well as an NWBC Research in Brief summarizing the issues raised at the roundtable and program recommendations.
Fiscal Year 2004 continued the active and inclusive tone set over the past two years, with the publication of numerous research reports, Issues in Brief, and Fact Sheets; the hosting of several well-attended issue discussion events; broad communication via the Council’s Web site and the issuance of press releases and an electronic newsletter; and activism in the public policy arena.
Between 2001 and 2003, the U.S. Small Business Administration provided $37 million in funding to up to 92 women’s business centers across the country. A new analysis of data provided by these centers to the SBA shows that this investment is paying off in increasing numbers of clients counseled, businesses started, and new jobs created.
The historic growth of women-owned businesses in the United States has generated increased demand for the creation of innovative programs and policies to foster their growth. Today, for the first time, two new reports from the National Women’s Business Council document this progress by examining current best practices in support of women’s entrepreneurship and by recording the history of policies that have resulted in today’s unprecedented 10.6 million U.S. businesses in which women are equal or majority owners.