By: Barbara Kniff-McCulla/ NWBC Council member
The U.S. Small Business Administration has hosted National Small Business Week in communities across the country for more than 50 years. With more than half of Americans either owning or working for a small business, National Small Business Week provides a great opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the backbone of America’s economy.
Small business owners have a passion for making it happen, and there isn’t much that can get in their way. Rural women’s entrepreneurship is a job creator, a means for local economic development, and a source of empowerment for women seeking stability and independence.
Read the full article in the Des Moines Register HERE
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) announces its first public meeting with its newly-installed Council members on Friday, May 17, 2019, from 9:30AM to 12:30PM EST at the Women Presidents’ Organization Headquarters in New York, New York.
At this meeting, the new Council will share its vision and priorities for the remainder of the 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 current priorities and initiatives to the full body and the public. The Council’s Small Business Roundtable Series will also be announced.
The meeting is open to the public; however, advance notice of attendance is requested. To RSVP or submit a written comment, the general public should email Ashley Judah at Ashley.Judah@sba.gov with subject line – “Response for 5/17/19 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: 93326369. For more information, please visit the NWBC website at www.nwbc.gov or call 202-205-3850.
MEET THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16, 2019 — The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) announces its new Council members.
“I’m pleased to welcome the many accomplished women business owners and several amazing leaders of national women’s organizations to the NWBC,” said Liz Sara, NWBC Chair. “We truly represent a diverse group of companies, industries and geographies as we seek to address the challenges we face in starting and growing companies. The many new voices on our Council, like the Vinetta Project’s Founder and CEO, will play an important role in communicating the needs and challenges of female founders as we formulate our recommendations to policymakers later this year. Collectively, our Council is ready to tackle action-based results. We are entrepreneurs at heart and do-ers in practice.”
For the past 30 years, the Council has served as the federal government’s only independent voice for women entrepreneurs, paving the way for increased growth in opportunity for women’s business enterprise. Today, women-owned firms comprise an estimated 40 percent of the country’s businesses, with a growth rate nearly five times faster than all other privately held businesses over the last 10 years. Without constant vigilance and continued advocacy, these gains would not have been possible. NWBC works to ensure that the voices of women entrepreneurs are heard and amplified, and continues to promote policies that provide opportunities for women business owners.
As a new Council takes shape, NWBC looks to focus its advocacy efforts on Women in STEM, Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship, and Access to Capital and Opportunity. NWBC remains committed to advocating for women in business and expanding opportunities for women business owners and their enterprises.
The roundtable was looking to discuss challenges that rural women business owners face in setting up and running businesses. National Women’s Business Council Chair Liz Sara said that she was very happy with the turn out for the event.
“I’m very excited about the large turnout that we had from women business owners around Iowa, not just in Pella and the representation that was exhibited through the varied companies that they own and that they are currently running,” said Sara
Sen. Ernst agreed and said the event was a great way to bring together women leaders.
“The women’s small business roundtable was wonderful and a really great opportunity to meet so many women leaders throughout the community that really do have that great entrepreneurial spirit and talk about some of the challenges that they have had and … how they’ve turned those into opportunities,” said Ernst.
Sara said the roundtable was an important way to help the National Women’s Business Council better understand the unique challenges that women business owners face in rural areas.
Check out the full article here: https://www.journalexpress.net/news/local_news/ernst-attends-roundtable-in-pella/article_e8f79fde-51a5-11e9-a319-e3e59a615971.html
NWBC Chair Liz Sara goes In Depth with Dr. Bob Leonard on KNIA-KRLS to discuss the challenges and opportunities that women in rural communities face. NWBC and Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)convened over 15 local women business owners in Pella, IA at Central College on Thursday, March 21, 2019.
Last week, in recognition of National Women’s History Month, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) hosted a Small Business Roundtable in Pella, Iowa with Senator Joni Ernst, NWBC Chair Liz Sara, Council member Barbara Kniff-McCulla, Owner of KLK Construction, and over fifteen local women business owners.
The roundtable began with NWBC Chair Sara welcoming Senator Ernst and the fifteen women business owners, representing various business sectors from construction and manufacturing to an online floral business and a brewery owner. NWBC was honored to have Senator Ernst join the conversation, where she discussed her work on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship and outlined her legislative priorities including increasing sole source contracting opportunities and paid family leave. Senator Ernst also touched on workforce training efforts and opportunity zones.
The highlight of the afternoon was a fireside chat between Senator Ernst and Council member Kniff-McCulla. They discussed topics ranging from broadband access to digital commerce and infrastructure. Kniff-McCulla remarked on the importance of the roundtable “for our rural community of Pella, to have a variety of women’s business owners sitting around the table, being able to tell their stories, and we appreciated Senator Ernst being a part of this.”
The discussion developed into introductions of the various small business owners and representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, the National Association of Women Business Owners (a representative of which also serves on the Council), Women’s Business Centers, and Small Business Development Centers. It was an incredible collection of women, all with unique stories of their own. The roundtable conversation also explored topics such as access to capital and markets, crowdfunding, technology, and infrastructure.
With an estimated 12.3 million women-owned firms, 89,000 of which are located in Iowa, NWBC recognizes the unique contributions that women-owned businesses make to the economy and remains committed to continuing to advocate for a platform to expand and improve opportunities for women business owners and their enterprises. This Women’s History Month, NWBC was intent on highlighting and exploring the successes and opportunities that rural women entrepreneurs.
NWBC will be releasing a research report on rural women’s entrepreneurship in May of 2019. Preliminarily, the report finds that despite the declining rate of entrepreneurship in rural areas, there remains great opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship. The Council looks forward to highlighting and sharing those successes, and making accompanying policy recommendations to the President, the Congress, and the SBA.
Check out @NWBC Executive Director Nina Roque’s segment on Montgomery Municipal Cable Channel 16 The Next Word with Christine Warnke. She discusses NWBC policy priorities and the impact that women business owners have on #WomensHistoryMonth.
We are pleased to share the Council’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018, “Journey to 30”
The National Women’s Business Council’s (NWBC) 2018 Annual Report commemorates its 30th anniversary year, provides the findings, conclusions, and policy recommendations of the Council, and expresses NWBC Chair Liz Sara’s vision for 2019.