News

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

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

RECAP: Women in Small Business Roundtable – FL

St. Petersburg, FL

RECAP:

WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – SR. PETERSBURG, FL

WASHINTON, D.C., August 13, 2019 – As part of its ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable Series,’ the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held a roundtable in St. Petersburg, FL on August 6, 2019, to better understand the specific challenges and opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship in S.T.E.M.  Florida is ranked number one in the country for the fastest growth rate of women-owned businesses according to the 2018 AMEX State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

The event began with NWBC Chair Liz Sara welcoming the roundtable participants and attendees, including founders in various business sectors in S.T.E.M., from technology to manufacturing to health. Chair Sara highlighted the Council’s efforts to convene women business owners on topics related to the Council’s three issue areas: Women in S.T.E.M., Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship, and Access to Capital.

The highlight of the Roundtable was a fireside chat with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and NWBC Council Member Marygrace Sexton, Founder & CEO of Natalie’s Orchid Island Juices. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Rubio discussed current legislation pertaining to women’s business enterprise such as the Women & Minority Equity Investment Act, which allows women-owned firms to accept venture capital and equity investments that would constitute 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. The Senator also highlighted his Supporting Veterans in S.T.E.M. Careers Act, noting, “We have a wealth of talent leaving the service, and they are equipped with unique skills. It is particularly important for our women in uniform to utilize their skills for S.T.E.M. careers or to start their own businesses.”

NWBC Council Member Monica Stynchula, Founder & CEO of REUNIONCare, Inc. and a local of St. Petersburg, then moderated a lively discussion among women business owners in S.T.E.M. fields. The importance of early S.T.E.M. education and business mentorship were prominent themes around the table. A business consultant advised, “Surround yourself with a circle of influence and recognize that you could be in someone else’s circle too.”

An owner of an engineering and manufacturing company recounted her experience as the only woman in her college science program and recalled how the professor could not remember her name and would return her papers last. She noted the importance of teaching entrepreneurial skills at an early age and engaging young women in S.T.E.M. fields. A representative from a local college highlighted that the majority of the school’s natural science majors were women, but they consistently identified as scientists and not necessarily entrepreneurs. Several participants echoed these sentiments by acknowledging the need for business education to be interwoven throughout basic education courses. Others stressed that while S.T.E.M. education was important, S.T.E.M. degrees were not as essential to a start-up’s success as the ability of the founder to learn and adapt to ever-changing technologies.

NWBC Chair Sara 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 St. Petersburg area.

ByNWBC Council

RECAP: Women in Small Business Roundtable – TX

Austin, TX

RECAP:

WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – AUSTIN, TX

WASHINTON, D.C., July 30, 2019 – As part of its ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable Series,’ the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held a roundtable in Austin, Texas, on July 25, 2019, to better understand the specific 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 and venture capital. Austin has become the start-up and entrepreneurship capital of Texas and is the second-best city in the country in terms of economic clout for women in business according to the 2018 AMEX State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

The event began with NWBC Chair Liz Sara welcoming the roundtable participants and attendees, including investors, lenders, and various business sectors from technology to aerospace to health. NWBC Council Member Rebecca Contreras, a local of Austin, then prompted the women entrepreneurs to share their experiences seeking funding to start and grow their businesses. Contreras noted that “women only receive 4.4% of small business commercial loans, despite the fact that women pay back their micro loans at a 97% rate of return” and asked the lenders in the room to shed light on this phenomenon. All the participants recognized the difficulties of raising traditional forms of capital. Some recounted being questioned by lenders differently than their male counterparts. One participant shared that while “men can get an investment on an idea, women need to go in with their product already built and show some sales first.”

NWBC Women in Small Business Roundtable hosted at the Riveter: Austin

The importance of mentorship and a support network, often found in other women’s business organizations, was prominent themes around the table. A high-growth business owner and advocate for female entrepreneurs recommended that other female founders assemble their own industry specific advisory committee to assist them in connecting with other founders in their industry. “Don’t be afraid to inconvenience people,” she said. Another business owner, who was initially turned away by a traditional lender, found support from her local chamber of commerce. After building a network within her chamber community, she was able to return to that same lender and acquire capital. She is now nationally recognized for her cupcakes.

NWBC Council Member Vanessa Dawson, CEO of the Vinetta Project, a capital platform that sources, funds, and supports promising female founders, shifted the discussion toward angel investing and venture capital. She noted the Pitchbook statistic that female founders received only 2.2% or $2.88 billion of the total $130 billion in VC funding in 2018.

She asked the roundtable participants to share some of their successes pitching their business ideas as well as some of their pitfalls. One woman founder shared that despite having orders from a high-end retail company, she was initially unsuccessful in acquiring venture capital.

NWBC Chair Sara wrapped up the roundtable discussion 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 Austin area.

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

Graphic recording completed by Sharon Zeugin

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ByNWBC Council

NWBC Roundtable With Senator Marco Rubio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – ST. PETERSBURG, FL

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2019 — As part of its ‘Women in Small Business Roundtable Series,’ NWBC is hosting a roundtable in St. Petersburg, FL on August 6, 2019, with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), NWBC Chair Liz Sara (Founder & President of Best Marketing, LLC), Florida-based NWBC Council Members Monica Stynchula (Founder & CEO of REUNIONCare) and Marygrace Sexton (Founder & CEO of Natalie’s Orchid Island Juices), and local business owners, entrepreneurs, and ecosystem builders.

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Marco Rubio will discuss current legislation pertaining to women’s business enterprise during a fireside chat with NWBC Council Member Marygrace Sexton.

The roundtable discussion 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 women entrepreneurs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.). As advocates for the nation’s estimated 12.3 million women-owned businesses, NWBC strives to encourage women to start and grow their businesses in S.T.E.M., an industry with proven high-growth potential.

Women business owners have a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy; however, they continue to be underrepresented in the S.T.E.M. fields. In fact, while women constitute 47% of the overall workforce, they make up just 28% of the science and engineering workforce. With such a low representation of women in the overall S.T.E.M. arena, dismal rates of women’s entrepreneurship in S.T.E.M. come as no surprise. NWBC’s comparison of self-employment rates in S.T.E.M. fields based on 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data reveals that men are roughly twice as likely to be self-employed in S.T.E.M. fields relative to women.

This year, NWBC is committed to expanding opportunities for women’s business enterprise in S.T.E.M. and this roundtable will help the Council better understand the unique barriers and opportunities for female founders looking to start and grow their businesses in these fields.

If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Ashley Judah, Legislative Aide, at Ashley.Judah@sba.gov.

ByNWBC Council

NWBC Hosts Roundtable in Austin, TX

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S BUSINESS COUNCIL:
WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – AUSTIN, TX

WASHINTON, D.C., July 16, 2019 — The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is hosting a Women in Small Business Roundtable in Austin, TX on July 25, 2019, with local Council Member Rebecca Contreras, President & CEO of AvantGarde LLC, NWBC Chair Liz Sara, and local women business owners.

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.

Women-owned businesses are an integral part of the U.S. economy. Today, there are an estimated 12.3 million women-owned businesses accounting for 40% of all businesses, yet access to capital remains the largest barrier to success for women-owned firms. In 2018, women looking to start or grow their business earned less that 2.7% of venture capital dollars.

The roundtable discussion 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. 

For more information, please contact Ashley Judah, Legislative Aide, at Ashley.Judah@sba.gov.