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.
The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has released the ‘Profile of Millennial Women: The Future of Entrepreneurship in America’ identifying the characteristics of millennial women entrepreneurs and crafted a set of policy recommendations to foster business growth among this demographic.
On October 25, 2018, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) celebrated the 30th anniversary of the passage of H.R. 5050, the Women’s Business Ownership Act. Following just 103 days from introduction to passage, President Ronald Reagan signed H.R. 5050 into law on October 25, 1988. This unprecedented piece of legislation eliminated all individual state laws requiring women to have a male relative or husband co-sign a business loan, established the NWBC, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), and the women’s business center program.
Congressman John LaFalce (D-NY), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee in 1987, recently reminisced on the passage of H.R.5050, “I was so pleased to learn recently that the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 is now referred to as ‘The Big Bang of Women’s Entrepreneurship in America.’ That’s exactly what I set out to do when I became Chairman of the Committee – to give the economy the biggest bang I possibly could, by tapping an untapped goldmine – women entrepreneurs.” Chairman LaFalce could not have been more right. Today, there are 10 million woman business owners in the United States, accounting for nearly 40% of all businesses.
NWBC is thankful to all of the attendees who came to celebrate and commemorate the passage of H.R. 5050. The program included a reflection of the past 30 years of women’s entrepreneurship, and an impactful discussion on the future of women’s entrepreneurship. The morning began with breakfast and coffee with The Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC). Opening remarks were made by NWBC Executive Director Nina Roque and Assistant Administrator of the SBA’s OWBO Kathleen McShane.
The highlight of the program featured a ‘Fireside Chat’ with NWBC Chair Liz Sara and SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. The Administrator provided insights into her experience as a once small business owner, who spearheaded the expansion and growth of her company, before deciding to join the public sector. Administrator McMahon provided advice to audience members, “Know who your market is and what sets your product or service apart.” NWBC Chair Liza Sara, who is a small business founder herself, agreed, noting that “[women entrepreneurs] must think about what problem or what pain point in the market you are planning to solve.”
The passage of this legislation, and its resulting impact on women business owners, would not have been possible without the incredible and tenacious women who championed its passage. As the program went on, the audience heard from two of the trailblazers that were crucial to the passage of H.R. 5050: Virginia Littlejohn and Phyllis Hill Slater, both of whom served as Council members of the NWBC and have dedicated their careers to advocating for women entrepreneurs. Facilitated by Loreen Gilbert, Chair of The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Development, Littlejohn and Hill Slater shared their experience as delegates to the 1980 and 1986 White House Conferences on Small Business, participating in the congressional hearings, and then leading the charge for passage of H.R. 5050.
The final panel discussion ‘Blazing Trails for the Next 30 Years’, was moderated by current NWBC Council member and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) board member, Rose Wang. Panel participants included Bonnie Nawara, President of AWBC and current NWBC Council member, Deloris Wilson, head of strategy and operations at BEACON: The D.C. Women Founders Initiative, Julia Westfall, CEO of Hera Hub D.C., and Kelly O’Malley, D.C. Chair of The Vinetta Project. The panel provided insights into programming and policies that allow local organizations to help develop thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems for the next generation of women entrepreneurs. Panelists emphasized the value and necessity of mentorship and collaboration.
Thanks to the passage of H.R. 5050, women in business have excelled, continually reaching new heights, and the next 30 years of women’s entrepreneurship is sure to be filled with momentous milestones for women founders. NWBC is committed to continuing to advocate for women in business and to providing a platform to expand and improve opportunities for women business owners and their enterprises.