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Public Meetings

Virtual Public Meeting – September 14, 2022

Date: September 14, 2022

Scheduled Time:  12:30 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Where: Virtual, ZOOM

Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • NWBC Executive Director/Designated Federal Officer (DFO) Tené Dolphin called the meeting to order at 12:32 p.m. EDT.
  • NWBC Executive Director/Designated Federal Officer (DFO) Tené Dolphin welcomed Council Members, guests, and the public to the meeting and delivered opening remarks.
    • Executive Director Dolphin highlighted engagements and transitions that occurred during fiscal year 2022, including the appointment of 5 new Council Members:
      • Jaime Gloshay, Co-Director of Native Women Lead
      • Roberta McCullough, Board Chair of the Association of Women’s Business Centers and Sr Vice President of Operations for Institute Capital
      • Selena Rodgers Dickerson, Founder and CEO of SARCOR LLC and Selene LLC
      • Dr. Shakenna Williams, Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership and Black Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College
      • Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
    • She also shared basic information regarding federal advisory committees (FACAs). There are about 1,000 advisory committees with more than 60,000 members that advise the President and the Executive Branch on a myriad of issues as private citizens.
    • Along with that, she shared that this Federal Advisory Council is housed within the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and provides advice and counsel to the President, Congress and SBA Administrator on issues deemed important to women business owners and entrepreneurs. She then outlined the structure of the Council.
    • After which, she noted this meeting is public:
      • It was appropriately noticed on the Federal Register.
      • All meeting materials and public comments received prior to this meeting and during the meeting, will be made available for public inspection as well as prepared minutes recapping the discussion which will be made available to the public within 90 calendar days
      • In addition to receiving critical updates from SBA leadership and officials, Executive Director Dolphin commented that the purpose of today’s meeting is to review and vote upon policy recommendations for the NWBC’s 2022 Annual Report. These recommendations were based on research, internal meetings, meetings with external stakeholders, input from subject matter experts, and other public engagements.
    • Executive Director Dolphin concluded by explaining the agenda for the rest of the meeting and providing background on the Council’s three subcommittees:  Access to Capital & Opportunity, Women in STEM, and Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship.
  • Roll Call was taken. The following Council Members were in attendance:
    • Maria Rios
    • Roberta McCullough
    • Jaime Gloshay
    • Dr. Shakenna Williams
    • Selena Rodgers Dickerson
    • Pamela Prince-Eason
  • Executive Director Dolphin then introduced the guest speaker for the meeting, Diedra Henry-Spires, Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Remarks from Diedra Henry-Spires

  • During her remarks, Senior Advisor Diedra Henry-Spires touched upon the following topics:
    • The commitment of SBA to supporting women business owners
    • Major SBA and Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) accomplishments and talking points from the previous fiscal year such as:
      • The expansion of women’s business centers (WBCs) to 146, now covering each U.S. state
      • The opening of three WBCs in Puerto Rico, a signal of dedication to supporting the territory’s economic recovery
      • The role of women business owners in supporting disaster relief efforts in their community
      • New and ongoing partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutes (MSIs)
      • The inaugural Women’s Business Summit, which will occur once again this year and reached an audience of over 20,000 participants
    • Focus areas for the upcoming fiscal year including:
      • Highlighting best practices to increase women business owners’ access to capital, especially when it comes to venture capital (VC)
      • Continuing to foster a whole-of-government and whole-of-SBA approach to supporting businesses
      • The importance of the childcare industry, both to the small business owners who depend on it as well as those who own childcare businesses
    • The continued collaboration between NWBC, OWBO, and SBA in delivering impactful work to communities
    • The significance of the work of the Council in supporting communities, encouraging policy changes for the better, and promoting bipartisanship
  • Executive Director Dolphin thanked Senior Advisor to the Administrator of SBA Diedra Henry-Spires for her participation and transitioned to the presentation of the FY 2022 NWBC policy recommendations.
  • Council Members Jaime Gloshay, Selena Rodgers Dickerson, and Dr. Shakenna Williams presented NWBC’s fiscal year 2022 policy recommendations covering: Access to Capital & Opportunity, Women in STEM, and Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship

Presentation of Policy Recommendations & Vote:

Access to Capital & Opportunity Subcommittee

  • Council Member Jaime Gloshay presented this subcommittee’s policy recommendations, which included the following:
    • Showcase the Policy “Wins” for Women in Business and Work Toward Systemic Change
      • NWBC recommends that the White House/White House Gender Policy Council (GPC) should develop a list of recent “policy wins” for women, including policy changes which show promise for advancing women’s business enterprise, for example changes aimed at helping to close the entrepreneurial development, financing, and federal contracting gender gap.
    • But First, Just Fund Her:  Create a Financing Bridge to a “Capital Stack” and Promote WOSB Growth
      • The Council encourages Congress and the SBA to continue improving accessibility to all SBA lending programs, by closely examining the needs and lived experiences of startup and scale up women-owned small businesses (WOSBs), ensuring there are no training prerequisites to funding, and reassessing lending criteria, product affordability, and innovative repayment flexibilities.
    • Define “Microbusiness” and Reconsider Debt Relief Options for Micro- and Small Women-Owned Enterprises Impacted by Global Disruptions
      • NWBC recommends that Congress should develop and provide a uniform definition for a microbusiness. Additionally, Congress and SBA should reconsider expanding debt relief options for certain 7(a), 504, and microloan borrowers, prioritizing the needs of economically disadvantaged micro- and small business borrowers in industries with significant female participation, particularly those severely impacted by pandemic-related global supply chain issues or other major global economic disruptions.
    • Advance and Grow a Community of Women Investing in Women-Owned Businesses
      • The Council recommends that the Administration provide grants to fund the creation of new firms or to boost recently established VC firms, emphasizing those with under $50 million and with less than three years of operation.
      • The Council recommends that Congress should hold a hearing to explore best practices and viable policy changes which may help incentivize traditional financial institutions and VC firms to increase the representation of women fund managers and actual investments in diverse, women-owned businesses.
    • Continue to Strengthen and Work Toward Parity for the WOSB/EDWOSB Federal Contracting Program
      • The NWBC lauds the Administration’s focus to increase federal contracting opportunities for more women and minority small business owners and encourages the SBA to continue examining viable and effective methods to improve the tracking and public sharing of disaggregated data on both federal women-owned prime contracting and WOSB/EDWOSB awards.
      • The NWBC supports SBA’s continued efforts to streamline and reduce wait times on WOSB certification and encourages it to expand its outreach and education efforts on the WOSB/EDWOSB certification process and resources, prioritizing women business owners in economically disadvantaged communities. Additionally, to ensure streamlining and improve response, the Council respectfully encourages Congress to identify an appropriate level of funding for the program.
      • The NWBC encourages Congress and SBA to consider enhancing current efforts underway to improve contracting officers’ (CO)/the federal acquisition community’s training, so they are more knowledgeable and empowered to leverage WOSB/EDWOSB set-aside or sole source awards.
      • The NWBC urges SBA to continue to work with federal agencies and the National Economic Council to identify a higher WOSB/EDWOSB spending goal above the current 5% goal, for example to 7% or higher.
      • The Council recommends that Congress should consider implementing a federal flow down requirement for all federal acquisition needs, particularly for procurement opportunities connected to the implementation of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
    • Fund, Expand, and Tailor Federal Financial Capability Resources for Women Small Business Owners
      • The Council recommends that Congress and/or SBA should provide dedicated financial literacy/capability funding for women small business owners so that they are better informed and empowered to skill up on maximizing cash flow to support their operations. For example, financial business capability grants would, at a minimum, focus on cash flow management, creating a business plan, hiring a new employee, and succession planning.
    • Provide Additional Relief for WOSBs Impacted by Ongoing Supply Chain Disruptions and Workforce Availability Issues
      • The Council recommends that Congress should consider viable options for expanding tax relief for small business owners severely impacted by global supply chain disruptions and workforce availability issues, emphasizing relief for businesses in industries with a significant level of participation by women and minorities.
  • NWBC Executive Director/DFO Tené Dolphin called for the Council Members to vote.
    • All Council Members voted to adopt the Access to Capital & Opportunity policy recommendations for fiscal year 2022.


Women in STEM Subcommittee

  • Council Member Selena Rodgers Dickerson presented this subcommittee’s policy recommendations, which included the following:
    • Women in Academic Innovation
      • NWBC recommends that the White House should suggest that universities successfully implement a “Diversity and Inclusion Plan” as a requirement to obtaining federal research grants.
      • NWBC recommends that Congress should amend the proposed Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act of 2021 to include an entrepreneurial focus and training on taking STEM products to market.
      • NWBC recommends that SBA should incentivize Women’s Business Center (WBC) grantees to partner with local universities and tech transfer offices to provide mentorship, idea-sharing on best practices, and opportunities for real-world work experience and application of insights.
    • High-Yield and High-Growth Fields with Low Levels of Representation
      • NWBC recommends that the Administration’s implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) should emphasize and prioritize women and women of color to ensure fair access to actual contracting awards through focused outreach, education, and data collection.
      • NWBC recommends that Congress should expand the definition of “accelerator” to include the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries in proposed legislation, for example in the Startup Opportunity Accelerator (SOAR) Act. This piece of legislation should also prioritize women entrepreneurs.
      • NWBC recommends that our Council commission research focusing on both high yield (STEM) and high growth industries (currently AEC), as well as industries with an over-representation of women but with undervaluation (healthcare).
    • The STEM Pipeline
      • NWBC recommends that Congress should ensure women entrepreneurs and workers re-entering the labor force have fair access to training and targeted assistance opportunities (STEM RESTART Act). This training and assistance could be delivered as part of a collaboration between academia, entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, and small businesses.
      • NWBC recommends that Congress should invest in STEM education and career outreach at the primary and secondary education level through legislation such as HR 5893 (21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act) and HR 7251 (Getting Involved in Researching, Learning, and Studying of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Act or the GIRLS STEM Act). Legislation with a STEM educational outreach component should integrate entrepreneurial education and have a robust definition of STEM that also includes the AEC industries.
      • NWBC recommends that the SBA should encourage SCORE to bolster its online mentorship to ensure that mentor opportunities are not limited geographically and cut across industries. WBCs should provide or enhance complementary support services, leveraging their networks and other SBA resource partners including Community Navigators to deliver tailored and industry-specific support to diverse women entrepreneurs. SBA could support these initiatives by creating additional industry-specific resources in the Ascent platform.
  • NWBC Executive Director/DFO Tené Dolphin called for the Council Members to vote.
    • All Council Members voted to adopt the Women in STEM policy recommendations for fiscal year 2022.


Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship Subcommittee

  • Council Member Shakenna Williams presented this subcommittee’s policy recommendations, which included the following:
    • Persistent Barriers to Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship:  Lack of Affordable Child Care and Equitable Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
      • The Council recommends that the White House should identify the most appropriate federal agencies to further enhance outreach and education to small businesses on national PFML solutions. Additionally, the Council respectfully encourages Congress to hold new hearings to explore how a national PFML solution could potentially make U.S. small businesses more competitive at home and abroad.
      • The Council recommends that the White House develop a plan of action which would further empower SBA to improve and expand entrepreneurial development resources and affordable financing for the hardest hit childcare and care economy businesses, particularly in rural, rural/tribal, and other underserved communities.
    • Gaining Fresh Insights on Rural Ecosystems:  Workforce Development Issues, Local Governance, and Capacity Issues Impacting Rural and Tribal Women Entrepreneurs
      • We recommend that NWBC should conduct a landscape analysis in fiscal year 2023 to better assess the effectiveness of current entrepreneurial ecosystems, technical assistance capacity, local governance issues, and the “brain drain” impacting rural WOSB/EDWOSB growth. The study should also identify effective program models to improve engagement of women entrepreneurs in tribal and immigrant communities.
    • Empowering Rural Women Entrepreneurs to Thrive in Tomorrow’s Global Economy, Today
      • The Council recommends that the Administration and/or SBA should encourage WBCs, universities, and local incubators and accelerators to improve and expand outreach, mentoring, and training so that increased numbers of diverse rural women entrepreneurs are strongly positioned to take advantage of tomorrow’s tech and green market opportunities.
      • The Council recommends that SBA provide supplemental funding for WBCs partnering with Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) grantees, to assist women-owned businesses in identifying skilled rural workers, including those trained to fill tech and green jobs.
    • Enhancing Federal Support and Coordinated and Accessible Resources for Rural Women Entrepreneurs
      • The Council recommends that the White House should continue its collaborative work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and encourage a strategic alliance with the Rural Prosperity Interagency Council (RPIC) and Rural Partners Network (RPN) to prioritize increased outreach and support for rural and women business owners. Additionally, it should further help disseminate best practices on outreach, available wrap-around services, and federal entrepreneurial development resources and funding opportunities.
    • Down to The Roots:  Leveraging Community-Based Supports to Bolster Rural Women Entrepreneurs
      • The Council recommends that SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) should continue supporting WBCs to help them enhance coordination with procurement technical assistance centers (PTACs) and other small business resource partners to better assist rural women business owners interested in pursuing federal contracting opportunities, including by leveraging referrals and instituting robust benchmarks and metrics.
      • The Council recommends that the SBA should continue monitoring Community Navigators Hub and Spoke organizations to ensure active outreach to and engagement of women entrepreneurs, instituting robust benchmarks and metrics for these efforts.
  • NWBC Executive Director/DFO Tené Dolphin called for the Council Members to vote.
    • All Council Members voted to adopt the Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship policy recommendations for fiscal year 2022.

Public Comments

Public Comments & Questions with Responses

  • Council Member Roberta McCullough moderated public comments—presenting questions, comments and responses.
  • The first question came from Ms. Lindora Baker.  She asked, “How do you become a member of NWBC?”  The Council offered the following response:
    • Thank you, Lindora!  That is a great question.  National Women’s Business Council Members are appointed based on recommendations from the President, members of Congress, the SBA Administrator or current Council Members and staff.  They are seasoned entrepreneurs and dedicated women’s business enterprise advocates, recognized for adding value to our country and society, and are located in a variety of locations from Texas to Massachusetts.
  • The Council also received a comment from Suzanne Aguirre, who said that she is “attending to learn more and keep up-to-date on NWBC information.”  The Council offered the following response:
    • Thanks, Suzanne!  We invite you to stay engaged with NWBC by subscribing to receive updates from our Council at  We urge you to join the conversation via our social channels, including on Twitter, @NWBC, and on Instagram, @NWBCgov.  You can also find us, of course, on LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • The final comment came from Thomas Tetonnette.  He shared that he was “Looking forward to learning more about your organization and if it will be something I can refer to my clients; for their business growth and involvement.”  The Council offered the following response:
    • Thank you for sharing this comment with us, Thomas!  It provides us with a fantastic opportunity to clarify our own work and share more about work being done by others.  While we are not a programmatic office per se, our mission does involve keeping tabs on national women’s business enterprise issues, programs, resources, and policy trends.  To get a general overview of resources that support women’s entrepreneurship, be sure to check out the Resiliency Resources section of our 2021 Annual Report.  This section provides a thorough catalog of resources that can be of use to your clients.
    • We would also recommend women entrepreneurs at any stage of their entrepreneurial development consider checking out SBA’s Learning Platform, along with their women business ownership-focused Ascent Platform.  When it comes to community-level support, women business owners cannot go wrong by connecting with their local Women’s Business Center, visiting the nearest Small Business Development Center, or considering mentoring opportunities with the SCORE program.

Executive Director/DFO Tené Dolphin thanked all Council Members, guests, and the public for joining and adjourned the meeting at 1:45 p.m. ET.

end of this event post.

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