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Contact:
Jordan Chapman
202-941-6001
Jordan.Chapman@sba.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (December 21, 2023) – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is excited to share its 2023 Annual Report. NWBC serves as an independent source of advice and counsel to Congress, the White House, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on issues of importance to women entrepreneurs. In fulfillment of this mission, NWBC has delivered the report to these audiences and is pleased to make it available to the public.

“The Council has worked tirelessly over the past fiscal year to develop policy recommendations designed to better support women in business,” shared Tené Dolphin, Executive Director of NWBC. “Whether it is increasing access to capital and opportunity, amplifying women’s participation in innovation, or building a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Council is dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship for women across the country. We are delighted to share the 2023 Annual Report, a snapshot of this work.”

“NWBC uplifts America’s over 13 million women entrepreneurs by engaging in research, developing policy recommendations, leading dialogues, and connecting with stakeholders from all over the entrepreneurial landscape,” noted NWBC Chair Sima Ladjevardian. “It has been an honor to further progress for women in business this past year, and we cannot wait to build on these successes in the next year, starting with our January 2024 Public Meeting.”

To explore NWBC’s 2023 Annual Report and view reports from previous years, visit the Annual Reports page on www.nwbc.gov.

In order to delve more deeply into the contents of the 2023 Annual Report and lay the groundwork for collaboration for 2024, the Council will hold a hybrid public meeting from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET on January 23, 2024, at SBA Headquarters (409 3rd St SW, Washington, DC 20416). This meeting will also be live streamed via Zoom. Members of the public are invited to join the meeting to learn about the Council’s ongoing endeavors, understand how the Council moves in alignment with other women’s business organizations, and share their firsthand experiences when it comes to entrepreneurship. 

Some of the key topics covered in the 2023 Annual Report that will likely be discussed during the January 2024 Public Meeting include:

To register for NWBC’s January 2024 Public Meeting, visit the Public Meetings page on www.nwbc.gov.

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About the National Women’s Business Council

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory committee created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. To learn more, please visit: www.NWBC.gov. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (February 3, 2022) – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is pleased to share the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2021. The report captures the state of women’s entrepreneurship in America today, recent events at NWBC, the Council’s policy recommendations, and more!

We are currently working on restoring past newsletters on our website. To make sure you are connected to all the latest news from NWBC, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 21, 2018 – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has submitted its 2018 Annual Report to the President, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the House Committee on Small Business, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. This Report commemorates NWBC’s 30th anniversary year and provides the findings, conclusions, and policy recommendations of the Council. NWBC Chair Liz Sara also provides her vision for guiding the Council into a new era, where it will build on past and current achievements and ensure its advocacy loses neither momentum nor impact. This year, there are an estimated 12.3 million women-owned firms accounting for 40% of all businesses in the United States. In the 2018 Annual Report, NWBC reaffirms its commitment to providing a platform to expand and improve opportunities for women business owners and their enterprises. Please click here to read the 2018 Annual Report.

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About National Women’s Business Council

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a nonpartisan federal advisory council established to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, the Congress, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on issues related to women’s business enterprise. The Council is comprised of eight small business owners from across the country, six representatives of national women’s business organizations, and one Chairperson, Liz Sara, who was recently appointed by President Donald J. Trump in August 2018. To learn more about NWBC, visit www.nwbc.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8, 2019 – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has released the ‘Rural Women Entrepreneurs: Challenges and Opportunities’ report which offers a profile of rural women entrepreneurs and will serve as the springboard for the work and policy considerations of the Council.

“By understanding the exclusive challenges facing women entrepreneurs in rural communities, NWBC is in a better position to advocate for programs and policies that will help to reduce or eliminate those hurdles,” says Liz Sara, NWBC Chair. “Since entrepreneurship is central to rural job creation and economic growth, NWBC has made rural entrepreneurship a priority for this year”.

Please click here to read the full report.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

NWBC Focuses Its Efforts on: Access to Capital, Barriers for Women in STEM-Related Fields, and Challenges for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 20, 2019 – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has submitted its 2019 Annual Report to the President, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the House Committee on Small Business, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

This report recaps NWBC’s 31st year and provides the findings, conclusions, and policy recommendations of the Council. NWBC Chair Liz Sara, now in her second year at the helm, has concentrated its mission to strengthen women in business on three major areas: improving access to capital for female founders, encouraging more women to start and grow companies in STEM-related fields, and removing obstacles for women business owners in rural areas.

The NWBC also launched a Women in Small Business Roundtable series across the country, which convened over 300 women business owners and stakeholders from New York, NY to Nampa, ID; from St. Petersburg, FL to Los Angeles, CA. The goal was to gain a deeper insight into the challenges and overall landscape in which women founders and small business owners currently operate.

“As the report findings and policy recommendations demonstrate, while we have made significant legislative and economic strides in advancing a new generation of women entrepreneurs, much work still lies ahead,” said Sara. “That is why the work of the Council continues to be vital. In 2020, we will continue our efforts with a laser focus on our three overarching issues areas of primary importance.”

The following are some of the policy recommendations found in the report:

For improving access to capital:


One policy recommendation is to Incentivize New Investments via a Federal Angel Investment Tax Credit: The Council recommends that Congress amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow for a Federal Angel Investment Tax Credit. This would constitute a credit of up to 50% of a qualified debt or equity investment which can be claimed over the first three (3) years of an investment—up to twenty-five percent (25%) in the first tax year, fifteen percent (15%) in the second tax year, and ten percent (10%) in the third tax year—with a lifetime limit of $50,000 and applicable to each firm in which an “angel” invests.


Another recommendation is to Provide a First Employee Tax Credit to Assist Small Businesses Hiring Their First Employee: The Council also supports a First Employee Tax Credit to assist small businesses, particularly those operating in service industries, to hire their first employee. The credit should equal 25% of the W-2 wages reported, which can be claimed annually, up to $10,000 in a single tax year, with a lifetime limit of $40,000. Given that many businesses do not turn a profit in the first few years of operation, the first employee tax credit should be creditable against the business’ payroll tax liability. However, there should be no earnings cap for this credit. The credit should be designed to also help individuals living in urban areas where the cost of living is higher, as well as new market entrants in the STEM fields.


For encouraging more women in STEM-related fields:


Further engage HBCU’s Conducting R&D in SBIR Programming and Expand Outreach with Key Agencies: In light of SBA’s plans, NWBC urges the agency to work toward increasing program participation among those conducting technological innovation research at HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). More specifically, the Council urges the agency to include the eleven (11) HBCUs, identified by the agency’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED) as conducting R&D, in the SBA SBIR Road Tour, as well as develop and/or expand its outreach and coordination efforts with other federal agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to name just a few.


For removing obstacles for women in rural areas:


NWBC Supports the Development of a Playbook of Rural Case Studies: The SBA and USDA should develop an online playbook of case studies on rural entrepreneurship. Universities, local chambers of commerce, non-profits, corporations, and other relevant stakeholders are uniquely positioned to contribute informative case studies and valuable success stories, which may be showcased. Additionally, empirical data and best practices could be used to inform the creation of innovative trainings and resource programs for these particularly underserved areas. Due to the vast separation from urban hubs and the inadequate access to federal resources that strengthen them, rural communities are compelled to identify the most cost-efficient, creative solutions to economic hardships.


To access the 2019 NWBC Annual Report, click here:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2020 – In its new Annual Report, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has issued policy recommendations on angel investment tax credits with the aim of incentivizing new investments in women-owned firms.

Chair Sara's quote: Data indicates that female founders received only 2.2% of capital in 2018.

The NWBC submitted its 2019 Annual Report to the President, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the House Committee on Small Business, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

This report recaps NWBC’s 31st year and provides the findings, conclusions, and policy recommendations of the Council. NWBC Chair Liz Sara, now in her second year at the helm, has concentrated the Council’s efforts on three important policy initiatives: improving access to capital for female founders, encouraging more women to start and grow companies in STEM-related fields, and removing obstacles for women business owners in rural areas.

The recommendations include a federal angel investment tax credit to broaden the pool of investors as well as a first employee tax credit to businesses hiring their first employee. The Council also supports reforms to SBA program requirements that would allow participating firms to accept more venture capital and equity investments.

“Female founders continue to face endemic barriers in accessing capital to start and grow their businesses,” said NWBC Chair Liz Sara. “Data indicates that female founders received only 2.2% or just $2.9 billion of the total $130 billion of 2018 venture capital dollars.”

In addition, 21% of angel-funded companies have a woman CEO. Despite the breakneck pace in which women entrepreneurs are currently starting businesses, women owned-firms still only contribute 4% to overall business revenues—a figure that has not budged in about two decades.

Angel investor tax credits at the state level offer a promising model that may be tailored and duplicated at the federal level. The Council’s recommendations aim at spurring investments in women-owned enterprises, including new market entrants in the STEM fields.

To that end, the Building Blocks of STEM Act was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on December 24, 2019. Sponsored by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), the bill instructs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to more equitably allocate funding for research with a focus on early childhood education. The legislation also directs the NSF to support research on factors that discourage or encourage girls to engage in STEM activities, including computer science.

The National Women’s Business Council is encouraged by the passage of this legislation and will continue to identify pipeline barriers for women entrepreneurs in the STEM fields.

“Just four days prior to the passage of this bill, NWBC released its 2019 Annual Report, which provides policy recommendations in three key areas of importance to female founders including women in STEM. The passage of this bill is very encouraging and both NWBC and its staff remain resolute in working to advance policies that provide greater insight and support for female engagement in STEM,” said Nina Roque, Executive Director, National Women’s Business Council.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (March 11, 2020) – In celebration of Women’s History Month, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) releases its new 2019 Women in Small Business Roundtable Series Report.

In March of 2019, the Council launched its signature Women in Small Business Roundtable Series across the country to convene women business owners and entrepreneurs and connect their voices to policymakers in Washington, D.C. NWBC traveled to states in which Council Members live and grow their businesses and tapped into their local networks of female founders, entrepreneurs, and ecosystem stakeholders for direct input on remaining barriers to women’s business enterprise.

Each Roundtable discussion focused on one of the Council’s three main policy priorities: Access to Capital & Opportunity, Women in STEM, and Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship. The feedback received served as the foundation for the Council’s FY19 policy recommendations and FY20 priorities. Recurring themes across all roundtables included a lack of financial literacy, a shortage of funding opportunities for female founders, and a gap in effective resources and mentorship.

“The Council hopes that public officials will consider the stories presented in this report as they work to shape the economic environment for our nation’s women entrepreneurs. At this important juncture in women’s history in business, the NWBC is committed to leading the way for the rising number of female business owners and developers,” said Nina Roque, NWBC Executive Director.

The Austin, TX Roundtable, which focused on access to capital, found that most participants felt that women enter a Venture Capital (VC) pitch room with a higher burden of proof than men. Several participants in the Los Angeles, CA Roundtable asserted that the funding gap for women entrepreneurs would never change until more women joined the pool of investors. Many participants in the women in STEM Baltimore, MD and St. Petersburg, FL roundtables found the need for mentorship was great, since men are roughly twice as likely to be self-employed in STEM fields relative to women.

In the Pella, IA and Nampa, ID Roundtables, multiple women said they were compelled to take ownership of their rural business to fulfill the generational transfer of a family venture or continue operations after the sudden death of a spouse.

Their stories underscored the importance of succession planning in rural communities, especially as younger generations often have a greater economic incentive to leave their hometowns and pursue both a degree and career in outside urban hubs rather than take over a family business. Necessity entrepreneurship—starting a business to supplement income or gain the flexibility to attend to other demands in one’s life—is a common thread for women business owners and an underlying reason for a shortage of high-growth firms among this demographic.

These Roundtable discussions served as the foundation for the Council’s FY19 policy recommendations as reflected in its Annual Report submitted to the President, Congress, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on December 20, 2019. The feedback and input received also informed the Council’s FY20 policy priorities. The recurring themes across all Roundtables—including financial literacy and improved access to resources for women in STEM and in rural communities—will serve as the Council’s focus areas for 2020.

The Council plans to continue this successful endeavor in 2020 to further engage women founders across the country. The initiative has been rebranded as the #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable Series. Confirmed stops include San Juan, PR; Houston, TX; Gilsum, NH; Grand Rapids, MI; and more. The Council’s 2019 Roundtables laid the groundwork for the upcoming FY20 Roundtables, which will follow the same model.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

NWBC and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Investment and Innovation (OII) Conduct a Study on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (August 12, 2020) – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a non-partisan federal advisory committee created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners, commissions the first comprehensive study examining the factors that may influence women’s participation in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs—also known as America’s Seed Fund.

NWBC intends for this report to provide a baseline understanding of the inclusion of women entrepreneurs and female principal investigators in the advanced technology business realm funded by SBIR/STTR. The report also highlights targeted efforts to increase the involvement of women by the 11 funding agencies and SBA-funded entrepreneurial support organizations.

This study uses award-level administrative data provided by funding agencies to the SBA and is publicly available on SBIR.gov.

“Female business owners and entrepreneurs in all types of industries continue to grow in number and influence,” said NWBC Women in STEM Subcommittee Chair Monica Stynchula. “NWBC is committed to advocating for women in business, including STEM innovators and entrepreneurs, and this study will help inform the Council’s policy recommendations to Congress, the White House, and SBA set to be released later this year. Federal programs like SBIR and STTR give women the opportunity to innovate and launch or expand their enterprise.”

The SBIR and STTR programs provide $4 billion each year to a diverse portfolio of startups and small businesses. Eleven Federal agencies fund technology across sectors to stimulate technological innovation, meet Federal research and development (R&D) needs, and increase commercialization to transition R&D into impact.  

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About National Women’s Business Council The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory committee created to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. To learn more, please visit: www.NWBC.gov

About the SBIR and STTR Programs The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are highly competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR and STTR enable small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated, and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs. Central to the STTR program is the partnership between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The STTR program requires the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (February 4, 2021) – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) today released its 2020 #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable Series Report, a collection of testimonials from women entrepreneurs on current challenges and opportunities associated with access to capital, childcare, and patenting and trademark.

After the successes of the 2019 Women in Small Business Roundtable Series, the Council rebranded the initiative and continued hosting policy discussions through 2020. The #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable Series launched in San Juan, Puerto Rico just before the onset of COVID-19. Participants highlighted women business owners’ role in catalyzing an economic recovery following recent natural disasters and shared effective methods to increase female founders’ access to growth capital. The Council then indefinitely postponed planned stops in New Hampshire, Texas, and Michigan and pivoted to virtual conference platforms for critical engagement with our nation’s women business owners.  

The next two roundtables included entrepreneurs and experts from around the country to explore prevailing issues. The Rural Women’s Entrepreneurship Subcommittee hosted a conversation on childcare affordability and availability, specifically impediments to industry profitability and the impact of childcare shortages on a beleaguered workforce navigating the pandemic. The Women in STEM Subcommittee led a discussion on women’s participation in patenting and trademark and remaining barriers to enter and launch new ventures in these industries.    

The feedback received during these roundtables served as the foundation for the Council’s Fiscal Year 2020 policy recommendations to the White House, Congress, and the Small Business Administration.

“During this unprecedented time, we must recommit to empowering our nation’s female founders and celebrating their irreplaceable role in the economy. We urge lawmakers to carefully consider the stories in this report and use key takeaways to develop sound, effective public policy pertaining to women’s business enterprise,” said Chair Liz Sara.

Read the full report!