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Policy Recommendations

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Through conducting research, attending events, holding informational meetings, hosting roundtables, and connecting with stakeholders and women in business, Council Members gather the insights needed to develop policy recommendations. These recommendations are tailored to advance women’s business enterprise across the nation and are presented to Congress, the President, and the U.S. Small Business Administration each year in our Annual Report. To learn more about the Council’s past recommendations, please visit our Annual Report page.

Below are the Council’s 2023 Policy Recommendations, each broken down by the subcommittee that proposed the recommendation, as well as a small sampling of the Council’s many successfully implemented recommendations from years past.

2023 Policy Recommendations

  • Focus Area 1: Dollars That Go the Distance – Equitable Access to Diverse Sources of Business Financing
    • Recommendation 1: Expand capital pathways for more BIPOC women business owners and increase support for community-based incubators, accelerators and resource partners.
    • Recommendation 2: Protect women entrepreneurs from predatory lenders and raise awareness about unfair financing terms.
  • Focus Area 2: When One Door Opens – Increasing Federal Contracting Opportunities and Awards for WOSBs
    • Recommendation 1: Adequately resource and empower SBA’s WOSB Certification Program and OSDBU offices across the federal government to meet and exceed WOSB program goals.
    • Recommendation 2: Identify and highlight winning agencies, successful OSDBUs, and best practices.

Successfully Implemented Policy Recommendations

  • Congress should develop and provide a uniform definition for a microbusiness. Additionally, Congress and SBA should consider further expansion of debt relief options for certain 7(a), 504, and microloan borrowers, and continue prioritizing the needs of economically disadvantaged micro- and small business borrowers in industries with significant participation by women, particularly those severely impacted by pandemic-related global supply chain issues or other major global economic disruptions.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration’s implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) should continue to emphasize and prioritize women and women of color to ensure fair access to actual contracting awards through focused outreach, education, and data collection.
  • NWBC should commission research focusing on both high yield (STEM) and high growth industries (currently AEC), as well as industries with an overrepresentation of women but with undervaluation (healthcare).
  • Congress should ensure women entrepreneurs and workers re-entering the labor force or starting a business have fair access to training and targeted assistance opportunities (STEM RESTART Act). This training and assistance could occur as part of a collaboration between academia, entrepreneurial ecosystem builders, and small businesses.
  • The White House should 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.
  • 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.
  • SBA should continue monitoring Community Navigators Hub and Spoke organizations to ensure active outreach to, and engagement of, women entrepreneurs and institute robust benchmarks and metrics for these efforts.

  • The SBA should give serious consideration to raising the scorecard goal of 5% for federal contract awards to WOSBs and EDWOSBs and provide “set-asides” for this program across industries.
  • NWBC should hold a roundtable in FY2022 to review the Paid Family Medical Leave Act and further address lack of paid family leave options for underserved rural women entrepreneurs, sole proprietors, and business partners with infants or those planning to start a family by birth or adoption.
  • The Council applauds the recent openings of new WBCs and encourages a continued focus on more openings in rural and underserved communities.

  • NWBC will continue monitoring implementation of the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program.
  • Future federal support for pandemic recovery must include the childcare industry.
  • NWBC reiterates that SBA should consult with the AWBC when developing a funding opportunity for a new WBC grant.

  • Provide resources for targeted marketing and sole-source training for contracting officers.
  • Raise the adjusted net worth threshold for EDWOSBs from $350,000 to $750,000.
  • Modernize new WOSB/EDWOSB application process and provide implementation time buffer.
  • Implement the Five-Year Runway Extension Act.
  • Further engage HBCUs conducting R&D in SBIR Programming and expand outreach with key agencies.
  • Identify resources needed for training at HBCUs and MSIs.
  • USPTO should continue developing new methods to improve participation by underrepresented populations.
  • As proposed in the Building Blocks of STEM Act: NSF Grants should be utilized for research regarding female student engagement in STEM and NSF Computer Science Education Grants should be utilized for development of gender-inclusive learning and teaching tools.
  • Avoid overcrowding of SBA resources.
  • Implement the NES-D.

  • Adopt training for WOSBs on the procurement program.
  • Expand reporting requirements to include five, rather than three, years of revenue for the purpose of assessing small business program eligibility.
  • Increase technical support regarding access to start-up capital for veteran entrepreneurs.
  • Conduct research on the unique challenges and opportunities faced by women entrepreneurs in rural areas.
  • The SBA should continue considering information presented by the AWBC that encourages reevaluation of additional requirements WBC leaders find burdensome.

Note: The assessment of whether the recommendations were successfully implemented occurs a year after the recommendation is initially made. Therefore, the list of successfully implemented past recommendations has not been updated to include recommendations that were implemented more than a year after they were proposed. The Council is currently working to improve the tracking of implementation and will update this page upon completion of this task. To learn more about the Council’s record of policy implementation, please visit the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) database and review NWBC’s page.