In Fiscal Year 2010, the National Women’s Business Council continued to focus on reaching out to the women business owner community through summits and town halls, while promoting “growth” as the main focus of its independent research.
The Council held summits in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, and Denver, CO with local women business owners to hear their concerns and discuss issues of importance. Additionally, the Council conducted a town hall in Salem, MA, continuing to build upon town halls that have taken place all over the country in the past few years. These outreach efforts remain a pivotal part of the Council’s work and are discussed in detail below.
On the research agenda, “growth” loomed as the main topic of discussion. The Council developed three separate studies that focused on different questions of importance on growing women-owned businesses, all of which are detailed in the following sections.
The past year also brought about several developments of interest for women business owners who have struggled with the recent, challenging economic environment:
A requirement that five percent of federal contracts go to women-owned small businesses became final in October 2010 and is slated to take effect in 2011. The Small Business JobsAct allows the SBA to offer enhanced loan provisions through the end of 2010 and to strengthen the ability of small businesses to compete for federal contract opportunities. However, even with these developments, many challenges remain for women business owners.
The NWBC hosted several events in 2010 around the country in an effort to identify the most compelling issues affecting women business owners and entrepreneurs. The reports from each of these events are available on our website for review. For the purposes of summarizing, this annual report provides a synopsis of each document.