According to statistics from the US Census Bureau, in 2019 1.2 million women were business owners.
But with a total of 5.7 million business owners in the US in 2019, women-owned businesses represented 20.9% of the pie, according to Adji Fatou Diagne, Research Economist with the Center for Economic Studies, US Census Bureau.
About 3/4s of those women business owners were white women. Diagne cited another sobering statistic: from 2018 to 2019, the percentage of Black or African American women owned businesses dropped from 12.3% to 3.6%.
The National Women’s Business Council hosted a webinar May 3, to detail resources available to women who own or want to own a business. According to NWBC senior policy advisor Sandra Mayoral Pedroarias, the Council advises the White House, Congress and the Small Business Administration.
Presenters included Diagne, and Candace Waterman, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP); Pam Prince-Eason, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC); and Karen Bennetts, board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners(NAWBO).
National Women’s Business Council Highlights Role of Women in Small Business
Here’s what we learned. All those organizations work together to provide information and support for women business owners.
Here’s what they do:
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), Candace Waterman
WIPP advocates for women entrepreneurs, with a special focus on women government contractors. Waterman said that through WIPP guidance, women can “demystify global economics” and navigate a space in federal contracting.
Their core is ACE: advocacy, community and education. Waterman described WIPP’s dual role:
- Business – Help women capture private and public sector opportunities, consider joint ventures and strategic alliances.
- Advocacy – Know policy makers, engage with them and develop relationships.
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Pam Prince-Eason
The focus platform for WBENC is CORE.
Certification, Opportunities, Resources and Engagement. WBENC does certification for Women Business Enterprises for the federal government, and also provides the Women Owned logo, which can be used on packaging and in marketing.
Prince-Eason said that there are currently 18,000 certified women business enterprises, along with 400 corporate members and 14 regional partner organizations. Programs offered by WBENC include executive education, networking and engagement and pitch opportunities.
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Karen Bennetts
NAWBOs roots are in advocacy, Bennetts said. Women business owners become part of a diverse and inclusive membership, where they are encouraged as emerging entrepreneurs and assisted in accessing capital, using a network of financial professionals.
Through webinars and training, NAWBO’s focus is to improve the women-owned business landscape by:
- Changing the business culture
- Transforming public policy
- Forming strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations
- Building their wealth-creating capacity
A key focus for NAWBO is to have a “micro-business” definition, within the definition of a small business as currently used by federal agencies.
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