WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to the National Women's Business Council's Annual Report, "10 Million Strong – The Tipping Point for Women's Entrepreneurship," women's entrepreneurship is growing in exciting and unique ways. Women are starting 1,200 new businesses per day – inventing products, solving problems, creating jobs and supporting their communities, and we have hit the milestone of 10 million women-owned businesses in this country. This Annual Report is a synthesis of the Council's commitment to supporting women in business by producing best-in-class, actionable research on the most relevant issues facing aspiring and current women business owners and leaders, and identifying – through research and engagement – the unique barriers and challenges of women in pursuit of business.
"The impact of women-owned and women-led businesses is undeniable and the growth is unprecedented, but we have a long way to go before reaching parity," says Carla Harris, Presidentially-appointed Chair. "Women continue to lack access to some of the most crucial assets, capital and markets, necessary to launch and grow their businesses. We are at a tipping point. It's a time for celebration, but also a call-to-action to effectively sustain this momentum."
"10 Million Strong – The Tipping Point for Women's Entrepreneurship," includes: 1) notable trends in women's entrepreneurship; 2) a summary of research findings and other Council accomplishments, as well as the efforts of other key stakeholders; and 3) recommendations to improve the business climate for women. As a non-partisan federal advisory council, the Council is charged with making policy recommendations annually on how best to increase, influence, and support the women's entrepreneurship ecosystem. This year's Annual Report were mailed to the SBA Administrator, the White House, and Members of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship and House Small Business Committees on December 16, 2015.
The Council presents this year's recommendations on a new framework of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, mapping them to Policy, Markets, Human Capital, Community Building, Culture, Innovation, Resources and Finance. This model, developed in partnership with Washington CORE LLC, recognizes that entities, such as individuals, organizations, government or other institutions, together produce conditions that can foster – or discourage – individuals' decisions to launch and scale ventures as well as impact their likelihood for success. It also understands the interconnectedness of the various components of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. This model will continue to be refined in 2016 as part of one of the Council's research projects.
This year's recommendations include: investors and lenders should look at industry experience vs. start-up experience because research has found that industry experience is a better indicator for women-owned businesses of firm survival; there should be greater provisions for affordable childcare would alleviate the prohibitive expense for families; greater effort should be made to recruit women to diversify SBA's SBIR and STTR programs; and the definition of women-owned businesses should be broadened to capture "women-led" businesses, incorporating women that are running and leading businesses, but fall short of the 51% ownership requirements for policy and program benefits, particularly federal procurement programs. In 2016, the Council plans to work strategically and collaboratively with key influencers, stakeholders, and policy makers to take action on these recommendations and continue research that illuminates the issues, challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
"A commitment to women in business requires continued, if not increased, investment by the many players within the entrepreneurial ecosystem," said Amanda Brown, Executive Director of the Council. "This includes women entrepreneurs, policymakers, funders, local leaders, business accelerator and incubator program managers, professional associations, universities, corporations, peer networks, and more. With collaboration and action, we can do more than just sustain the momentum, we can fundamentally change the game for women entrepreneurs, and their businesses.
The report can be found on the Council website at:
ABOUT THE NWBC: The National Women's Business Council (NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory council 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.
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SOURCE National Women's Business Council