Celebrating National Women’s Small Business Month
by ngoriel, Community Moderator
- Created: October 31, 2013, 1:42 pm
Note: This blog is by Erin Andrew, Assistant Administrator for SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership
October marks a very important milestone for women and for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This month we celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month and the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Women's Business Ownership Act of 1988 that established the Women’s Business Center Program and the National Women’s Business Council.
The expanded opportunities created from the Women’s Business Ownership Act have given women entrepreneurs increased access to counseling and training, capital, and contracts.
The SBA is always looking for ways to make sure women—and all small business owners—have the tools they need to succeed and grow their companies.
Women are helping to drive economic growth and create jobs. We’ve seen significant growth in the number of women-owned businesses in recent years. There are about 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the US. And from 1997 to 2013, the number of women-owned companies grew one and a half times the national average. That’s good news for women entrepreneurs.
Women have made great progress, and SBA is here to support the continued growth of women-owned and women-led small businesses by giving them access to the tools they need to start their business, grow it, and create jobs.
The landscape for women in business has certainly changed significantly over time. And thanks to the leadership of President Obama, we have made great strides in recent years. Under President Obama, we’ve expanded SBA lending, making nearly $16.4 billion available through more than 45,900 SBA loans to women-owned businesses between January 2009 and September 2013.
In addition, women entrepreneurs have seen a significant growth in acquiring patents and trademarks in the past three decades. In fact, the percentage of trademarks granted to women more than doubled over that time, and the ratio of successful women patent applications to men went from 73.36 percent in 1986 to 93.57 percent in 2002.
Starting a business takes motivation, desire, and talent. It also takes planning and preparation. The SBA has many ways to help women have the tools they need to succeed—from providing counseling and training through Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), SCORE, and District Offices in every state. Through our resource partners, the SBA has counseled and trained over 2 million women entrepreneurs from January 2009 through July 2013 alone. So whether a woman is just thinking about going into business, needs management assistance, financial training, or is poised for rapid growth and seeking venture capital, SBA has the expertise to help.
Numbers show the results, but it’s the real women our programs help who tell the story. There are so many women who have seen incredible success thanks to their hard work and ingenuity, with support from the SBA to help at critical moments.
Women like Rachel Carson, whose company Helicopter Tech, Inc. sells aviation products and equipment to two dozen countries, is experiencing significant growth. Rachel began to export ten years ago, and her company now sells more than 10 percent of their products overseas. She has used SBA’s export loan products to expand her business into lucrative markets around the world.
So this October, we recognize the many accomplishments of women-owned and women-led small businesses, the great strides they have made, and the impact they have had on our economy.
When it comes to encouraging women-owned and women-led small businesses, we’ve come a long way—but we’re not there yet. At SBA we’re working hard to make even greater strides for women-owned and women-led small businesses in the next 25 years.
About the AuthorHi, my name is Natale and I'm serving as a Moderator for the SBA Community. Our goal is to continually improve this site to meet your needs, so we appreciate your feedback and participation.
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