SBA Celebrates Women’s History Month
by ana.harvey, SBA Official
- Created: March 27, 2012, 4:35 pm
- Updated: March 27, 2012, 5:02 pm
The celebration of Women’s History Month gives us a chance to reflect on the important role women business owners play in our economy. In fact, women-owned businesses represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy. According to the National Women's Business Council, women-owned firms grew 44% from 1997 to 2007, twice as fast as male-owned firms. There are 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the US and 88% of these are small businesses. Women continue to start businesses in this country, making it imperative for them to have the right tools to be successful. At the SBA, we know that business ownership is one path for women to find greater economic independence. That is why all of us at the SBA are committed to helping women start and grow businesses.
With Women’s History Month underway, we have already hit the ground running with a number of events and resources. We have released the Women Entrepreneurs Summit Series Report highlighting the feedback from women entrepreneurs during our summit series visit to 10 cities across the nation. Specifically, the report highlights resources and programs for increasing access to capital, providing more mentoring opportunities, providing more information on the new Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) contracting program, enhancing business networking and mentoring opportunities, increasing marketing and promotion of SBA programs and eliminating barriers.
In addition, our Regional Administrators will be hosting a number of roundtables across the country to celebrate Women’s History Month. This will be a chance for SBA officials to engage in an ongoing dialogue with women entrepreneurs and to listen and learn what we can be doing more of – and less of- to help create the conditions that jumpstart job creation.
Although Women’s History Month only comes once a year, we at the SBA have made a commitment to work on improving our outreach and strengthening our programs to women entrepreneurs all year long. For example, through SBA's extensive resource partner network, in FY11 we helped over 450,000 women develop business plans, conduct market studies, implement new technologies, access needed capital, and much more. Since the announcement of the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) contracting rule, which aims at leveling the playing field for women interested in obtaining federal contracts, we have already seen major changes in the women-owned small business contracting community. Over 8,000 firms have registered in the WOSB program repository and more are expected to join.
SBA does not pause to celebrate Women’s History Month - quite the opposite SBA will continue to give women the tools they need to succeed in business.
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