Policy Priorities of Women Business Owners

On April 29, 2009, a town hall meeting of women business owners was held in Atlanta at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Student Center. Hosted and facilitated by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), this meeting was the seventh in a series of meetings that began in March 2007. NWBC designed these conversations to generate grassroots‐level recommendations from women business owners for the ultimate consideration of the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Tiny Business Creates Large Change

The real heart of job growth in the small business community is businesses with fewer than five employees. Addressing the needs of this segment can generate profound positive economic and social consequences.

Local Economic Development Policy Impacts

This study analyzes the relationship between local economic development policy and economic growth in a data set of 412 U.S. cities. Local government leaders in the U.S. employ a multitude of programs and policies in the name of economic development. The past few decades have seen a surge in local economic development policies, yet research analyzing their effectiveness is sparse.

NWBC Town Hall Meetings

In March and June 2007, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held town hall meetings with women business owners in St. Louis, Missouri and in Portland, Oregon. The objective of the meetings was to collect viewpoints and ideas from women business owners that could inform the Council’s policy positions and their future recommendations to government leaders.

Impact of the Women’s Business Center Program

Between 2001 and 2003, the U.S. Small Business Administration provided $37 million in funding to up to 92 women’s business centers across the country. A new analysis of data provided by these centers to the SBA shows that this investment is paying off in increasing numbers of clients counseled, businesses started, and new jobs created.

Best Practices in Supporting Women’s Entrepreneurship

The historic growth of women-owned businesses in the United States has generated increased demand for the creation of innovative programs and policies to foster their growth. For the first time, two new reports from the National Women’s Business Council document this progress by examining current best practices in support of women’s entrepreneurship and by recording the history of policies that have resulted in today’s unprecedented 10.6 million U.S. businesses in which women are equal or majority owners.

Supporting Women’s Business Enterprise Growth

The historic growth of women-owned businesses in the United States has generated increased demand for the creation of innovative programs and policies to foster their growth. For the first time, two new reports from the National Women’s Business Council document this progress by examining current best practices in support of women’s entrepreneurship and by recording the history of policies that have resulted in today’s unprecedented 10.6 million U.S. businesses in which women are equal or majority owners.

Access to Healthcare for Women-Owned Businesses

Women business owners are growing increasingly concerned about the difficulty of securing affordable health-care coverage for employees. It is estimated that 60 percent of the 41 million uninsured Americans reside in families with members employed by small businesses. The NWBC estimates that 7.3 million of the uninsured are employees or families of employees of the 9.1 million women-owned firms in the U.S. This report takes an in-depth look at this critical issue and includes an analysis of current research and the alternative solutions that have been proposed.

Roundtable on Healthcare For Women-Owned Businesses

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) recognizes the need for more information about this critical issue and has conducted an analysis of current research and the alternative solutions that have been proposed. This report, “Access to Affordable Health Coverage for Women-Owned Businesses: A Summary of Key Issues and Policy Options,” is now available at the NWBC’s Web site, www.nwbc.gov (or by clicking http://www.nwbc.gov/ResearchPublications/listReports.html ).

In response to the feedback and input received from women business owners across the country, the NWBC also convened a Roundtable discussion in February to hear from those who are directly affected by this problem. The Roundtable brought together women business owners, business association leaders, issue experts, and public policymakers from across the U.S. to discuss not only the concerns involved in providing affordable health care coverage but also the most effective solutions that can be considered in the 108th Congress. A complete transcript of this event is now available at the NWBC’s website, www.nwbc.gov (or by clicking http://www.nwbc.gov/ResearchPublications/listReports.html ). The transcript includes testimony from Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Hector Barreto, and Representative Donald Manzullo, Chair of the House Committee on Small Business.

Self-Employment Assistance Programs

DTI Associates (June 2001) This report on Self-Employment Assistance Programs catalogs the eight state programs that were established between 1995 and 1999 and presents participant outcomes that were collected through a survey of former participants. In addition to cataloging the details of program operation in each of the states, DTI Associates reports participant outcomes as well as differences in participant outcomes from those of a comparison group that did not participate in SEA, even though they had been eligible.