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Priorities and Challenges of Women Business Owners

Current Priorities and Challenges of Women Business Owners: Recommended Policies and Programs to Support Women Entrepreneurs Facing Economic Uncertainty

National Women’s Business Council

First published August 2009

To further its role of advising the President, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on issues related to women’s business ownership, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held a series of six town hall meetings with women business owners around the country throughout 2007 and 2008. The objective of the meetings was to hear from women business owners about their views on national-level policy issues in order to inform the Council’s future recommendations to government leaders.

Each meeting brought together members of the National Women’s Business Council and women business owners for a dialogue about policy issues that are most important to women business owners today. More than 600 women attended the meetings —including owners of businesses both small and large and both emerging and established. Participants included women in all industries, of all experience levels, and of all income levels. Leaders of national women’s business organizations, local organizations which support women business owners, and state and local policy leaders also attended the forums. The meetings were held outside of the Washington, DC area to engage women entrepreneurs who are not typically connected to the national-level policy process.

The following report outlines the policy recommendations and training and technical assistance needs of town hall meeting participants.

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