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Supporting Women’s Business Enterprise Growth

Policy and Progress: Supporting the Growth of Women’s Business Enterprise

National Women’s Business Council

First published May 2004

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.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the publication of these two reports, which have both documented and addressed some very timely and important questions about how to further the growth of women’s entrepreneurship,” said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies and Chair of the National Women’s Business Council. “It is our hope that these reports will not only provide women business owners with comprehensive information about policies and programs for women’s enterprise development but that this information will be used to enlighten and inform future policy and programmatic action in the United States and in other countries.”

The first report, “Best Practices in Supporting Women’s Entrepreneurship: A Compendium of Public and Private Sector Organizations and Initiatives,” profiles 24 selected organizations or initiatives that provide outstanding support for women-owned businesses and that have widespread impact throughout the United States. The report answers such questions as:

  • Who helps women-owned businesses as they start up or as they become more established and seasoned?
  • What associations can women entrepreneurs join to network and grow their businesses?
  • How can women-owned businesses obtain access to mentoring, education, capital, and markets to take their businesses to the next level?
  • And what types of support are available from which kinds of organizations?
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