- Meet the Invest in Women Entrepreneurs (I-WE) team
- Upcoming Sphere of Influencers Lunch in DC
- Advancing our work
- Further reading
The Invest in Women Entrepreneurs Initiative has launched!
Staffing, Steering Committee, and strategy plans are underway!
Welcome Rebecca Kee, our communications director who will be developing website content and connecting people with the research, studies, and articles that support our ambitious goal of five-fold growth in support for women business owners. Rebecca has worked in political advocacy, public education, and once led food tours of San Francisco (she'll point you to the best baked goods in SF!)
Our Steering Committee is still in formation, attracting women business leaders from a diverse array of backgrounds. We seek to be bipartisan by working together across political affiliations, which will make us more effective in changing the status quo, i.e., the extraordinary lack of capital and minimal government funding for Women's Business Centers. All communities benefit when women entrepreneurs thrive! Check out our current (and growing!) list of leaders and influencers here.
I-WE Influencers in Washington DC will be gathering for the first time at our lunch next week on March 7 at the lovely offices of the American Sustainable Business Council. We're looking forward to a lively session of charting out key strategies and connecting in-person with some of our talented and resourceful leaders in this cause.
ADVANCING OUR WORK
I-WE leadership will be creating strategies that leverage government funding for women entrepreneurs, in particular targeting under-served regions. We will also be working to connect with private lenders who can do more to fund women-owned businesses. We have a host of ideas and avenues for change:
- In California, Governor Brown has proposed significant funding ($20 million) for small business development that would include matching funds for women's business centers. We will work to direct this funding in strategic, effective ways. Already, CAMEO's new CEO Carolina Martinez is taking the lead along with Small Business Majority and other partners to shepherd this bill that will have a significant impact on women entrepreneurs.
- We are scheduling meetings with bank leaders who have expressed an interest in creating loan funds that are accessible to women.
- We will celebrate and promote the 30th Anniversary of HR 5050. Check out “Spotlight on H.R. 5050: The Bill that Changed Everything for Women Business Owners,” the white paper, published by NAWBO, reflects on the provisions that transformed the course for women business owners and highlights the current areas for improved policy and better women involvement. HR 5050 allowed women to apply for loans without a co-signer and created the SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership that today funds over 100 Women's Business Centers, serving 145,000 women entrepreneurs annually. This is a great opportunity to yes, celebrate, but also to point out the continuing need to achieve real equity for women both in capital access and in getting business assistance resources.
Support for women-owned business frequently makes the news for being a proven, bipartisan way to improve the economy. Check out some current research and articles to learn more:
- "Accelerating the Future of Women Entrepreneurs - the Power of the Ecosystem" with policy recommendations that support women-owned business was published by our Steering Committee member, Esther Morales, when she directed the National Women's Business Council
- Time Magazine reported on Washington DC as a women-friendly counterpoint to the Silicon Valley boys' club.
- Profiled on our website is Judi Henderson, a small business owner who turned the chance opportunity of a warehouse full of mannequins into a successful business. Judi benefited from the Renaissance Women's Business Center in San Francisco when she was starting her business.
Welcome, and stay tuned!