WASHINGTON, DC – Lynne Marie Finn, President and CEO, Broadleaf Results, Inc. – a member of the Aleron company – joined women business owners from across the country for the WIPP National Conference. Female business owners packed the U.S. Senate’s largest hearing room for a hearing on women business ownership and the official release of the “21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship” report conducted by the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The hearing was hosted by Committee Chair Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ranking Member Senator James Risch (R-ID).
Despite the fact that women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of businesses and account for 30% of all U.S. businesses, the Senate committee report identified three specific issues limiting the growth of this important segment of the nation’s economy. Women still face challenges getting fair access to capital, equal access to federal contracts, and relevant business training and counseling.
“Women-owned businesses have developed into foundational supports for the U.S. economy and we support every major domestic industry,” remarked Finn. “The findings of the report underscore key areas where women business owners encounter challenges, and it is our hope that this hearing will open more doors and foster constructive dialogue.”
“Women entrepreneurs face a 21st century glass ceiling,” said Barbara Kasoff, president of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). “WIPP applauds the hard work by this Senate Committee for recommending next steps to break this glass ceiling and confronting these challenges head-on to continue stimulate the economic recovery.”
The Senate report urges Congress to modernize and improve the SBA Microloan program to reach borrowers needing capital up to $50,000 and reauthorize the lending program to allow more women to obtain capital between $50,000 to $200,000. A second recommendation is to enact legislation that allows sole source contracts to be awarded to women-owned businesses; and third, to modernize the Women Business Center program by increasing program funding and changing grant ceiling awards.
WIPP hosted its 14th Annual Leadership Meeting in Washington, DC, entitled Leadership, Power and Advocacy, the two-day conference explores growth strategies in government contracting and highlights how to leverage alliance building to build brands. Attendees have the unique opportunity to engage in the public policy process, such as this Senate Small Business Committee hearing. Over 250 women business owners and WIPP attendees headed to Capitol Hill to hear the Committee discuss the state of women’s entrepreneurship.
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WIPP is a national nonpartisan public policy organization advocating on behalf of its coalition of 4.7 million businesswomen, including 75 business organizations. WIPP identifies important trends and opportunities and provides a collaborative model for the public and private sectors to increase the economic power of women-owned businesses. For more information, visit www.wipp.org
Founded in 1965, Broadleaf is a WBENC-certified provider of strategic workforce process solutions. The company’s strategic services enhance productivity through the provision of managed service programs (MSPs), vendor management systems (VMSes), independent contractor compliance programs (ICCPs), and other procurement/supply chain management solutions. Headquartered in Williamsville, NY, Superior maintains offices throughout North America, as well as in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.