Today we tuned into a public web conference held by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) called, A Celebration of Women Business Owners: History, Participation and Progress.
Business owners, leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers and officials were invited to this public meeting, which reported updates on the NWBC’s latest research and engagement efforts.
National Women's Business Council
The National Women’s Business Council (a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress, and the White House) is made up of the following organizations:
- Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC)
- National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
- Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
- Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
During the conference a representative from each organization shared how their associations support women in business across the country, the different opportunities to engage with their organizations and their role in the entrepreneurial community.
This year’s theme, History, Participation and Progress honors our past, our future and how everyone benefits when women-owned business are given an equal position in the marketplace.
"Research is our springboard for action," said Kimberly Blackwell, NWBC Chair of the Communications Committee and council member, during her opening remarks.
As the government’s only independent voice for women entrepreneurs, the NWBC conducts innovative research that discloses the economic and social issues of impact and importance to women business owners.
This research helps guide the White House, US Congress and the US Small Business Administration as they develop and promote policy to support women’s business ownership. The Council builds research priorities on these four pillars and aligns its engagement efforts accordingly:
- Access to Capital
- Access to Markets
- Job Creation and Growth
Blackwell also emphasized the Council's Women's History Month digital marketing campaign: #celebrateHER. Here are some other takeaways from today's conference:
Women Owned Businesses
- There are 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the US (38% of US businesses)
- They employ nearly 9 million people
- They generate more than $1.6 trillion in revenue
Wage Gap vs. Wealth Gap
You're probably already familiar with the gender wage gap — the average difference between a man's and a woman's aggregate wages or salaries — but what about the wealth gap and why is it wider?
What is wealth?
Income has conventionally been used as the primary indicator of people’s economic status. But wealth, or net worth, is a much more comprehensive measure of financial resources.
A woman's wealth provides stability for themselves, their dependents and their communities; it's a reservoir that can be drawn in times of need, contributes to a better future for their children and support in old age.
Wealth = Value of Assets - Debts
|Common Types of Assets:||Common Debts Include:|
The wealth gap refers to the unequal distribution of assets among residents of the United States. Though the wage gap contributes, if women and men had the same incomes, women would still have less wealth for many reasons:
- Single women are more likely than single men to have the financial burden of child custody.
- Since women (60%) are primary caregivers, they are more likely to work part-time and to leave the labor force, reducing their earnings and retirement assets.
- Women generally experience steeper economic declines than men when they divorce.
- Even with similar credit profiles, women are 32% more likely to receive subprime mortgages than men.
Fun Fact: Women actually control 51% of the personal wealth in the US ($14 trillion) and is expected to grow to $22 trillion by 2020.
While their recent findings show an increasing number of women are starting businesses today, there are still many opportunities for improvement and significant growth.
The Council looks forward to working on their agenda in 2017, and continuing to be a dedicated voice for women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs. The next NWBC quarterly Public Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.