The U.S. Small Business Administration is recognizing National Women’s Small Business Month and the countless women small business owners who have pursued their passion and taken the leap into entrepreneurship. Women are a driving force in the nation’s economy, starting most new businesses. They own 9.9 million companies that employ more than eight million people and provide $264 billion in wages to employees.
“I’m really excited about the great milestones celebrated on behalf of women business owners in our nation, and the strides continuing to be made in their interest,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “At the SBA, we are championing women entrepreneurs who still face many barriers. We can do more by providing tools and resources to create or grow a small business and employ more Americans.”
The growing number of women entrepreneurs has not happened by accident. A major contributor to the growth of women-owned small businesses is legislation that targeted the creation of resources and networks for women. This year the SBA also celebrates a milestone of 30 years since the passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act (H.R. 5050), which was aimed at leveling the playing field for women-owned businesses. It officially established the SBA’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) program.
The WBCs were the first SBA program that focused on women. Today, there are over 100 WBCs across the nation, including nine new centers that opened this year. These centers provide services for women entrepreneurs, helping them to launch and grow businesses, invest in their communities, create jobs, and grow the economy.
“We know the impact that women have on our economy and the importance of women entrepreneurs,” said Kathy McShane, Assistant Administrator for the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. “We want women entrepreneurs to feel confident taking a risk on starting and growing their businesses. Whether they are writing a business plan, connecting with a business mentor, or receiving a loan to start or expand their business, each woman can access resources available through the SBA.”
To help businesses overcome the barriers to start up, the SBA provides mentorship and counseling through the Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, SCORE and the Veterans Business Outreach Centers.
Each year, the SBA counsels, trains and advises more than one million entrepreneurs and small business owners. Its resource partners provide access to capital, resources, and business expertise for each stage of a business’s lifecycle.