Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurial Success
WASHINGTON—Today, Members of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology heard from a panel of women experienced in the challenges women entrepreneurs face in today’s economy, as well as the available resources to support women-owned small businesses.
“While women entrepreneurs face many challenges, one major issue women owners face is access to adequate financing opportunities. Men typically launch their businesses with twice the capital women do, and less than 10 percent of all venture funds are granted to women-led businesses. The matter of access to capital is of particular concern to me, as it is a persistent issue among my constituents in American Samoa,” said Subcommittee Chairman Aumua Amata Colemen Radewagen.
Examining the Current State of Women’s Entrepreneurship in the U.S.
Traditionally, the rate at which women are starting businesses has been significantly lower than the rate at which men do. Overall, the number of women engaging in entrepreneurship has increased over time; however, a gender gap still exists.
“Creating an environment where women can start and grow businesses has always been a vital part of our economic security. Today that is truer than ever, with women starting ventures at four times the rate of men. Their success is vital to the US economy as women-owned businesses have a significant impact on their local communities and collectively drive growth and create jobs,” said Antonella Pianalto, President and CEO of the Association of Women’s Business Centers in Washington, DC.
“I started SRE in 2007, with $10,000, I was and still am, a single mother with no access to any other capital,” said Jeannette King, President and CEO of Strategic Resolution Experts, Inc. in Martinsburg, WV. “Thanks to various programs and the support and guidance I receive from my WV SBA office in Clarksburg, WV, I have a line of credit, I have grown SRE to a multimillion dollar company and I use the HUBZone program as it was intended - to help disadvantaged individuals in economically depressed areas become trained and qualified to obtain sustainable jobs.”
“Mentorship is important to the success of entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs need guidance through the process of starting and growing their business. Someone who has the experience and knowledge to show you how to reach your goal is a valuable resource. Anyone can open a business, but having the right tools is necessary for success. Writing an effective business plan, implementing, and updating that plan is the key to success. Running a business day to day can be challenging. Having a mentor to prevent you from making certain mistakes in the process is priceless,” said Janice Green, President and CEO of Jancare Private Health Service, Inc. in Fishkill, NY.
“My journey as a woman entrepreneur is not unusual. There are over ten million women entrepreneurs in the United States. We share similar paths. Each of us are unsure, at times unknowing, yet we are unafraid to become an entrepreneur. And each of us need support and guidance,” said Hester Clark, President of the Hester Group in Jacksonville, FL.