SBA Focused on Helping Women-Owned Businesses Get Access To Capital

From the desk of Yolanda Garcia Olivarez, SBA Region 6 Administrator:

We were honored to host the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) in Austin, Texas for their Public Meeting, four roundtable discussions with local entrepreneurs and business leaders, and an Austin Entrepreneurship Expo on June 23.

It was truly amazing and inspirational to see so many women caring about and encouraging each other to rise up and meet their highest potential.

The conference was not only very well attended, but there was also a lot of networking that took place. It gave everyone an opportunity to interact with each other and learn about their industries, their challenges and some strong best practices. I remember a woman from the United Kingdom who mentioned she was impressed with the women's business council and their strong support of women business owners throughout the United States. Also, there was a comment from one of the council members who said it is not necessary to re-invent the wheel, but to continue to share best practices and learn from each other, whether here in the U.S. or across continents.

The NWBC reports to the President, Congress and SBA. It is a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel on issues of impact and importance to women business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Executive Chair of the Council Carla Harris said one of the biggest obstacles women face is still access to capital. This is an area that SBA continues to impact. We are focused on helping women get the capital, counseling, and contracts to grow.  We know that women can have a harder time than men, on average, securing a small business loan.  It’s our mission to address these disparities.  In the last 12 months SBA increased our loans to women businesses by 24% and we continue to support their efforts.

It is a proven fact that many women small businesses start with a small amount of funding, about $10,000, on average.  I encourage women to put their financial statements together, to put their business plans in order and be completely prepared when you speak to a lender to ask for the financing you need.

The stats are incredible. Each day, nearly 1,200 new women-owned businesses start up. Today, there are 9.1 million women-owned firms who generate 7.9 million jobs with sales in excess of $1.2 trillion. Women entrepreneurs have never been more important to our nation’s economic health. Women-owned businesses will continue to grow with the support they are getting from the National Women's Business Council, and this Administration.

This article was published by the SBA and can be found here.