Sallie Mullins-Thompson, Principal, Sallie Mullins Thompson CPA PLLC, WIPP Member
Over the past 20+ years, while conducting my accounting, tax preparation, financial planning, and business management consulting practice, I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with and mentor the owners of many small businesses – the majority of which have been women.
Time and time again, I find that even though women business owners are fabulous entrepreneurs with high levels of skills, education, and experience in their profession or industry, they are not always given the same chances, as compared to male business owners, particularly in the area of access to capital. The statistics in this area are quite disheartening; for example in 2013, less than 1 in 3 loan applications for women-owned firms were approved and resulting in only 4.4% of the total dollar value of all small business loans. That’s $1 out of every $23 being loaned to small businesses.
I wonder why that is, given that women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) constitute close to 40% of all small businesses, generate over $1.6 trillion in gross revenues, are growing at four times the rate of men-owned business, and employ approximately 9 million people. Thus, these WOSBs have a huge impact on the economy, especially as it continues to recover from the 2008 recession.
Having capital to start or grow a business is extremely critical. As a matter of fact, not having enough cash is the major reason small businesses fail or are unable to move to the next level. So, as many agree, since small businesses are the economic engine of the economy and WOSBs represent over 1/3 of that population, then I think that the major federal candidates running for office in the upcoming 2016 election need to be talking about the access to capital for women entrepreneurs.
After all women generally vote in higher numbers than men, with the increase growing larger in each election cycle. Plus, women currently make up a majority of the electorate at 51%. Therefore, women are a constituency that these candidates should want to hear from. And, it’s up to us to make sure they do!
WIPP has put together a most impressive program of action in its Economic Blueprint. Check out the Access to Capital Principles section to learn more about these comprehensive policy solutions. Then, let’s see if we can begin the process of changing the conversation of the 2016 candidates as Election Day draws nearer.
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