National Women’s Business Council Releases its Annual Report

NWBC
The National Women’s Business Council has released its Annual Report, “10 Million Strong – The Tipping Point for Women’s Entrepreneurship,“ and the number of women looking to be entrepreneurs is at an all time high. Women ‘s entrepreneurship has gone from being a trend to a huge growth factor to the economy of this country. According to the report, women-led businesses are predicted to increase by more than 50% over the next five years – women are launching roughly 1,200 new businesses per day.

 

Better resources and opportunities have created an opening for women to grow their brands and build larger networks to support their products and businesses, crowdfunding being one of the best resources. Though women are still far behind men in financing their businesses, they are receiving more funds today than ever before.

 

In 2016 the Council is looking to keep the growth momentum going and will continue to research and support women business owners. Click here to view the full report online.

New Requirements for Credit Card Processing Requirements – How will they affect your business?

cc chip

Merchants of all sizes were required to upgrade their credit card processing technology to avoid liability for fraudulent charges by October 1st. The House Committee on Small Business held a two-part hearing series on implementation of new credit card technology designed to increase security and prevent fraud. This industry-led changeover will require all businesses to use the Europay – MasterCard – Visa (EMV) chip system to process credit card transactions. To affect this change, financial services providers will no longer be liable for instances of fraud if the merchant has not upgraded to the EMV chip system

The hearings offered interesting, and often contrasting, perspectives on this issue. At the first hearing, representatives from the financial industry praised the upgrades and highlighted the protections that the EMV chip system offers. The second hearing, featuring small business owners that need to implement these changes, revealed a much more complex situation. While witnesses at both hearings and the Committee members generally agreed that the EMV system offers more sophisticated fraud protections, implementing these modifications is a significant burden for small businesses.

Despite the outreach efforts of financial firms, small business owners are generally not aware of these changes. According to a recent study about preparedness for this changeover, less than half of small businesses were aware of the October 1st changeover deadline and liability shift.

Small businesses will have to purchase equipment to process sales using the new chips, but the required upgrades do not stop there. Integrating the new technology with point-of-sale terminals, inventory management tools, and other systems could exponentially inflate costs. Given integration, software upgrades, training, and ongoing maintenance, a quick and easy changeover is unlikely.

Please see the links below for several resources for small businesses to prepare them for the change:

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8264-credit-card-processing-changes.html

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/emv-faq-chip-cards-answers-1264.php

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2014/02/06/october-2015-the-end-of-the-swipe-and-sign-credit-card/

July 2015 WIPP National Partner of the Month: Juli Betwee

Julie B WIPP’s July 2015 National Partner of the Month: Juli Betwee

Managing Partner at Pivot Point Partners of San Francisco, CA

WIPP sat down with Juli to hear more about her company and relationship with WIPP.

I work with leaders of mid-sized companies to grow and scale their business.  The analogy I often use is:  Strategic planning is like a commitment to a gym membership.  The membership is the intention to set a goal and follow through.  Consistent follow-through is the tough part… when most people bail from their intention.  I work with companies for 2-3 years enabling them to compete in markets and with services, necessary for sustainable, profitable growth but not usually attainable if they keep doing what they have always done.

Tell us a little about your company and its mission. I am the Managing Partner at Pivot Point Partners. It is hard give you a short explanation so I have put together a little piece about Pivot Point.

Have you always been an entrepreneur?  If not, what, or who, inspired you to take this leap?  I have always been entrepreneurial. I often bring a fresh and different perspective to what I do. It is the advantage I bring to the people with whom I work.

How are you engaged in your community (or state or national scene) in philanthropic or political causes? I am on the board of The Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. I have plans to teach an undergraduate business course in 2015-16. I am working with WIPP to develop their growth strategy and am on the board of The Women Presidents Organization. I contribute to GLIDE, as I believe in their model of social justice.

Have you advocated for an issue or a cause important to you? I advocate for issues that impact women in business.

What value/resources has WIPP brought you (training or education, member or political connections/access, awareness of policies that affect your business and its growth, etc.) that have been helpful to you?  Being Involved with WIPP has given me deeper insight into public policy and how it works. I am amazed at the work you accomplish and inroads you are making for women business leaders.