Access to Angel Investors Just Got Easier

By: Jake Clabaugh, WIPP Government Relations

AI

Seeking to clear up a gray area triggering securities registration, the House of Representatives passed The Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act pushed by Small Business Committee Chair Steve Chabot (R-OH).

Pitch events or demo days are common methods for business owners to showcase their companies and products to a room full of investors. Right now, there is confusion about whether these events are allowed because the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules prohibit “general solicitations.” The HALOS Act would clarify that pitch events hosted by angel investors are not general solicitations and do not require securities registration – a complex and expensive process for both angel investors and companies seeking investment.

Angel investment is particularly important for women-owned businesses. Recent data indicates that one in four angel-backed companies are led by women. The number of women-led companies receiving angel investments has increased by 234% in just the last decade. Since women-owned businesses receive only 4% of conventional small business loan dollars, it is vital to cultivate other sources of capital.

This bill will now move onto the Senate for consideration. WIPP will continue to engage Members of Congress on access to capital issues. An additional recommendation in WIPP’s access to capital platform, Breaking the Bank, urges Congress to incentivize angel investments with tax credits.

 

 

New OPEN Report Says Women-Owned Businesses Growing at Highest Pace Since the Recession

Earlier today, American Express OPEN released the Sixth Annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report and the results are proof of the women-owned business community’s ability to power through adversity.  Some highlights of the report, which is based on historical and current U.S. Census Bureau data and Gross Domestic Product data, are:

  • Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms rose by 42% with women starting 1,072 (net) new businesses per day.
  • Women-owned firms now number 11.3 million, employ nearly 9 million people and are generating more than $1.6 trillion in revenue.
  • Over the past nine years, the number of women-owned firms has grown at a rate five times faster than the national average, reaching a post-recession high
  • Number of Firms Owned by Women of Color More Than Doubled Over Past Nine Years

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“We are pleased to see the continued rise of the vital role that women-owned businesses play in our country’s post-recession recovery,” said Susan Sobbott, president of American Express Global Commercial Payments. “We are inspired by these women who are continuing to pursue their entrepreneurial passions, and are strengthening our communities and economy even further.”

“Every day, 1,000+ women choose the path of entrepreneurship.  This report captures the optimism of our members who contribute mightily to the economy by starting and building their businesses—especially women of color,” said Ann Sullivan, Chief Advocate for Women Impacting Public Policy.

 

Industry trends

As we emerge from the recession, women are turning to traditional industries such as lifestyle and services companies. Between 2007 and 2016, the following four industries had the biggest increase in women-owned firms:

  • other services (e.g. home care to hair and nail salons and pet care businesses), up 98%;
  • administrative, support and waste management services (including janitorial and landscaping businesses as well as office administrative support and travel agencies), up 64%;
  • accommodation and food services, up 62%;
  • and construction, up 56%.

 

View the full 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report, here.

The report was prepared for American Express OPEN by Womenable, a research, program and policy development consultancy, who is also a valued WIPP Coalition Partner.

March 2016 WIPP National Partner of the Month

Komal

March 2016 WIPP National Partner of the Month: Komal Goyal, Managing Partner and CEO of 6e Technologies

We sat down with Komal to hear a little bit more about her business and her relationship with WIPP.

 

Tell us a little about your company and its mission.

6e Technologies provides IT solutions and service offerings that can assist clients integrate and upgrade new or existing off the shelf Enterprise wide systems. We also help our clients in adopting cloud technologies by either implementing them or strategically moving their applications into public or private cloud. We focus on creating integrated, intelligent, automated enterprise business processes in and around our client’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. By focusing on automation for information sharing, and information safeguarding; our clients can own the enterprise systems at reduced cost.  We assist our clients in development of seamless and secure enterprise solutions that promote trusted collaboration – connecting people to people, people to data, and data to data.

 

Have you always been an entrepreneur?  If not, what, or who, inspired you to take this leap?

Yes, I have always been an entrepreneur. My first failed attempt in the business world was at the age of 23. That was a big lesson learnt and I decided to join corporate world to learn the tricks of the trade. 8 years ago I started a business in India that imports and distributes foreign liquor around the country. Once that business stabilized, I took over 6e Technologies and started business development activities. Working in corporate America, I experienced that most of the vendors were not ready to be clients’ true partner. This was one of the issues I faced and wanted to build a company that would be a trusted partner to our client base.

 

What has been your biggest lesson learned in working in the technology industry? 

Change and very fast change is imminent in this industry. Being nimble to adopt to changing technical field is very important. Also remember, you cannot be good at everything, stick to what you do the best and focus on that offering.

 

Cyber security is a huge topic in the women business community. What advice can you give to women business owners on protecting their firms? 

Cloud may sound counter intuitive to security, but cloud based applications from trusted vendors are one of the best way to ride on security provided by large companies. These companies spend large amount of R&D money in securing their systems. Small businesses can get best of the functionality and security at fraction of the cost if they use cloud technology for their internal systems.

 

Tell us about your experience as a WIPP Member? What resources/value has WIPP provided that has been helpful to you and your company?

I started my journey with WIPP by attending one of the first ChallengeHer events of 2013 in Denver. This organization has been instrumental in providing insight into what is happening in the Federal marketplace. I personally appreciate the WIPP newsletter to keep up with the new, teaming request and very informative webinars.

 

Remarkable Advances For Women Business Owners

By Jake Clabaugh, WIPP Government Relations

Annual Mtg 2014 - #2The U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners (SBO) showed impressive expansion for women-owned businesses. The survey’s latest data, released in August, showed nearly 10 million women-owned firms in the United States. This represents a 27% improvement from the survey’s last results in 2007. In the long term, the number of women-owned companies has increased over 50% since the survey showed 6.5 million firms in 2002.

This growth in women-owned firms is an encouraging economic indicator. Just as important, this progress occurred during the largest recession since the Great Depression. It stands as a testament to the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit of our country’s female business owners.

The SBO is an important tool for assessing the state and growth of businesses, particularly women-owned. The Census Bureau describes this survey as providing “the only source of detailed and comprehensive data on the status, nature, and scope of women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses.” While only the preliminary findings have been released, it provides an important preview of the more comprehensive data that will be made available later this year. The complete dataset will include more specified demographic breakdowns of firm ownership characteristics, including women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses as well as revenues, size, industry-classification data, and geographic information.

It is imperative to use the most complete, comprehensive, and timely data to structure reasoned, directed policy initiatives and make informed decisions, thus, we are looking forward to having the complete survey data later this year. It will be an invaluable tool for guiding our policy direction moving forward, educating government entities and providing useful comparisons for individual firms. We whole-heartedly expect the full dataset to reveal many more successes.