Rethink Red Tape with WIPP and Women Entrepreneurs

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Earlier this week, WIPP partnered with the National Association of Manufacturers, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and International Franchise Association to launch a project advocating regulatory reform called Rethink Red Tape.

Nearly 10 million businesses across the United States are owned by women. These businesses employ eight million workers and drive $1.2 trillion in sales. With women-owned businesses growing at a rate one and a half times that of other small businesses, women entrepreneurs play a critical role in our economy and our laws need to support their ability to sustain and grow their businesses.

Unfortunately, regulations are getting in the way. Too many of today’s regulations are duplicative, inefficient and the result of a process that listens least to the people it burdens most. Government rules directly impact the ability of businesses to pay wages, create jobs and grow. In fact, America’s smallest businesses pay more per employee to comply with regulations than medium and large companies. And since they lack the money and manpower to absorb higher compliance costs, the impact of these regulations can mean the choice between cutting staff, scaling back operations and even shutting off the lights.

But there is a solution: Making sure small business owners have a seat at the rulemaking table.

In partnering with Rethink Red Tape, we at WIPP are calling for smarter regulations and a more transparent regulatory process—one that will hold policymakers accountable to produce better, fairer rules. We want to have confidence that the rules government creates are thoroughly vetted, the products of careful cost benefit analyses and impartial science. We are advocating for elected officials from both parties to prioritize regulatory reform as a win-win for everyone.

The first step in making this happen is to make sure your voice is part of the national dialog about regulatory reform.

Hearing from small business owners, particularly women small business owners, will help bring to life the very real impact of federal regulations. Rethink Red Tape will use your stories to put a face and a name to those paying the price for our country’s broken regulatory process. Our perspectives and unique experiences as women entrepreneurs can drive reform forward in a substantive way.

Take a look at the principles guiding our effort, and consider joining us at www.RethinkRedTape.com, Facebook and Twitter.

National Women’s Business Council Releases its Annual Report

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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.

Explore New Growth Opportunities with Export NOW

If you were hesitating on whether or not to export – here’s the business case for you: U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014 set export highs for the fifth year in a row exceeding $1.44 trillion in goods exports!

As highlighted by U.S. Commerce department: “Today, U.S. businesses are increasingly taking advantage of export opportunities. The data makes it clear. Companies based in the United States that sell their world-class goods to the 96 percent of potential customers who live outside our borders are critical to both the local and national economy. This is evident in today’s release of the 2014 Metropolitan Area Export Overview. The report highlights data on goods exported from U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014. Some of the nation’s most prominent cities are leading in trade and setting new export records.

We will guide you through the process of joining them with an exciting growth opportunity for your Business -> WIPP’s National Export Expansion Education Program. This step-by-step program will lead participants (both current and new exporters) through the steps to enter this growing market, or to expand their export reach.

You don’t have to be big to export – We will help you take a bite of the Export cake
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And Why Export? It’s a big world …

  • 95% of consumers live outside of the U.S.
  • 80% of world economic growth forecasted to occur outside the U.S.
  • $2.3T of U.S. goods and services exported in 2013

… and great Growth Opportunity

  • U.S. exports are in high demand although only 300,000 U.S. companies export – it’s a competitive market
  • Average revenue per firm was $23 M in 2013
  • Exporters report nearly 4 times total revenue per firm
  • Digital technologies enable entrepreneurs to be “micro-multinationals” that sell and source products, services ad ideas across boarders (McKenzie)

In WIPP’s Annual Survey, 38% of all respondents showed interest in our Export NOW program, so here are ours first webinars for entry-level exporters. Stay tuned for our advanced series! Register for first free webinars:

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The program is in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and with the Clinton Global Initiative to make Export NOW an official CGI Commitment to Action.

For more information check out our step by step curriculum and get started today.

It’s Time to Lift America’s Ban On Crude Oil Exports

oilby Barbara Kasoff, WIPP President

Since the start of the year, a surprising amount of support on both sides of the aisle to remove the ban on crude oil exports has emerged. Is this a sign that we are entering into a new era of bipartisan collaboration, specifically to form an energy agenda that will improve the nation’s security and get our economy moving again? While that still may be a ways off, it is clear this is one issue that could lead to historic collaboration on energy policies that will benefit American economy.

The 4.7 million businesswomen across the country that our coalition represents believe we can help secure the nation’s economic future through sound energy policies. We believe exporting our abundant energy resources must be a key part of that future and supporting an update in our crude oil export policy is the correct course of action and would allow our country to prosper at its full potential.

According to a report released this week by Margo Thorning, senior vice president and chief economist for the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), and William Shughart a research director for the Independent Institute and J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at the University of Utah, the economic advantages and geopolitical benefits to lifting the ban on crude are clear.

The paper titled, “The Economic Case for Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban,” cites the findings from five different studies conducted by various institutions such as IHS, Brookings Institute, the Aspen Institute, ICF International, and Resources for the Future, all of which agree that the case to update this policy is strong. Notably, they all conclude the same three major impacts lifting the ban on crude oil exports would have on the economy and consumers, including: job creation, an increase in U.S. GDP, and a downward pressure on consumer fuel prices.

For example, one of the most recently released studies mentioned in the report – by IHS – estimated that lifting the ban on crude oil exports would generate 390,000-859,000 new jobs annually nationwide and increase U.S. GDP between $86 billion and $170 billion over the next fifteen years.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, who has been one of the biggest champions of an examination of various U.S. energy policies, including the ban on crude oil exports, also noted the economic “no brainer” we are facing, stating, ““the economics are clear… lifting the ban on crude oil exports will benefit consumers.”

In addition to the much need economic stimulus from removing the ban, revising the current energy exports policy specifically with regard to crude oil, also extends U.S. geopolitical influence by strengthening our international trade relationships. Foreign allies would gain access to a stable and abundant source of crude oil that would overall create a more secure market.

Women thought leaders like Dr. Margo Thorning and Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski understand that repealing the ban on crude represents a fiscally responsible strategy to allow the U.S. to utilize our growing energy abundance.  Simply put, to quote Murkowski herself, “It’s time to lift America’s ban on crude oil exports.”

Growing Women’s Representation in the STEM Fields

By Louisa Brown, WIPP Intern

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Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics, known collectively as the STEM fields, are some of the fastest accelerating areas in the U.S economy today. Innovations seem to be springing up all around us, and with them new career opportunities that offer high wages and ample areas of growth. When we look to who are filling these jobs, however, the results are troubling. According to the new report from the American Association of University Women, titled Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, only 12% of engineers are women, and women make up only 30% of computing professionals.  Although women are gaining ground in the science and mathematics fields, they are still falling behind in engineering and technology, the fields which have the highest number of opportunities and offer the highest return on investments.

So, why is this happening, and what can we do about it? In a virtual Town Hall meeting today, hosted by the AAUW and STEMconnector®, experts from higher education, industry and nonprofits had the chance to engage with the results of this important report, and discuss the many ways that organizations are already working to advance women in the STEM fields. Christianne Corbett of the AAUW and co-author of the report, started the discussion by advocating for an intersectional perspective which recognizes the ways in which women of color are even more underrepresented in the engineering and computing fields than their white counterparts. Women of all ethnicities, however, are subjected to gender biases and stereotypes that inhibit their ability to obtain and retain jobs in engineering and technology. Such biases and stereotypes are often implicit and culturally ingrained, making them that much harder to confront.

Acknowledging these biases is an essential first step towards equality, for both educators and employers. Rob Denson, of Des Moines Area Community College, highlighted some important ways that colleges and universities are already working with the STEM Higher Ed Council to address biases and better align educational and industry goals. Emphasizing workplace-learning through paid internships and early research experiences are important to retaining women in computer science and engineering majors, while underlining the social impact of such fields helps women commit to these majors and gain access to the career opportunities that come with them.

The virtual Town Hall meeting also included important input from women in the manufacturing, telecommunications and defense industries. Esra Ozer of the Alcoa Foundation, Anne Wintroub of AT&T Aspire and Betty Smith of Lockheed Martin all emphasized the importance of diversity and partnerships in the workplace. A range of educational pathways is essential to creating a representative work force, and strong mentorships give women the professional support they need to succeed in their careers.

Finally, Linda Hallman, the executive director of AAUW provided insight into the Million Women Mentors program which aims to provide women entering the STEM fields with meaningful mentor relationships. This program is just one of the many ways in which organizations across the country are taking tangible steps to improve representation from women in the technology and engineering industries. What are some solutions that you believe can help attract more girls and women into STEM careers?