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.

Entrepreneurs Win at House Small Business Committee Markup

By: Jake Clabaugh, WIPP Government Relations

32cc090e-78c0-46b6-8130-e810a45a4029WIPP’s access to capital platform, Breaking the Bank, continues to gain traction in Congress as two more priorities cleared the House Small Business Committee during this morning’s markup. The Commercializing on Small Business Innovation Act provides much needed improvements to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These programs provide funding for small businesses to innovate through research and development partnerships with federal agencies. WIPP’s platform advocates for a public-private partnership to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed through the SBIR & STTR programs and the bill passed today does just that. The Commercialization Assistance Pilot Program will allow small businesses to receive additional funding to assist entrepreneurs with bringing their products to market after completing the program.

Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) are an invaluable resource for the 10 million women entrepreneurs in the country who annually contribute $1.4 trillion to the nation’s economy. Legislation to reauthorize this program, the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2015, was cleared by the Senate Committee on Small Business last fall and now the House Committee has followed suit. The Developing the Next Generation of Small Businesses Act of 2016 provides much needed updates to the WBC program including expanding annual authorized funding to $21.75 million and increasing the grants available to centers that provide training and counseling to entrepreneurs.

We would like to thank Chair Steve Chabot (R-OH), Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) for prioritizing women entrepreneurs and passing both pieces legislation with bipartisan, unanimous votes.

 

 

 

Business Issues Highlighted in WE Decide 2016

By: Ann Sullivan, WIPP’s Chief Advocate

WE-Decide-2016_editedIs it just me or are the candidates ignoring economic issues that are business women’s bread and butter? The election so far has largely centered on social issues and impossible promises such as free college. What about taxes, healthcare costs, employee issues, access to capital and access to markets? And what about a positive message? Business owners are optimists – if they didn’t believe America was great, they wouldn’t take the risk of investing in a business. Someone out there thinks America is still the land of opportunity—to the tune of 10 million women business owners.

In all my years of working with Congress and Administrations, Republican or Democrat, WIPP has always taken the view that women who are business owners are influencers in their communities and a trusted source of information. Their focus is on results, sensible regulations and an investment in small businesses. Therefore, they have the obligation and privilege to make a difference in elections and policy platforms.

Hence, the launch of WE Decide 2016, a collaboration with Personal BlackBox (PBB). WIPP has provided a platform for women entrepreneurs to have their voices heard during the 2016 elections. WE Decide 2016 engages women business owners and women entrepreneurs to focus our message. The opinions shared through this initiative will culminate in a policy platform, which will be shared with the candidates at both national conventions.

WE Decide 2016 utilizes an interactive online platform to conduct polling and outreach to women business owners on the issues that affect our lives and businesses everyday. Through quick polls and issue surveys, we will be able to ascertain women business owners’ views in a timely manner and we will share the results with the media.

What makes WE Decide 2016 different from all the other avenues to share your opinion? Thanks to our partner, Personal BlackBox, WE Decide 2016 gives women control of their personal data and a safe place to express opinions privately with peers. Unlike current Presidential polls run by CNN, the DNC and RNC and even Facebook, the information you share with WE Decide 2016 will never be sold to anyone.

So, let’s get started. First step: go to WE Decide 2016 and register. We need an initial number of 1000 registrants to do credible polls. Step Two: ask all of your friends and networks to join the effort. Since we are 10 million strong and an economic force, women business owners are in a unique position to shape the conversation around issues and approaches that resonate with us.

Act now. Our businesses and our future depend on it.

SBA Office of Advocacy Report Examines the Millennial Entrepreneur

SBAOOALast week the Small Business Administration published the first report in a series of trends in entrepreneurship by the Office of Advocacy’s Office of Economic Research, “The Missing Millennial Entrepreneurs” by Daniel Wilmoth, PhD. The report’s focus was on how Millennials reported less self-employment than prior generations. This 6-page report analyzes important trends amongst Millennial entrepreneurs, comparing them to Generation X and Baby Boomers – ultimately suggesting that entrepreneurship among Millennials will continue to be relatively low for decades.

Some other important key points highlighted in the report include:

  • In 2014, less than 2 percent of Millennials reported self- employment, compared with 7.6 percent for Generation X and 8.3 percent for Baby Boomers.
  • At age 30, less than 4 percent of Millennials reported self-employment in their primary job in the previous year, compared with 5.4 percent for Generation X and 6.7 percent for Baby Boomers.

To view the full report, click here.

WIPP Works in Washington: Primary Thoughts on the 2016 Election

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By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Government Relations

Does anyone else think the 2016 Presidential election has been going for ages?  It sure seems like that to me, but admittedly, it has been one of the most entertaining primaries in recent history.  The 24-hour news cycle has kept us up to the minute with every speech, gaff, or barb traded by the candidates. We’ve seen our fair share of debates, roundtables and town halls while watching almost daily polls track the candidates as their support rises and falls. Luckily, today is when the rubber meets the road – at least in Iowa – where Iowans will caucus for their primary candidates. As the 2016 Presidential election ramps up, so too will WIPP’s advocacy efforts. Why? Because we are not cynical about democracy and the process necessary to achieve it. We believe engagement is the mechanism by which to change the trajectory of our country’s future.

WIPP has made addressing the needs of women entrepreneurs a top priority for elected officials and our advocacy has resulted in successes for women business owners. Just look to 2015 for proof that women business owners have a seat at the table. We worked for implementation of sole source authority for the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Procurement Program– a tremendous step forward for women-owned businesses seeking to win federal contracts.  The Senate Small Business Committee passed the first reauthorization for the Women’s Business Center (WBC) program in nearly a decade, which provides important business support to women entrepreneurs. These are just two of the many policy victories for women entrepreneurs last year.

To ensure that we keep up that momentum and women entrepreneurs remain a top priority for our elected officials, WIPP has launched WE Decide 2016. This collaboration with Personal BlackBox (PBB) will engage women entrepreneurs seeking to affect the issues candidates discuss throughout the 2016 Election.  Ten million woman business owners, if active, are in a position to influence the direction of economic policy positions.  According to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), women-owned businesses are an economic force, contributing nearly $1.6 trillion to the annually to the US economy. The WE Decide 2016 platform seeks to engage all women business owners and associations whose members are women entrepreneurs, not just WIPP members. When women come together to share their views about the future of this country, they don’t need to be caucusing in Iowa or attending town halls in New Hampshire.  The platform will be polling women business owners on economic issues, such as access to capital, access to federal markets, tax policy and providing healthcare to employees, to mention a few topics that affect us daily.

As the primary results come in and we move on to the New Hampshire primary next week and the South Carolina primary on February 20, know that through WE Decide 2016, we have a unique opportunity to engage the voices of ten million women business owners. We certainly don’t need to agree on every issue, but I, for one, think women business owners may not necessarily possess the same views on issues that the national polls indicate.  So, lean in and let’s see the results of our engagement.  I can’t wait to see the impact all of us together can have in November.

 

 

AT&T Announces Plans to Connect Everything We Own to Everywhere We Go

By Lynn Bunim, WIPP Membership & Special Programs Director

ATTAt its Developer Conference running in Las Vegas parallel to the Consumer Electronics Showcase, AT&T spent time talking up the potential of reaching its 132 million wireless customers and 45 million video customers. The change in the tenor, from showing off its newest phones or touting the latest upgrade that speeds up its wireless network, speaks to how AT&T plans to be a part of its customers new, more connected life. The carrier recognizes it is no longer enough to power your smartphone or home DSL connection. It wants to be the link that connects your car, the health devices that monitor your body and even the infrastructure in your city.

“This is a new AT&T,” Ralph de la Vega, CEO of the company’s mobility and enterprise business, said in his keynote address. The push is part of the Internet of Things trend. The idea is that every device — whether it’s a refrigerator or glucose monitor — talks to each other to better serve you, with AT&T angling to become the bridge between things. Those connections are going in everywhere, including coolers built by Red Bull that enable the company to track their location, state and temperature.

AT&T offered new information about its smart cities initiative, through which it promises to bring everything from traffic monitoring to electric grid management to gunfire detection into one comprehensive ecosystem. The program’s initial cities will be Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago, and it involves a huge range of partnerships, with giants including Cisco, Ericsson, GE, IBM, and Qualcomm. “We are going to go up the stack,” says AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie. “We are going to bring things that are complete solutions.”

WIPP’s membership and WIPP’s Coalition Partners comprise thousands of entrepreneurs and women owned small businesses, all of whom are on the move all the time.  Improved connectivity could bring improved productivity for this important segment of the business community.

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NWBC Survey Analysis Shows Women-Owned Business Growth Soars

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The National Women’s Business Council has released its analysis of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners and while the growth rate for new businesses has slowed down, that is not the case for women-owned firms. The rate of growth of women-owned businesses is almost FOUR TIMES the rate of businesses owned by men. The results show that there were nearly 10 million women-owned small businesses in the US in 2012, a 27.5% increase since 2007. There is also a huge spike in minority women business ownership. The analysis also shows that In 2012, women-owned firms with employees paid their employees $290.5 billion- a $75.8 billion or 35.3% increase since 2007.

For more information, check out several articles written on the analysis:

Click here to view the National Women’s Business Council Fact Sheet.