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.

 

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.

Small Business Policy Index 2016

Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council released the 20th edition of its annual Small Business Policy Index, “Small Business Policy Index 2016: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth.”

The Index ranks all 50 states according to various major government-imposed or government-related costs that have direct or indirect impact on entrepreneurship and business, as well as on start-ups and small growth eager companies.

The Index investigates in total 50 measures, from which:

  • 25 are tax related,
  • 18 relate to rules and regulations,
  • 5 focus on government spending and debt issues, and
  • 2 remaining measures deal with the effectiveness of important government undertakings.

The outcome is accessible through an interactive map displaying states’ ranking in color, with a summary per state provided after selecting a state.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.15.31 PM

The most policy-friendly states to entrepreneurs under the “Small Business Policy Index 2016” are: 1) Nevada, 2) Texas, 3) South Dakota, 4) Wyoming, 5) Florida, 6) Washington, 7) Alabama, 8) Arizona, 9) Ohio, 10) Indiana, 11) Colorado, 12) Michigan, 13) Utah, 14) North Dakota, and 15) Virginia.

On the other side of the ranking we can find: 40) Maryland, 41) Maine, 42) Iowa, 43) Oregon, 44) Connecticut, 45) Vermont, 46) Hawaii, 47) Minnesota, 48) New York, 49) New Jersey, and 50) California.

The authors highlight several findings from the report, which are especially interesting to note:

  • Average real annual economic growth of the top 25 states’ was by 29.2 % faster than the average rate for the bottom 25 states.
  • Also, the top 25 states’ average state population growth of 4.9 percent from 2010 to 2015 was double compared to only 2.5 percent for the bottom 25 states.
  • The top 25 states also witnessed positive net domestic migration of a 2.00 million at the expense of the bottom 25 states, which lost 2.03 million people.

The SBE Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan provides her explanation of the founded facts: “Policy matters for entrepreneurship and small business growth. Quite simply, when elected officials impose weighty tax and regulatory burdens, the increased costs and uncertainties mean reduced risk taking and less economic opportunity. The message from our ‘Small Business Policy Index’ to state officials is clear: If you are serious about helping small business, then reduce barriers to entrepreneurship and government costs imposed on small business.”

To access the Small Business Policy Index 2016 full report please click here.

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.

More Than Cheer In Congressional Stocking

stocking

Women business owners enter the holiday season with a gift from Congress — more money for important women’s entrepreneurship programs.

Just when it seemed like Members of Congress would have to delay their Holiday break, the House and Senate passed two key bills to conclude the legislative year. After funding the government with stopgap measures for over two months, Congress agreed on a spending bill thru September 2016. Accompanying the yearlong spending bill is a bipartisan agreement to extend expiring tax rules for businesses and families. Both bills give women-owned businesses reason to celebrate during the Holiday season.

The $1.1 trillion funding bill sets spending levels for all government programs through September 30, 2016. Congress increased funding for many of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) lending and entrepreneurial development programs. The chart below highlights WIPP’s priorities and the programs import to women entrepreneurs:

  FY2016 WIPP’s Request FY2015
Women’s Business Centers $17 million $16 million $15 million
National Women’s Business Council $1.5 million $1 million $1 million
Microloan Program Lending $35 million $35 million $25 million
Microloan Program Technical Assistance $25 million $25 million $22.3 million
PRIME Program $5 million $5 million $5 million
Office of Advocacy $9.1 million $9.1 million $8.45 million

WIPP advocated throughout 2015 on behalf of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs and WIPP’s efforts culminated in full and increased funding levels for vital programs. Congress gave a huge boost to the microloan program- a primary capital access vehicle for women-owned businesses – by expanding lending authority by 40% to $35 million. Women’s business Centers (WBCs) will receive an increase of $2 million, which will enable the WBC program to provide additional grants for entrepreneurial development training for women entrepreneurs. Not only did WIPP advocate for increased funding for the WBC program, WIPP supported The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2015. This bill would increase the WBC program’s authorization to $21.75 million, increase awards to Centers from $150,000 to $250,000, and provide modernizations to the program’s granting and approval process.

Congress’ tax “extenders” bill, an annual extension of certain tax credits and deductions, provides certainty for businesses and valuable incentives for research and investment. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act will expand and make permanent small business expensing rules and the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. Lawmakers permanently extended the small business expensing limitation of $500,000 that was in effect from 2010 to 2014.  Had this rule not been extended, businesses would only have been allowed to deduct a maximum of $200,000 for machinery and equipment investments.

The bill also makes permanent the R&D credit, making it easier for start-ups and small businesses to receive tax deductions for innovative projects. According to WIPP’s 2015 Survey of Women Business Owners, tax burdens were the prime concern of women-owned firms. Specifically, women business owners cited uncertainty in tax credits and deductions as an annual concern. This bill helps alleviate some of the uncertainty.

As we wrap up 2015, Congress’s end of the year legislation provides full funding and certainty for programs important to women entrepreneurs.  We are looking forward to a productive and successful 2016.

Meet the World’s Youngest Self-Made Female Billionaire: Elizabeth Holmes.

by Annie Wilson, InternEH

According to Forbes, Elizabeth Holmes has been named the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Earlier this month she was named as Time Magazine’s List of 100 most influential people. Her billion dollar idea?: a revolutionary way to make blood testing accessible for anybody. Holmes’ company, Theranos, created a system that brings together a minimally invasive and needle free method of blood withdrawal with hundreds of low cost tests that almost anyone could afford. Holmes’ intention is to restructure our healthcare system to be more preventative as opposed to a reactive:

“The current health care paradigm is one in which diagnosis often takes place after symptoms are already present, and diseases have begun to progress. We’re committed to changing that. We’re pioneering a new paradigm in which lab testing is accessible and affordable for everyone. When cost is no longer a consideration and people no longer have to be symptomatic in order to get a test. Meaning your patients can get the tests they need, and you can get the information you need, early and in time for therapy to be effective.” – Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos website

Holmes attended Stanford University but dropped out at the age of 19 to start Theranos in 2003. Since then, Holmes has impressed investors with the potential commercial, military, and humanitarian applications of her idea. Holmes has also acquired a very impressive board of directors, including former cabinet secretaries George Shultz, Bill Perry and Henry Kissinger, two former Senators, a retired CentCom commander, a retired Navy admiral and a former director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She has rapidly developed her company since 2003 and has notably partnered with Walgreens to build thousands of Wellness Centers for Theranos to carry out its testing. To date, Theranos has also accumulated $92 million in venture capital funding from investors like Larry Ellison and Draper Fisher Jurvetson with her first venture capital funding worth $5.8 million in 2005 at the age of 21. Holmes owns 84 patents to her name and Theranos is estimated to be worth $9 billion with Holmes owning half of its stock.

If you want to learn more about Elizabeth Holmes:

  • Click here for a video about how she came up with her business idea.
  • Click here for a timeline of Theranos’ conception
  • Click here to watch a TED Talk given by Holmes about the importance of early detection

A Scorecard That Matters

WG Blog

By Sydney Ringer, WIPP Government Relations Intern

Earlier this year, Dell released their 2015 Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard, a new data-driven diagnostic tool that identifies the impediments to high-impact entrepreneurship. It also introduces steps that can be taken to improve the conditions for high-impact female entrepreneurship development. Countries were rated on five categories: business environment, gendered access, leadership and rights, pipeline for entrepreneurship, and potential entrepreneur leaders. The United States, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, and Canada are at the top of the list.

While the United States was at the top of the rankings system, our rating was still only 71/100 across the categories. Only 13% of start-ups have women on their executive team, and just 3% of start-ups with women CEOs received venture capital funding in 2014.[1] According to Dr. Ruta Aidis, the project director, “if women entrepreneurs were starting growth-oriented businesses at the same rate as men in the United States, we could potentially have 15 million more jobs in the next two years”.[2] The Scored is another reminder of just how challenging it can be for women to succeed even today, and even in countries like the United Sates.

First, female role models in business and government are critically important. In the U.S. only 22% of the female population knows an entrepreneur despite 46% of women believing they have the skills necessary to start a business. Women entrepreneurs can leverage their success to provide real business insights on how to encourage women to start their own businesses. Once Women decide to start their own business they have modest aspirations because access to capital is still a huge barrier. Women-owned companies are 50% less capitalized than their male-owned counterparts.

While this report demonstrates all the growth the United States and other countries still need to do, it also presents some interesting ways to encourage women entrepreneurs. On the international level, the International Trade Centre launched a global initiative to increase the proportion of public procurement contracts being awarded to women owned businesses. The study also suggests corporations diversify their leadership and increase the number of women-owned business vendors in their supply chain.

The media can also play an important role as well. Right now global media only features women as subjects in print, radio and television 25% of the time. Seeing more articles featuring women as the top story on their homepage could inspire women to follow in their footsteps.

Every country in the study, even the top rated, has room for improvement. More than 70% of the countries still rated scored less than 50 out of 100. Despite challenges, women-owned businesses are growing, but they would be growing at an exponentially faster rate if they got some encouragement from their governments, corporations, media, and other entrepreneurs.


[1] CNN Money, “The Best Country For Women Entrepreneurs.” 2015. Available online at http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/30/smallbusiness/women-entrepreneurs-dell/index.html?category=smallbusiness

[2] “Global Women Entrepreneur Scorecard Executive Summary”. 2015. Available online at http://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/corporate/secure/en/Documents/2015-GWEL-Scorecard-Executive-Summary.pdf

It’s Here! WIPP’s National Directory of Women Federal Contractors

WOSB Directory

WIPP is excited to announce the launch of its National Directory of Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) in the federal contracting arena. This directory is a great resource, which allows you to find qualified women contractors across the US. In order to be listed, you must first be a WIPP member and complete the WIPP Federal Contracting Certificate Program, a step-by-step training program for women business owners ready to become more involved in federal contracting or are already an experienced contractor with past performance. If you are looking to fill contract opportunities or are seeking a teaming partner, WIPP’s National WOSB Directory can help you find the highly qualified WOSB contractors with credible past performance to fit all of your contracting needs.

The goal of this directory is to build and promote a list of qualified WOMEN contractors so that at least 5% of federal contracts will be going to women-owned businesses. There are currently over 110 women-owned small businesses in the federal contracting arena listed in the WIPP National Directory. Help us reach our goal and complete the Certificate Program or check out the list today.

Also don’t forget to check out WIPP’s other federal contracting education resources:

For more information about the WIPP Federal Contracting Certificate Program or WIPP’s National WOSB Directory please contact Lin Stuart, WIPP’s Procurement Manager at lstuart@wipp.org.

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