By Annie Wilson, Intern
On Tuesday, August 4th the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the launch of the 2016 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit. In partnership with Microsoft, the 2016 InnovateHER includes the second round of the women’s business competition to feature new, innovative products and services that help to change and empower the lives of women and families. Last year, the SBA engaged over 100 organizations and reached 1000+ entrepreneurs around the country and this year they have expanded their challenge to include a women’s summit.
It is the SBA’s hope that through this summit they can unveil products or services that have a measurable impact on women and their families, fulfill a marketplace need and have potential for commercialization. The SBA recognizes that while women control 80% of the purchasing power in this country they only make up less than 5% of venture capitalists. The InnovateHER Challenge is an effort to bridge that economic standard for women and elevate commercial success for women entrepreneurs and products for women.
The InnovateHER event will kick off in the fall of 2015 in its initial round starting with competitions hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, resource partners and other organizations. The SBA is encouraging organizations all across the country to participate in this challenge to provide accessibility to an innovative space for women. A way in which organizations can help the InnovateHER challenge and women entrepreneurs within their community is to host a local business competition and submit the winner to the SBA no later than December 3rd, 2015 for the semi final rounds. The SBA will then select up to 10 semifinalists from their community nominations that will be sent to the final pitch competition. The 2016 InnovateHER and final pitch competition will be held March 16-17th, 2016 in Washington D.C. At the final competition, the remaining contestants will do one final marketing pitch and compete to be one of the top three winners to receive up to $70,000 in prize money.
Make sure to check out last year’s winners: LIA Diagnostics, the Shower Shirt, and Trusst.
If you’d like to learn more about the challenge rules or how to become a host organization, please click here.
If you’d like to learn more about the challenge itself, please click here.
Earlier today, WIPP joined Assistant Secretary Jadotte at the U.S. Department of Commerce to announce a new partnership to increase awareness about exporting in the U.S. business community. Women Impacting Public Policy’s (WIPP) new strategic partnership with Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) will focus on providing education and resources to help small- and medium-sized women-owned businesses succeed in the global marketplace.
Signed this morning, the Memorandum of Agreement explains that, ITA and WIPP will work together on marketing, education programs, and events leveraging our organizations’ expertise to help make U.S. businesses more export savvy. WIPP recently developed Export NOW, a step-by-step program which guides participants — current and new exporters — through the steps to enter new growing markets or to expand their export reach. We’ll also partner with ITA on our Export Now program. Joint activities may include building awareness through outreach at trade shows, collaborative press and digital communications, and online registration for resource support.
As the U.S. marketplace becomes more competitive than ever, it is crucial for businesses — particularly small- and medium-sized businesses — to engage a broader international market for success. WIPP firmly believes that the products and services provided by women-owned businesses belong not just in American hands, but should reach every consumer around the globe. As a leader in educating businesses on ways to build, develop, and expand their companies, WIPP is perfectly positioned to work in concert with ITA to aid women-owned firms in growing their footprint in the global marketplace via export opportunities.
In 2014, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the National Export Initiative/NEXT (NEI/NEXT), an expanded and revitalized U.S. export strategy. NEI/NEXT focuses on supporting U.S. businesses of all sizes and economic growth in American communities by making it easier for U.S. companies to access export resources and capitalize on growth opportunities around the world. Our partnership with ITA supports this initiative by educating U.S. women-owned businesses about the benefits of exporting and expanding their exports to additional markets. Companies will learn about public and private sector resources to assist them in going global. WIPP joins several of ITA’s Strategic Partners who have connected more than 1,500 companies to federal export assistance to broaden and deepen the U.S. exporter base.
If you are the owner of a small business interested in the exporting opportunities, it’s not easy! Help is on the way for you with the Export NOW program developed by WIPP. Export NOW is an advanced program designed for exporters to grow and expand their business to new markets.
Program focuses on:
- Key considerations involved in export such as finance, IP, logistics, technology, etc.
- Discusses export sales channels with detailed segments on market analysis and building a market plan, including financing requirements and opportunities.
Export NOW will introduce you to the “experts” from both the public and private sectors to inform, educate and coach in its on-line on demand education program and live regional events.
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.