President’s Corner – July 2018

The Power of WIPP’s Voice in Action

Candace Waterman,        WIPP President

As a business owner, part of what makes you successful is staying abreast of what is going on in your industry, with your customers or clients, and within your company to ensure you can take advantage of any opportunities ahead or prepare for any changes on the horizon.  At WIPP, we too are consistently keeping our ear to the ground and eyes open to changes in policy and the impact it may have on businesses like yours.

At the core of WIPP’s mission is to advocate for public policy that supports women business ownership by creating economic opportunities and a favorable regulatory environment.  This past month highlighted the power of WIPP in action.

  • When the SBA Inspector General issued an audit report on the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Procurement Program last month that highlighted issues with implementation of sole source authority in that program. WIPP led the response, calling on Congress and the SBA to encourage federal agencies to use the WOSB program and simplify the requirements, which have proven to be confusing.
  • As Congress debated workforce development programs and how to address the skills gap in various hearings, WIPP spoke up with a letter to policymakers about ensuring women business owners have a role in these discussions and sharing recommendations on how to create a skilled, qualified workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
  • After the Department of Labor issued their final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs) last month, WIPP was among the first to spread the word to our network about the details and impact of AHPs on the health insurance market and cost of coverage for business owners.

All of the above are a testament to the ways in which WIPP takes action on your behalf.  We know that your time is best spent running and growing your business.  However, we know the impact that a new regulation, tax or change to a government program can have on your bottom line.

That is why WIPP has spent years building key relationships with lawmakers and their staff to afford WIPP the access and clout needed to be at the table to affect change on legislation, regulations and key policy initiatives.

It is this collaborative spirit that has made WIPP successful thus far and makes people want to continue to be involved. We invite you to add your voice and join WIPP as we continue the great work of this organization on behalf of women business owners across the country.


A Causal Effect: Business Innovation and Political Activism

By Annie Wilson, Intern

Earlier this year, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and HEC, a graduate school for business in Paris, published their article “Political activism and firm innovation.” In their article, Alexei Ovtchinnikov, Syed Reza and Yanhui Wu delved into a myriad of research and data, but their findings, stated simply, were that political activism positively affects firm innovation. The paper’s overarching findings state that increased involvement in political activity reduces political uncertainty, which fosters innovation, and politically active firms successfully time future legislation to set their innovation goals, which typically yields more innovative success. We find that WIPP members who understand policy and its impact on their business growth, and who participate in calls for action, are those that are among the most successful. activism1

The paper examines two distinct hypotheses to explain the relationship:

  1. Political activism increases the role of political intelligence with respects to supplying market-moving information. Because innovation is costly and highly uncertain, firms with no access to political information innovate less to reduce their systematic risk. If a firm has a more confident assessment of the future of the market they are entering into, they will have increased confidence in their newfound innovation.
  2. Political activism increases opportunity and accessibility to government procurement. The study theorizes that politically active firms will also innovate more if the firm has a deeper understanding of the benefits of federal contracting. This will open up more opportunities for firms that can yield more success with projects that requires access to government permits, licenses and other approvals.

In the study’s findings, researchers found overwhelming data to support that firm innovation is strongly positively related to political activism and that these findings are consistent with these two hypotheses.

These findings hold importance for three reasons.

  1. It gives a more holistic understanding of how political activism can positively affect firms with a newfound respect to both fiscal and innovation investment.
  2. It explains that political activism is an important determinant of innovation.
  3. It demonstrates how political intelligence may be utilized for not only external investment but internal investment decisions.

When looking at your company’s innovation process, do these findings run parallel? Do you think your company would benefit from increased advocacy efforts during your innovative process? Comment below.

To read the full article, click here.

July 2015 WIPP National Partner of the Month: Juli Betwee

Julie B WIPP’s July 2015 National Partner of the Month: Juli Betwee

Managing Partner at Pivot Point Partners of San Francisco, CA

WIPP sat down with Juli to hear more about her company and relationship with WIPP.

I work with leaders of mid-sized companies to grow and scale their business.  The analogy I often use is:  Strategic planning is like a commitment to a gym membership.  The membership is the intention to set a goal and follow through.  Consistent follow-through is the tough part… when most people bail from their intention.  I work with companies for 2-3 years enabling them to compete in markets and with services, necessary for sustainable, profitable growth but not usually attainable if they keep doing what they have always done.

Tell us a little about your company and its mission. I am the Managing Partner at Pivot Point Partners. It is hard give you a short explanation so I have put together a little piece about Pivot Point.

Have you always been an entrepreneur?  If not, what, or who, inspired you to take this leap?  I have always been entrepreneurial. I often bring a fresh and different perspective to what I do. It is the advantage I bring to the people with whom I work.

How are you engaged in your community (or state or national scene) in philanthropic or political causes? I am on the board of The Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. I have plans to teach an undergraduate business course in 2015-16. I am working with WIPP to develop their growth strategy and am on the board of The Women Presidents Organization. I contribute to GLIDE, as I believe in their model of social justice.

Have you advocated for an issue or a cause important to you? I advocate for issues that impact women in business.

What value/resources has WIPP brought you (training or education, member or political connections/access, awareness of policies that affect your business and its growth, etc.) that have been helpful to you?  Being Involved with WIPP has given me deeper insight into public policy and how it works. I am amazed at the work you accomplish and inroads you are making for women business leaders.