President’s Corner – June 2018

Action always beats intention – and the future depends on what we do today.

Candace Waterman         WIPP President & CEO

From its inception, the core of WIPP’s mission has been uniting women entrepreneurs across the country to raise their voices and take action on issues impacting their business.  At WIPP we know that engagement of women business owners, like you, as well as organizations and corporations that support women entrepreneurship will lead to better policies and more accountable public officials.

To help us in our work to improve the economic and regulatory climate for women in business, I’m excited to announce WIPP’s 2018 Advocacy Pillars:

  • Create Parity for Women-Owned Small Businesses in Federal Contracting
  • Infrastructure Improvements
  • Fairness in the Workplace
  • Modernizing Our Tax Code
  • Increasing Access to Capital for Women

These pillars represent the core issues critical to the success of women business owners and the areas of policy WIPP will focus on in our advocacy efforts. WIPP’s Economic Blueprint provides you with a deep dive in each of these issue areas and discusses some of the current legislation as well as WIPP policy recommendations on our 2018 Advocacy Pillars.

In addition to our focus on advocacy, access to procurement opportunities is a top priority for WIPP. We are also launching our 2018 Procurement Education Platform which focuses on the following topics that are in alignment with, and support our Advocacy Pillars:

  • Doing Business with the Federal Government
  • Building Capacity
  • Financing Growth

We will work to bring you relevant educational content, webinars, events and develop partnerships that help support these key areas to federal contracting success.  WIPP already has an extensive catalog of helpful recorded webinars you can explore and a number of upcoming events around our popular procurement initiatives – Give Me 5 and ChallengeHER. We look forward to building on this great work.

The future depends on what we do today – and WIPP continues to take action to ensure that women business owners continue to be a strong economic force in the United States and increasingly, in the world.

President’s Corner – May 2018

Some people say timing is everything, but I say timing is the only thing!

WIPP President, Candace Waterman @CandaceWaterman

I have spent over 30 years in the business world, as a corporate executive, a business owner and almost 13 years with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) helping women-owned firms get access to growth opportunities through corporate and government procurement.

For over a decade, I have worked with WIPP as a one of our partners. Thus, with the announcement of the WIPP and WBENC Strategic Partnership, the time was right for a new challenge that would harness my expertise, my network of wonderful WBENC partners and constituents, and my passion for leveling the playing field for women in business.  I am honored, and humbled to be stepping into the role of WIPP President this month.

What a future this organization has before it!  The WIPP and WBENC Strategic Partnership is a win, win, win – a win for WBENC, a win for WIPP, and a win for women business owners across our nation.  WIPP’s public policy efforts and federal procurement education programs are to become an important benefit that WBENC’s 14 Regional Partner Organizations will offer to WBEs certified in their regions.  WBENC will be adding the voices of its over 14,000 certified women-owned businesses to WIPP’s national advocacy work in Washington, ensuring that women business owners will continue to be a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill.

WIPP has been doing amazing work for decades, yet many women business owners don’t realize the depth and breadth of WIPP’s impact on policy and the entrepreneurship ecosystem.  My first goal as WIPP President will be to raise the brand awareness for WIPP.

We’ll be creating an “Each One, Reach One” campaign, in which every person that has been engaged with WIPP will have the tools to become an ambassador for this great organization by reaching out to at least one woman business owner and bringing them into the WIPP community.  With a refreshed focus and new partnerships, we will work to improve the visibility of this great organization and all its accomplishments through our expanded network of women business owners.  I am committed to make WIPP a household name, ensuring that current or prospective women entrepreneurs know that WIPP is tirelessly working to create an economic and policy climate they need to succeed.

Second, I plan to work with our top-notch policy team to leverage the economic impact of women-owned firms in this country to expand our policy reach.  We will not only continue to take the voice of the Boardroom to the Halls of Congress, but with new partnerships that provide a regional reach and WIPP’s stellar reputation in the policy arena, we will get women business owners engaged in grassroots advocacy in their communities as well.

There are so many policy challenges and opportunities before us on issues like procurement, infrastructure, implementation of tax reform, access to capital, and workforce development.  In my role as WIPP’s President, I will dedicate my full resolve to ensuring that women’s entrepreneurship continues an upward trajectory and business owners, like you, have continued success and growth.

Thank you again for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting you all!

Interview with NDC’s Jane Campbell, President of WIPP

jane-campbell1.Can you shortly describe your professional background? Is there any achievement/lessons learned that you are most proud of or would like to share with us?

I started my career in neighborhood development with the Volunteers in Service to America program (VISTA), worked with women’s advocacy organizations for many years, returned to neighborhood economic development and then ran successfully for the Ohio House of Representatives. My path as an elected official included 12 years in the legislature, 5 on the Cuyahoga County Commission and a 4 year term as Mayor of Cleveland. After serving as Mayor, I started my own business doing economic development consulting including advising Goodyear in the financing of their new Headquarters in Akron, OH. I also served as a fellow at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. The real estate crash sent me back into the public sector as Chief of Staff to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Staff Director for the Senate Small Business Committee.  Now I lead the Washington office of the National Development Council (NDC), an extremely creative nonprofit dedicated to bringing capital into underserved communities to create jobs, build affordable housing and create communities. NDC provides small business lending especially to women and minorities in underserved areas.

In every position that I’ve had the opportunity to hold I worked to be sure that women were full participants, that low income and minority communities were well served and that public private partnerships between government, business, and local community leaders were key to the engagement.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that collaboration is vital to success and that women are incredibly hard workers.

2. When did you hear about WIPP for the first time and what resonated with you the most?

I learned about WIPP when I was Sen. Mary Landrieu’s chief of staff.  Sen. Landrieu chaired the Senate small business committee and we found WIPP to be one of the most effective coalitions on Capitol Hill. Later when I was the Staff Director of the Senate Small Business Committee under the leadership of Sen. Maria Cantwell I saw WIPP in action when several hundred women appeared to advocate for greater federal contracting opportunities.

3. What shaped your decision to become WIPP President?

The partnership that we are creating between the National Development Council(NDC) and WIPP is a new frontier of creative engagement.  For over 40 years NDC worked to bring capital into underserved communities by providing training in economic development finance, technical assistance to communities and economic development entities, the creation of Public private partnerships and lending to small businesses – especially those businesses owned by women and minorities. Our work with WIPP will strengthen both organizations as we pursue access to capital for women entrepreneurs, creating the strongest voice for women whose businesses are creating jobs and futures for key populations. 

I took the role as President of the WIPP coalition to strengthen this partnership and to provide the leadership needed for WIPP to move into the future while staying fully committed to my work as director of the NDC Washington office.  Knowing that Roz Alford is there as Managing Director to lead the day to day work of the office allowed me to say yes.

4. Do you have any particular vision for WIPP?

Our Coalition of businesses and associations can emerge from its already strong position to be clearly the voice of women entrepreneurs.  By building a strong national network of women in business and advocates for women in business the WIPP Coalition should be able to enhance opportunities by connecting policy makers and women business owners to craft meaningful policy that will enhance access to capital, improve contracting opportunities and create a fair tax code.

5. Do you have any message for WIPP members? 

The strength of the WIPP Coalition is the active engagement of our members – please join in our work!