WASHINGTON, D.C. – During Women’s History Month, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, are pushing legislation to empower women-owned small businesses.
The Empowering Women in Small Business Act would increase access to venture capital financing for women-owned small businesses through SBA-certified Small Business Investment Corporations (SBICs) and hold federal agencies accountable for meeting federal contracting obligations under current law for women-owned small businesses. It also requires a report from these agencies on the impact of inflation and supply chain disruptions on women-owned small businesses over the last three years, recommendations to increase access to capital, and to identify additional federal contract opportunities for women-owned small businesses. For a one-pager on the legislation, click here.
“In 1994, the Small Business Administration set a goal to award 5% of all federal contracts to women-owned small businesses, however they have only met that goal twice. In 2019, women-owned businesses employed 10.1 million employees and generated trillions of dollars to support the economy. In West Virginia, 43% of businesses are women-owned. I’m proud to join my colleague, Senator Ernst, in introducing this legislation that would help expand access to capital and increase federal contract opportunities for women-owned small businesses in West Virginia,” Senator Capito said.
“Behind so many of our small businesses in Iowa are the hardworking women at the helm pushing them to succeed, so when we empower women, we empower our entire economy,” Senator Ernst said. “This measure will increases access to capital for our women-owned small businesses and make sure federal contracting policies are being followed so we can give women every opportunity to thrive, grow their businesses, and support our communities and economy.”
“SBIA supports removing all barriers to female entrepreneurs accessing capital,” Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) President Brett Palmer said. “We support Senator Ernst’s common sense legislation.”
“Women entrepreneurs are our nation’s greatest untapped resource,” Liz Sara, President SCORE Foundation, said. “Access to capital by women business owners has been a challenge yet many opportunities exist in the both the public and private sector to make that path easier and dollars more attainable. Improving and increasing access to critical investment funds will enable many more women-owned businesses to compete, grow and succeed in their communities.”
The Empowering Women in Small Business Act would:
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