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SBA Administrator announces plans to elevate the Office of Women’s Business Ownership

Earlier last week,  U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced that the SBA intends to elevate its Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) to directly report to the Office of the Administrator. The proposed change reflects the importance of women entrepreneurs held by the Biden-Harris Administration and SBA.

Established by Executive Order in 1979 and codified through the Women’s Small Business Act of 1988, OWBO’s mission has been to empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education, and support.

Under Administrator Guzman, the SBA has expanded the number of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) to a record 140 locations nationwide. These WBCs offer a network of extensive on-the-ground resources that include free to low-cost counseling, training, business development technical assistance and are dedicated to assisting women entrepreneurs to start, grow, and expand their enterprises.

SBA, Isabella Casillas Guzman

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. (Photo Source)

“In 1972, there were a little over 400,000 women-owned businesses in the United States. Today, there are over 12 million proving that women entrepreneurs have become the fastest growing and one of the most impactful segments of the business community,” said Administrator Guzman in a press release. “While there has been historic progress in women’s entrepreneurship, significant disparities still persist, impacting women entrepreneurs’ access to resources and opportunity, especially in the face of the economic challenges posed by COVID. That is why I am proud to advance the mission of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership and reaffirm our commitment to America’s women-owned small businesses.”

This announcement comes after the release of the first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality commissioned by the White House outlining objectives and priorities for obtaining equity for women. 

“Women entrepreneurs are key to spurring innovation and supporting local economies and families across the country. That is why it’s so important that we continue to invest in women-owned businesses and give them the tools they need to succeed and grow. The elevation of this office sends a clear signal of this Administration’s commitment to ensure an equitable economic recovery, putting women at the forefront of our efforts to build back better for everyone. The White House Gender Policy Council looks forward to an ongoing strong partnership with the Office of Women’s Business Ownership in the months and years ahead,” said Jennifer Klein, Deputy Assistant to the President and Co-Chair and Executive Director of the WH Gender Policy Council.

Women represent the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segment in the country, with particularly high growth in entrepreneurship amongst multicultural women. Data from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy found that between 2014 and 2016, the number of employer firms owned by women grew six percent, twice the growth rate of employer firms owned by men. This exponential growth was mainly driven by an increase in employer businesses owned by minority women, which grew 14 percent in that time.

Photo created by tirachardz on Freepik.

COVID-19 dealt a severe blow to women-owned businesses which is why prioritizing recovery and addressing long standing inequities for women entrepreneurs is crucial to the survival and continued growth of these businesses. The elevation of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership will help ensure the continued success of the Women’s Business Center network. 

While it is evident that women entrepreneurs play a key role in our society and economy, they still remain underrepresented in many key factors, including access to capital, contracts, and connections. Led by OWBO, the SBA assists women-owned businesses in leveraging government resources – including recently announced opportunities through an equitable federal procurement strategy, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Build Back Better Act – to level the playing field. 

Currently, the OWBO is an organizational component of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development. The SBA emphasizes that the reorganization is still in the planning stages and likely will not be finalized until the close of fiscal year 2022.

To find Women’s Business Center locations and additional SBA resources in your area, visit www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance.

SBA: How these cities support Latinx small businesses, J.Lo. fireside chat

The SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced today the full speaker slate for National Small Business Week, including entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Chef José Andrés, and White House Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond.  The National Small Business Week Virtual Summit takes place September 13-15, 2021.

 

Photo Credits: Mark Cuban (Wikimedia Commons – Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Mark Cuban & Doug Ducey) –  Jennifer Lopez (Wikipedia Commons dvsross – Jennifer Lopez at GLAAD Media Awards.jpg) – Jose Andres (Wikimedia Commons David Shankbone – Own work José Andrés Puerta at the 2012 Time 100 gala.)

The theme for this year’s event is Celebrating Resilience and Renewal, spotlighting the resilience of America’s entrepreneurs and the renewal of the small business economy as they build back better from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.

Administrator Guzman will kick off National Small Business Week with an opening address on September 13. In addition to this and the new keynote speakers, other panelists and participants will include Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mayor Steve Adler, Austin, Texas; Mayor Regina Romero, Tucson, Ariz.; Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago, Ill.; Tarik Brooks, President of Combs Enterprises, and Oisin Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer of Angi.

Here’s how you can participate:

Photo of Jennifer Lopez

Register for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit, September 13-15 for business tips, chat with other small business owners and connect with industry experts.

Also, hear from guest speaker Jennifer Lopez as she joins Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman for “Pathways to Entrepreneurship: A Fireside Chat” on Tuesday, September 14.

For more information, see the Virtual Summit agenda.

Photo credit SBA

NSBW Virtual Summit Speakers Line up

Monday, September 13 – “Getting Back on Track: Resources to Build Back Better”

  • Opening Keynote Address by: Isabella Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator (11-11:30 a.m. EDT)
  • Keynote Address by: Cedric Richmond, White House Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement (11-11:30 a.m. EDT)
  • Keynote Address by: Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur (11-11:30 a.m. EDT)
  • “Life after COVID – A Fireside Chat with SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and Restaurateur Chef José Andrés”- José Andrés, Chef, Restaurateur and Founder of World Central Kitchen (12:40-1:10 p.m. EDT)

Tuesday, September 14 –Better Serving Small Businesses and Underserved Communities

  • “Support Latino Biz: How these Mayors are Leading the Way” – (3:40-4:40 p.m. EDT)
    Participants: Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mayor Steve Adler, Austin, Texas; Mayor Regina Romero, Tucson, Ariz.; Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago, Ill.
    Moderator: Antwaun Griffin, Chief of Staff for the SBA
  • Special Remarks by: Tarik Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of Combs Enterprises, will speak on the importance of Black and Brown communities coming together to support each other. (4:45-5:00 p.m. EDT)

Wednesday, September 15 “Continuance to Support Resilience and Renewal”

  • Special Remarks by: Oisin Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer of Angi (formerly Angie’s List), will share small business experiences as well as trends and insights on how Angi has maneuvered through the pandemic and positioned for the future.

Biographies for Keynote Speakers

Cedric Richmond: White House Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement
Cedric Richmond is an attorney and former Democratic Congressman for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District from 2011-2021. Richmond now serves as senior advisor to President Biden and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Mark Cuban: Entrepreneur
Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, television personality, and media proprietor. He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team of the National Basketball Association, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, and chairman of AXS-TV. He is also one of the main “shark” investors on the hit ABC reality TV series “Shark Tank.”

José Andrés: Chef, Restaurateur, and Founder of World Central Kitchen
José Andrés is a chef, restaurateur, and founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters.  He is often credited with bringing the small plates dining concept to America. He owns restaurants in Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; South Beach Miami and Orlando, Fla.; Chicago, Ill., and New York, N.Y.  Andrés received the National Humanities Medal at a White House ceremony in 2016. In 2018, Andrés’ World Central Kitchen provided meals to furloughed federal employees during the federal government shutdown.

You might be interested: Isabella Casillas Guzman confirmed as new SBA Administrator, a big win for small businesses 

Administrator Guzman announced National Small Business Week 2021 in a news release last month. The free, three-day conference will take place in a virtual atrium, which will showcase a series of educational panels on best practices for small businesses to pivot and recover in a changing economy. NSBW events this year will also provide a forum where business owners will be able to get expert advice, learn new business strategies, connect with industry experts, and meet other business owners as they look to pivot and recover. Additional speakers will be announced. Details and information will be posted on https://www.sba.gov/NSBW  as events are finalized.

To register for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit and participate in summit workshops, please visit http://www.sba.gov/NSBW. All events will be live-streamed and will use the event hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek.

National Small Business Week delivers virtual summit for post-COVID renewal resources

National Small Business Week commences with three-day free virtual summit from September 13 – 15, 2021. 

Hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), virtual summit will focus on the resilience and renewal of small businesses as they build back from the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The National Small Business Week virtual summit will feature a variety of virtual events and activities including educational panels providing tools and practices for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to pivot and recover post-COVID. With panels such as “The Importance of Black and Brown Community: Coming Together to Support Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, and Small Business Day”, “Empowering the Veteran and Military Small Business Community”, “Unlocking the Doors to Access for Black-Owned Businesses: Funders and Founders Share Their Real-Life Stories” and more on the agenda, the diverse and inclusive summit offers resources and tools to support all business owners expand and succeed. 

Register now for the free three-day virtual summit. 

SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. (Photo Source)

“Over the last 16 months, we have seen the incredible determination and ingenuity of small businesses across the nation.  During NSBW, we will honor and celebrate their impact on our economy and strengthening of communities as we look towards recovery,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in a video message

As the 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Guzman represents the more than 30 million U.S. small businesses and is committed to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs start, grow and be resilient. 

The SBA works to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from disaster. The organization delivers services through its extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. 

You might be interested: Latina Leaders share small business post-Covid recovery resources 

“NSBW is the perfect time for small businesses across the nation to network and learn about the many services and programs at the U.S. Small Business Administration, including our no-cost business counseling and mentoring opportunities available via our district offices and resource partners. We look forward to celebrating with you as we rebuild our economy and help our small businesses build back better,” Administrator Guzman added. 

About SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) works to ignite change and spark action so small businesses can confidently start, grow, expand, or recover. Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses.

Isabella Guzman, Isabel Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator,

Isabella Casillas Guzman confirmed as new SBA Administrator, a big win for small businesses

Isabella Casillas Guzman has been confirmed as the 27th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. A Latina business leader, Guzman is among a group of high-caliber Latinos that were nominated by the Biden Administration. 

Latinos nominated to the Cabinet, Isabel Guzman, Isabella Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator

Isabella Casillas Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator. (State of California, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

This past Tuesday, on March 16, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s nominee with broad bipartisan support, 81-17 votes as Administrator of the SBA. In this position, Guzman will represent the more than 30 million U.S. small businesses and lead an agency committed to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs start, grow and be resilient.

Commenting on Guzman’s appointment, Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin (D-MD) said: 

 “SBA must continue to be a lifeline for small businesses in the months ahead, and I am confident that Isabel Guzman is the best person to lead the agency out of the pandemic and through the economic recovery to follow. Mrs. Guzman’s commitment to equity and her deep knowledge of the needs of small businesses will make her a strong advocate for all small businesses in the Biden Administration. I am looking forward to working with Mrs. Guzman as we in Congress work to fine-tune SBA to better meet the needs of small businesses in Black, Latino, Native, and other underserved communities.”

Administrator Guzman will lead a workforce of over 9,000 SBA employees and administer the SBA’s portfolio of loans, investments, disaster assistance, contracting, and counseling.  Additionally, she will implement critical financial relief for small businesses impacted by the pandemic through the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, and additional support recently passed in the American Rescue Plan.

Isabella Guzman, Isabel Guzman, first Latina SBA Administrator,

Isabella Guzman previously worked in the SBA during the Obama administration as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser. (U.S Small Business Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I learned firsthand the ins and outs of managing a business from my father and gained an appreciation for the challenges small business owners face every day.  Throughout my public and private sector career, I have been dedicated to helping small businesses grow and succeed,” said Administrator Guzman. “Now more than ever, our impacted small businesses need our support, and the SBA stands ready to help them reopen and thrive.”  

Previously, Guzman served as the director of the Office of Small Business Advocate in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development where she served California’s four million small businesses, which employ 7.1 million Californians, the largest state network of small businesses in the country. Prior to her work in California, she worked in the SBA during the Obama administration as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser. Guzman has also started small businesses as an entrepreneur. 

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 “I am excited to return to the SBA and serve as the voice of small business in the Biden-Harris Administration. I am committed to championing the Agency’s mission and helping equitably build back the economy,” Administrator Guzman continued. “I also look forward to working with the dedicated team of SBA professionals to ensure that the SBA creates and sustains inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems for all of our diverse small businesses across the nation to thrive.”