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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.

Female founders and leaders gather for holiday Fundraiser and Silent Auction

Latina in Business’ Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction is a time for giving and receiving. This year, our fundraiser titled Latinas Are Back in Business, will focus on celebrating the successes of female entrepreneurs and founders, supporting each other, sharing the struggles and lessons learned during the pandemic, and amplifying the voices of minority small business owners. 

The Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction will take place on December 8 from 4pm to 7pm, featuring special guests, celebrities and female founders. 

“We are extremely excited and grateful that many sponsors and members are joining us to amplify the voice of  Latinas suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic.  We want to bring a little joy and hope to many female founders and tell them we will continue to support them,” Susana G Baumann. President and CEO, said.   

Join us for this free virtual event on Wednesday, December 8 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm EST –Zoom and Live streamed on Latinas in Business Facebook page. 

You won’t want to miss this event! Register Now! 

 Guest speakers to share their stories of business and success as female founders 

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah is the founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, a leadership development company powered by a global community of women and men allies who support each other for career success. She is also a TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author and go-to corporate authority for Fortune 500 companies interested in inclusive cultures.  

Dr Ginny A. Baro, founder of Fearless Women at Work.

Dr Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning international motivational speaker, certified leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. Named one of the Top 100 Global Thought Leaders, she delivers coaching programs, trainings, and keynotes to global audiences to develop individual women and leaders and helps Fortune 500 companies build inclusive leadership dream teams.

 

Rosario B. Casas is an award-winning women-in-tech advocate, co-founder of Business Creative Partners, leading digital adoption and transformation for Hispanic owned businesses. She is a Colombian-born serial entrepreneur, with over 8 years of practical experience in data and technology platforms and management roles. Most recently, she co-founded  Brooklyn2Bogota, a digital incubator for Hispanic business owners. The program aims to help close the digital divide post-COVID for business owners and entrepreneurs 

Tania Molina, founder and CEO of Villakuyaya Organic Dark Chocolate.

Tania Molina is the founder and CEO of Villakuyaya Organic Dark Chocolate. Originally an architect by profession, Tania shifted her career in 2014 with the entrepreneurial dream to create her own chocolate brand. Drawing on her Ecuadorian roots, Tania created Villakuyaya with quality ingredients and sustainable practices as her guiding goals. 

Lourdes Lulu Carey

Lourdes “Lulu” Carey, owner and founder of SweetLove gifts.

Lulu Carey is the owner and founder of SweetLove gifts, an online gift shop that personalizes a variety of products, from wine bottles to balloons and surprise gift boxes. Lulu started her business during the pandemic after discovering her creative side this past year. From hobby to business, Lulu shares her story as a new entrepreneur and the challenges and successes throughout her journey so far. 

Erica Sandoval, author and clinical therapist.

Erica Sandoval is a passionate licensed clinical therapist who is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is also committed to amplifying the voices and businesses of Latinx social work leaders. Erica’s book, Latinx In Social Work, has been named a #1 Best Seller New Release on Amazon. 

Jacqueline Camacho

Jacqueline Camacho Ruiz, entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, philanthropist and pilot. 

Jacqueline Camacho Ruiz is a visionary social entrepreneur that has created an enterprise of inspiration. As an entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and philanthropist she has created two successful award-winning companies, two nonprofit organizations, published over a dozen books, created many products, and held dozens of events around the world in just the past decade. Additionally, she is one of the few Latina sports airplane pilots in the United States, living by the motto: “taking off is optional, landing on your dreams is mandatory.”

Pilar Avila, founder of interDUCTUS, and  Renovad experiential retreats.

Pilar Avila is the founder of organizational change management consulting practice, interDUCTUS, and  Renovad experiential retreats. After building a fruitful career over 26 years providing leadership at institutions across the private equity, hospitality, and nonprofit sectors, Pilar decided to launch a consulting practice as a boutique lifestyle business inspired by her journeys across 5 continents and 18 countries, and the desire to spend more quality time with the extraordinary women who serve as her mentors and collaborators. 

Crystal Berger is the Founder of EBO.

Crystal Berger is the Founder of EBO, an on-demand expert bookings API that is committed to breaking barriers to entry in media using emerging technology. She is also the host of the Counter Culture Podcast, and a lifestyle contributor using emerging tech to break barriers to entry in media and corporate as a media tech entrepreneur. Berger has been recognized as a NAACP Award-Winning Journalist and is a Social Media Ambassador for the United Nations.

Nicole Mason, National CEO of Lemonade Day.

Nicole Mason serves as the National CEO of Lemonade Day, a non-profit committed to preparing youth for life by instilling an entrepreneurial spirit. For 15 years, Lemonade Day has offered youth K-8 an entrepreneurial and experiential program infused with life skills, character development, financial and business literacy, and mentorship. Their vision is for all children to be introduced to entrepreneurship through the real-world experience of starting their own business – a lemonade stand, the quintessential first business for young entrepreneurs.