We salute our amazing women entrepreneurs during Women’s History MonthMar 09, 2023 12:18PM ● By Aikta Marcoulier
As a proud first generation Asian-American whose mother founded and operated a small medical practice in Iowa, I learned from her experiences that running a successful business helps the community by providing needed services and good paying jobs. Over the last two years we also learned how important women are to the workforce when millions were forced to leave their jobs to care for their families when day care centers closed. As the economy rebounded, we found that nearly 50 percent of all new business startups were created by women.
Women are a critical economic force across America. Recent SBA data shows that women make up 47.3 percent of workers and own 43.2 percent of businesses. More than 12 million women-owned businesses generate a record $1.5 trillion in revenue nationwide, with $387 billion coming from minority women-owned businesses. The number of firms owned by women is increasing at a rate 1.5 times the national average and many of those businesses are started by people of color and veterans.
Since taking office, President Biden has charged the federal government with advancing equity for all, including communities that have long been underserved, and addressing systemic racism in our nation’s policies and programs. In 2022, the agency approved nearly 19,000 loans worth $10 billion to women entrepreneurs across the nation. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman has made it one of her priorities to address systemic gaps in access to capital for the smallest, underserved businesses, especially businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and those located in rural communities.
More than one in four U.S. companies is owned or led by a woman, and these firms employ over eight million Americans. To that end, the SBA has built an extensive support network of resource partners that provide a wide range of services for women entrepreneurs.
The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership empowers female entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support. Our network of Women’s Business Centers (WBC) provides training, coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs in local communities across the country. Over the years, WBCs have supported more than 150,000 women entrepreneurs which generated $1.7 billion in revenue and created 17,000 new jobs. In Utah there are Women’s Business Centers in Salt Lake City and Cedar City.
The SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development tracks the government’s goal of assuring that five percent of all federal contracting dollars are awarded to women-owned small businesses. The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB Program) is fully operational and helps provide a level playing field for women business owners. The federal government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Program.
During Women’s History Month it is important to recognize the increasing role women play in both our local and national economies. For more information on SBA’s programs and services please visit www.sba.gov, and remember to follow us on Twitter @SBARockymtn.
Aikta Marcoulier serves as the SBA’s regional administrator in Denver. She oversees the agency’s programs and services in Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.