Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Bill Proposes Increased Funding for Women's Business Centers


Debra Mason, E-Magnify's Education and Training Manager, attended "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs," a Senate hearing held in July 2014. The hearing was hosted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship and held in conjunction with Women Influencing Public Policy’s (WIPP) annual leadership meeting in Washington, D.C.

New legislation has been introduced that would increase funding to the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Women's Business Centers (WBC), a national network of nearly 100 educational centers that are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. As an SBA WBC, E-magnify provides direct client counseling for women interested in starting a business or growing an existing business.

The new bill, “Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014” (S. 2693), would improve access to lending and increase business counseling and training services for women entrepreneurs, and give women-owned businesses the same level of access to federal contracts as other disadvantaged groups.

The bill was introduced by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and John Walsh (D-MT) joined Cantwell n introducing the legislation aimed at giving women entrepreneurs equal treatment when it comes to starting and growing their own businesses.

The introduction of this legislation followed the release of  21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship, a report on women’s entrepreneurship eleased in conjunction with a Committee hearing in which WIPP National Partner Lynn Sutton testified on the need for such legislation.

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.