My Profile   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
WIPP In Action
Blog Home All Blogs
Our organizational blog featuring the most important news in WIPP advocacy for women-owned businesses; federal procurement education, programs, and opportunities; and signature events celebrating and engaging with this powerful community.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Advocacy  membership  SBA  Senate Small Business  Access to Capital  Action Alert  Congress  cybersecurity  leadership  legislation  policy  Access  Appropriations  budget  Education  FAR  Federal Procurement  hearings  IRS  microloan  opportunities  procurement  resource  Treasury  WIPP Annual Conference 

Advocacy Update: FAR Council Rules That Matter To Your Business

Posted By Elizabeth Sullivan, WIPP Advocacy Team, Wednesday, October 16, 2019


This New FAR Council Rule on Covered Telecommunication Equipment Will Impact Your Business, Even Outside of the Tech Industry

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council has proposed an interim final rule that will amend the FAR to prohibit the Federal Government from procuring or obtaining, or extending or renewing a contract to procure or obtain, “any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system” in order to combat the national security and intellectual property threats that face the United States. The definition of “covered telecommunications equipment or services” are components from: Huawei, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company.  


For all businesses, the rule:

  • Prohibits contractors from providing covered telecommunications equipment or services unless the agency confirms that an exception applies or a waiver is granted 
  • Requires every offeror for a contract or order to represent whether or not it will provide covered telecommunications equipment or services as part of its offer and, if so, to furnish additional detail about the covered equipment or services 
  • Mandates that contractors report any covered equipment or services if discovered during the course of contract performance 

WIPP recognized the importance of this rule and the impact it will have on small business federal contractors. Read WIPP’s comments on this rule.
 

Proposed Rule on Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Source Selection Process (LPTA) from FAR Council Discourages Use of Practice Across Government

Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) has been a long hated acquisition pricing policy in the small business community. Seen as a “race to the bottom,” the FAR Council has issued a proposed rule to avoid using Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection criteria in circumstances that would deny the Government the benefits of cost and technical tradeoffs in the source selection process. This rule also states specifically that LPTA source selection criteria should be avoided for procurements for IT services, cyber security, systems engineering services, and others.

 

Think this is a good idea?

 

Comment on this rule by December 2, 2019

 

Tags:  Advocacy  Federal Procurement  policy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Action Alert: Ask Your Legislators to Co-Sponsor Equity Bill

Posted By WIPP Advocacy Team, Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2019

If a woman-owned firm wants to obtain a Small Business Administration (SBA) certification to participate in the Woman-Owned Small Business/Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB/EDWOSB) procurement program, she would not be able to obtain equity or venture capital funding.

This choice essentially forces women business owners to choose between participating in the federal marketplace through the WOSB/EDWOSB program or growing their business.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019 (S. 1981), which would allow women-owned contracting firms to take investment by women-owned equity firms and still meet the “51% unconditionally owned and controlled” standard set by SBA to participate in the WOSB/EDWOSB program.


Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) introduced an identical bill in the House (H.R. 3633). The same barriers apply to minority-owned businesses and these bills also allow minority-owned federal contracting firms to take investment by minority-owned equity firms.

WIPPActionAlert Access to capital continues to be an ongoing challenge for women business owners. This groundbreaking legislation would open a path for investment in women-owned businesses who are government contractors, while also strengthening the role of women investors – giving them a reason to ask for greater equity positions within their firms. 

WIPP asks you to meet, call, or write your elected officials and ask them to support and co-sponsor the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019.

Your Action Steps:

 


 

Call Your Legislators

If You Are Calling Your Senators:  

Reach the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to the Senator’s office you are trying to reach.

 

Use this sample script:

 

“Hello. My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am calling to urge Senator ____________ to support S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to accept investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but will empower women investors by continuing to spur growth for women-owned equity firms.

 

Again, I urge Senator _____________ to expand venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019.”

 

If You Are Calling Your Representative: 

Reach the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to the Representative’s office you are trying to reach.

 

Use this sample script:

 

“Hello. My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am calling to urge Representative ____________ to support H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to accept investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but will empower women investors by continuing to spur growth for women-owned equity firms.

 

Again, I urge Representative _____________ to expand venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019.”

 

 


 

Write Your Legislators 

If You Are Writing Your Senators:

Reach your Senators via email through a form on their website under “Contact.”

 

Use this suggested language:

 

Dear Senator ______,

 

My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am writing to urge you to support S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to take investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but it will strengthen the role of women investors – giving them a reason to ask for greater equity positions within their firms.

 

Please support expanding venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

_______

 

If You Are Writing Your Representative: 

Reach your Representative via email through a form on their website under “Contact.”

 

Use this suggested language:

 

Dear Representative ______,

 

My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am writing to urge you to support H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to take investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but it will strengthen the role of women investors – giving them a reason to ask for greater equity positions within their firms.

 

Please support expanding venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

_______

 

Tags:  Access to Capital  Action Alert  Advocacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

President's Message: Our Position Is Always As Your Resource

Posted By Candace Waterman, WIPP President & CEO, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Last week I traveled from Michigan to Louisiana to New Mexico, presenting multiple workshops covering everything from advocacy training, building capacity, and parity for women-owned businesses in the federal government.

Candace Waterman (middle) stands with WBENC RPO leaders Dr. Pamela Williamson (WBEC-West) and Michelle Richards (GLWBC) I met many leaders and spoke with WIPP members across the nation who are wondering what will happen when Congress returns from recess next week. Specifically, what the impeachment proceedings could mean for our advocacy work. Understanding how things happen on Capitol Hill has never been more important, and WIPP has almost 20 years of relationships and experience in the halls of Congress. Our position will always be as your nonpartisan resource -- first and foremost.

I encourage WIPP Members to read Ann Sullivan's column this month and to join the Advocacy Team on their monthly Policy Update webinar next Wednesday, October 9 to learn about where we are on our WIPP Policy Priorities, including key legislation and appropriations as well as understanding the impeachment proceedings.

This month, we are working on bringing our resources to bear for members and the wider audience of women-owned businesses across the nation:

Access

October is National Women’s Small Business Month (#NWSBM) and we are thrilled to once again partner with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) to showcase the landscape of certified WOSB/WBE women leaders. 

Each October, I love to remind our WIPP Members to check their status and their online profile. More than any other month, October is the time to ensure your WIPP Membership is updated and ensures we have the opportunity to highlight your company with our agency partners and the larger community. Not sure if you’re a member? Check your profile here.

Advocacy 

October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (#BeCyberSafe), and we have been closely monitoring this topic in the federal contracting space. WIPP submitted comments last week on a draft of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which would be mandatory in 2020 for every supplier and contractor working with the Department of Defense. Learn more.

We continue to work on moving The Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019 through the Senate Small Business Committee as well as garnering more sponsors in for the companion House bill. 

And once again, I want you to know that WIPP is a national nonpartisan organization, and we approach all issues in a bipartisan manner. Our members identify along all varieties of political persuasion, but we all speak one language: Business.  

Education 

We have three WIPP member webinars this month:

I’m thrilled that we are at capacity for the ChallengeHER event on October 24 in Washington, D.C., but we still have room at the San Diego event on October 29. We also announced our ChallengeHER opportunities with American Express ® Contract Connections on November 14 and December 11. Learn more at ChallengeHER.us. 

Earlier this week, I read the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express, and found that “between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses climbed 21% to a total of nearly 13 million (12,943,400). Employment grew by 8% to 9.4 million. Revenue rose 21% to $1.9 trillion.”

Having built a career on the innate knowledge that women business owners are an unstoppable force, this statistic is encouraging. WIPP has been part of the fight to get seats at the table; we have forged alliances and partnerships; and we are now economically more visible than ever before. Thank you to our members, sponsors, and partners for continuing to support this mission! 

 

Tags:  Access  Advocacy  Education 

Share |
Permalink
 

Crisis Averted – At Least for Now

Posted By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 1 marks a new fiscal year, FY2020, and the government will continue to be funded until November 21. Congress sent the continuing resolution (CR) to the President last Friday, who signed the bill into law before the September 30 deadline.

 

AnnSullivan

It is significant that during September, the Congress and the President agreed to two additional steps to bring stability to the budget process. Legislation to suspend the federal debt ceiling and set government spending levels for two years addressed issues that have proven to be problematic in the past. Budget bills, such as these, have provided opportunities for legislators and Presidents to hold government spending hostage to their demands. That’s not to say the demands don’t hold merit but shutting down the government is not without consequences.

 

Thirty-five days in length, the last government shutdown in January-February 2019 wreaked havoc on small federal contractors. According to a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, The True Cost of Government Shutdowns, the last three shutdowns in cost taxpayers $4 billion—at least $3.7 billion of it in back pay to furloughed federal workers and $338 million in other costs such as lost revenue.

 

A statistic that government contractors certainly felt was the Congressional Budget Office estimate that the most recent shutdown delayed approximately $18 billion in federal spending for compensation and purchases of goods and services. Legislation was introduced this year to require compensation to low-wage workers employed by government contractors, including the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act in the House and the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act in the Senate. Although these efforts have yet to gain traction, it is a move applauded by many government contractors.

 

The angst that builds in Washington around the end of the fiscal year is justified. Even though our members have strategies in place to weather a shutdown storm, a government shutdown affects everyone in the supply chain. In addition to requiring contract modifications to keep providing services during a CR, it also delays grant awards and new projects.

 

There’s a whole new wrinkle in completion of federal funding for FY2020 that expires on November 21 – impeachment proceedings. Decisions on where the money is spent in the federal government is a key responsibility of the Congress, but it requires the President’s signature. Putting aside partisan wrangling is a requirement for getting this funding passed. Appropriations bills are determined by the Appropriations Committees in the House and the Senate. Since Democrats are in control of the House but Republicans are in control of the Senate, getting these bills to the finish line requires bipartisan cooperation. And, the President has to be willing to sign the legislation.

Senate appropriators say they can “walk and chew gum” at the same time, and have expressed their intentions to keep working to complete their work despite the impeachment proceedings.

 

Learn more about the implications of the impeachment process.

WIPP Members can join us on Wednesday, October 9 for the October Policy Update webinar.  

 

There is precedent for taking care of normal legislative matters while at the same time pursuing a major matter such as impeachment. In 1998 in the midst of then-President Bill Clinton’s pending impeachment investigation by the House, Clinton signed all of that year’s appropriations bills.

 

Where does this leave government contractors? Feeling pleased about averting a government shutdown until November 21, but cautiously optimistic about federal funding for FY2020 after November 21. Here’s where your advocacy comes in. Contact your Congressional delegation urging them to complete the appropriations process. Congress will need lots of encouragement by its constituents to stay the course and complete their work. The small business contracting community can ill afford another shutdown.

Tags:  Advocacy  Appropriations 

Share |
Permalink
 

Advocacy Update: Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)

Posted By Advocacy Team, Friday, September 27, 2019

As reported by Bloomberg Government, the Defense Department sought comments this month on a draft of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which would be mandatory in 2020 for every supplier and contractor working with the department. 


WIPP submitted comments on Wednesday, September 25 reiterating that this certification process could be cost prohibitive and restrictive to small businesses. Thank you to cyber expert Angela Dingle, WIPP Board Chair and President & CEO of Ex Nihilo Management, for providing critical input. 

 

Read the full comment letter.

 

 

 

Tags:  Advocacy  cybersecurity 

Share |
Permalink
 

WIPP Works in Washington: 4 Things for WOSBs to Watch for the Rest of 2019

Posted By Elizabeth Sullivan, WIPP Advocacy Team, Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2019
Elizabeth Sullivan

Congress will be back in Washington next week, and there is certainly no shortage of items on their to-do list. One of the questions our policy team has been asked time and time again during this month-long recess is our prediction for what is to come for the rest of 2019. Will the government be funded? Will the Senate Small Business Committee’s reauthorization bill move forward? Here are four things you should be watching in the coming months:

 

  1. Funding the Government (Appropriations)

    Here we are again – headed back from August recess without clarity on whether or when the government will be funded for FY2020. If you are a federal contractor, you probably want to pull your hair out. Here is where Congress is in the process so far. The House has passed two packages, or “minibus” bills, which include: minibus 1 (H.R. 2740) - Defense, Energy & Water, Labor-HHS-Education, State-Foreign Operations and minibus 2 (H.R. 3055) - Agriculture-FDA, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA, Transportation-HUD. Due to tensions around funding a border wall and legislator pay raises, the House has not passed the Legislative Branch and Homeland Security bills. So technically, with most of the bills passed, the House is not in terrible shape.


    However, the Senate is woefully behind – they have not started drafting any appropriations bills. If you remember the budget deal wrangling a few weeks ago, the Senate was waiting on this agreement to proceed. It was signed into law right before legislators returned home for August recess. Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) has indicated  that the Committee hopes to pass a three-bill spending package before the end of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but quick refresher on the appropriations process. There are two types of bills we will keep talking about: regular appropriation bills and continuing resolutions (CR). Continuing resolutions continue the same level of funding from the previous fiscal year into the next fiscal year – a headache for federal contractors. If 12 appropriations bills are not signed into law or a CR is not passed before the new fiscal year begins on October 1, then comes a government shutdown. Many Members of Congress have indicated that there is not an appetite for a government shutdown after the political mess the month-long partial shutdown caused into the beginning of this year. The usual pattern is that there is some type of CR from the beginning of the new fiscal year until around the holidays where the Members of Congress compromise before the clock strikes “Christmas.”


  2. Senate SBA Reauthorization

    Our Action Alert for August recess asked you to tell your Senators to urge the Senate Small Business Committee to move forward with the Small Business Administration (SBA) reauthorization bill. Thank you to many of you who did this – your voices are key to keeping up the pressure for this to happen. While I can speculate on when I think this will happen, I would rather say that it is important to keep an eye out on WIPP’s communications for the current status of the bill and any additional action we need you to take. This bill has too many of WIPP’s priorities included to let it fail.
  3. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

    It has been awhile since we mentioned the NDAA, but it is still something to watch for the rest of the year. The Senate passed its $750 billion bill (S. 1790) on June 27 and the House passed its $733 billion measure (H.R. 2500) on July 12. The bill is now in the conference phase where the House and Senate have to work out the differences before sending a compromised bill to the President for signature. There are a few sticking points that could complicate the upcoming negotiations, including border wall funding and immigration, military action against Iran, and nuclear warheads. There is no shortage of provisions important to the industrial base – small business contractors – in these bills. Stay tuned for the negotiation outcomes. 

  4. 2020 Elections

    Although there is an abundance of news coverage on next year’s Presidential election, I would be remiss if I did not at least mention what is up next. Currently the Democrats are heavily in debate-mode until the end of the year trying to dwindle down the number of potential nominees. Going into the September 12 debate, there are now 10 candidates who qualify, down from the initial 21 hopefuls. Just a little throwback, in the 2016 election there were 17 Republicans vying for the nomination and 6 Democrats. So, what are the next steps? The final Democratic debate before the primary elections begin will take place in December – the first primary will take place in February in New Hampshire. On the Republican side, former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh and former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld have come forward to challenge President Trump. While there are no formal debates for the Republicans, state rules dictate which of these candidates will appear on the primary ballots. 


    In past Presidential elections, WIPP has held sessions at both the Democrat and Republican National Conventions. For those of you who were members in 2016, this is when we debuted the 10 Things Candidates Need to Know about Women Entrepreneurs. Look for 2020 convention activity in the future. It is also important to note that 2020 is not just about the Presidency. The entire U.S. House of Representatives is up for reelection and a third of the U.S. Senate. No matter your party affiliation, make sure you are supporting women candidates that have thrown their hat into the ring.

While the coming months will be plenty busy, it is important to remember that your voice matters. Respond to the call to action. Meet with local Congressional staff. Engage with WIPP Wednesdays. Our work on behalf of women entrepreneurs around the country cannot be done in a vacuum – we need your voice to push policy changes important to WOSBs over the finish line. Join us on the September Policy Update webinar next week to learn more! 


Tags:  Advocacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Advocacy Update: Congress to Reject Section 809 Panel Recommendation

Posted By WIPP Advocacy Team, Friday, August 9, 2019
The Section 809 Panel is an independent commission created by Congress to modernize and streamline the Defense acquisition system. On April 1, 2019, WIPP signed on to a letter denouncing a recommendation from the Section 809 Panel that the Department of Defense should do away with small business set-asides and institute a 5% price preference instead. WIPP joined 25 other organizations and businesses in signing onto the letter, which was sent to top lawmakers on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.

As a result of these collaborative efforts, both Congress and the Department of Defense have indicated this recommendation will not be adopted. Thank you to all of the WIPP Members who added their voices and joined our efforts to preserve the small business programs that give WOSBs access to the federal marketplace.

Tags:  Action Alert  Advocacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Action Alert: 15 Reasons to Move SBA Reauthorization Forward in the Senate

Posted By WIPP Advocacy Team, Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Your legislators will be at home in their districts and states from August 5 to September 6 to meet with constituents, like you, to share updates on their efforts in Washington, D.C. They are eager to understand how these efforts are impacting you. Take advantage of this opportunity to continue WIPP’s advocacy work by engaging with your Members of Congress.  

WIPPActionAlert

WIPP has been working closely with the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to make necessary changes to programs benefiting entrepreneurs through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The Committee was scheduled to vote on a bill (Chairman’s draft) combining many important changes on July 24. 

 

Unfortunately, the Committee postponed action after failing to agree on proposed regulatory changes contained in the draft legislation.  The Chairman’s draft contains 15 changes that, if passed, will be game-changers for women business owners. 

 

Now is the time to contact your Senators and ask them to express support for moving forward the SBA Reauthorization legislation, including the fifteen below highlights championed/supported by WIPP. 

 

Download our letter to send to your Senators!

 

Contracting

 

  • Raises sole source thresholds to $8 million generally and at $10 million for manufacturing contracts. 
  • Allows sole source contracts for each option year instead of the current one-time award.
  • Amendment to eliminate the rule of two language for sole source contracts from the WOSB, HUBZone, and SDVOSB programs. 
  • Solidifies Small Business Runway Extension Act, allowing for 5-year average of gross receipts for revenue based NAICS codes and adds employee based NAICS codes to the calculation by allowing them to also use a 5-year average for the purposes of size determination.
  • Requires agencies to pay small business contractors for work performed within 15 days of performance. 
  • Requires the SBA to commission an independent external study to determine which industries are underrepresented by women.
  • Allows for equity investment in women and minority owned small businesses for federal contractors by women-owned/minority-owned equity 
  • Adds the SBA as a member of the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council.

 

Access to Capital

 

  • Eliminates a rule that prevents SBA from distributing more than 1/55th of its microloans in any one state. 
  • Requires much needed data on microloans, of which women are the largest consumers.

 

Regulatory

 

  • Expands the role of the SBA Office of Advocacy to weigh in on regulations affecting small businesses.
  • Requires a five-year review of regulations’ effect on small businesses. 
  • Allows the Office of Advocacy to write a letter questioning an agency’s certification that a proposed rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, and asking the agency to reconsider.

 

Cybersecurity

 

  • Mandates that the SBA Administrator establish a program to designate employees of lead SBDCs as certified to provide cyber strategy assistance to small businesses. 
  • Directs the SBA to develop a cybersecurity clearinghouse that consolidates federal government cybersecurity information specifically for small business assistance.

Tell your Senator to open doors for women business owners by urging them to express support to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to move forward with SBA Reauthorization legislation. 

Tags:  Advocacy  SBA  Senate Small Business 

Share |
Permalink
 

WIPP Champions Investment Breakthrough with Equity Bill

Posted By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate, Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 15, 2019

 

Championed by WIPP, The Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019 (S. 1981) allows women-owned federal contracting firms to take investment by women-owned equity firms and still meet the “51% unconditionally owned and controlled” standard set by SBA to participate in the WOSB/EDWOSB program. WIPP also brought the minority-owned firms along with us in this legislation, allowing for minority-owned firms to invest in minority-owned companies. We thought it was important and the right thing to do.

 

According to my friends, Amy Millman, who runs Springboard Enterprises, and WIPP Member Sue Malone, who funds small businesses through equity investments, the legislation introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) solves a problem that has been discussed for 20 years. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL), the first elected official to identify this problem, introduced a similar bill in the House, H.R. 3633.AnnSullivan

 

It should come as no surprise that the numbers are abysmal when it comes to equity investment in women. According to the press release issued by Senator Cantwell's office: “[The] percentage of women-owned businesses rose from 4.6% in 1972 to 40% in 2018, but they still receive less than 4% of venture funding.” Equity investment is a term that encompasses venture capital, private equity, and angel investment. Equity simply means ownership. In exchange for a percentage of ownership, the investor provides capital. An example of this investing at a very basic level is the TV show Shark Tank.

 

The flip side of the coin is that a major obstacle to investment in women-owned companies is that not enough women are investors. Only 8% of investing partners at the top 100 venture firms globally are women, according to an analysis by TechCrunch. Additionally, Fairview Capital’s 2018 Market Review of Woman and Minority-Owned Private Equity Firms shows significant growth in funds owned by women or minorities. The estimated 312 private equity firms have doubled since 2015 and represent roughly 10% of the market. 

 

Currently, if a woman-owned firm wanted to obtain an SBA certification to participate in the WOSB/EDWOSB procurement program, she basically has to swear off any investments. We know a number of cases where women who took equity investment had to shut down their government business, which is completely counterproductive to the SBA’s mission. 

 

This legislation is groundbreaking on both sides of the women-owned equation. It not only opens a path for investment in women-owned businesses who are government contractors, but also strengthens women investors, giving them a reason to ask for greater equity positions within their firms. It has been suggested to us that giving an incentive to women-owned equity firms to invest might change the dynamic in those firms. Women-owned companies looking for investment will be incentivized to ask for women-owned investment firms—we hope this will work favorably both ways. The same holds true for minority investments under this new legislation.

 

Any day now, a similar bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives. We fully anticipate this legislation will make it into law, doing away with a long-standing impediment to accessing capital. 


“We all know that access to capital is a barrier to entry and growth for women owned businesses,” stated WIPP’s President & CEO Candace Waterman upon introduction of this legislation. “This bill will not only assist these businesses, it will have a positive impact on the financial industry, as it will spur growth for women-owned equity/VC firms. We applaud Senators Cantwell and Rubio for leading this breakthrough on an issue that has been an impediment to women’s business growth.”

Tags:  Advocacy 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Knowing the Game Changers

Posted By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate, Wednesday, June 5, 2019

When I started representing WIPP in Washington some 17 years ago, Republican George W. Bush was in his second year as President and Senate Democrats held their majority by a very slim margin, while the House was controlled comfortably by Republicans. Women held 62 seats in the House and 13 seats in the Senate. No women chaired Congressional Committees and two women held Cabinet posts – Ann Veneman (Department of Agriculture) and Elaine Chao (Department of Transportation).

 

Things are a little different now— but maybe not as much as one might think. President Donald Trump is also a Republican, but this time the Senate is controlled by Republicans and Democrats control the House. But the game changer is women in power. As of January 2019, there are 106 women in the U.S. House of Representatives, including delegates, and 25 women in the Senate. Seven women head Congressional Committees—not to mention Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.

AnnSullivan

 

 Even though there were relatively few women in Congress, in those early days there were a few game changers—Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Senator Olympia Snowe. Senator Hutchison was the head of the Republican Policy Committee in the Senate and included us in her monthly meetings, even though we were the only women in the room. Senator Snowe supported women business owners from her position on the Small Business Committee highlighting our issues.

Today, women-owned companies in the United States make a much bigger impact than in 2002. Women owned 6.5 million nonfarm U.S. businesses in 2002, employing 7.1 million people and generating $939.5 billion in business revenues. The latest numbers, by contrast, show women own 10 million firms, generating $1.4 trillion in receipts and employing 8.4 million.

 

WIPP was founded because women business owners were not well understood and did not have “a seat at the table.” Routinely left out of important agency and Congressional meetings, women pressed for a bigger presence. Making a difference in public policy was, and is to this day, WIPP’s mission. WIPP’s first example of making a big difference was pushing for a federal program which set aside federal contracts to women-owned companies. The women’s procurement program rallied women all over the country who believed that resistance to implement this law was just plain wrong. The game changer was locking down Presidential candidate support for implementation and when President Barack Obama won – it was one of the first things he did. Our strategy of presenting our platform at both conventions attended by powerful women in both parties and our members worked.

 

With WIPP’s legislative and regulatory victories, our narrative started changing. We no longer asked for a “seat at the table.” We had it. Rather, we were seated at the head of the table. Congressional Members, staff and committees consult our organization and its members for views and testimony on every aspect of policies affecting entrepreneurs. SBA became our partner through ChallengeHER, educating women nationwide on working with the private sector. Lastly, we became an integral part of the small business community and worked diligently to build a cohesive coalition with all other parts of the community – another game changer.

Changing the game has been in WIPP’s DNA since its inception. In June, there are two additional opportunities to lead. First, the Senate will hold a hearing on contracting issues with an eye to making the small business programs more effective. WIPP will testify, addressing the disappointing performance of the WOSB/EDWOSB program and efforts to increase federal contracts to women-owned businesses.


The second opportunity is the 2019 WIPP Business Leadership Conference. Participation, just like those early days, requires everyone’s attendance. WIPP visits to Capitol Hill has never been more important. Our visibility helps all women entrepreneurs across the country, even though they may not even be aware of our efforts. Our attention to issues such as business growth requires action and this conference provides opportunity for engagement with Congressional Members and staff.

 

Unlike the early days, we are not begging for a seat at the table. But now that we have a seat, it is our responsibility to do something with that seat. Get involved. Add your voice.


Tags:  Advocacy  Congress  leadership  WIPP Annual Conference 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 2
1  |  2
more Calendar

10/22/2019
WEP Training - Leveraging LinkedIn to Boost Business Development

10/24/2019
ChallengeHER Washington, D.C. / DMV

10/29/2019
ChallengeHER San Diego / Oceanside, CA

11/5/2019
WBE Hall of Fame

11/7/2019
ChallengeHER Huntsville

Featured Members
Julie RothhouseCEO, SynaVoice, Oakton, VA — September 2019 WIPP Monthly Membership Spotlight
Pamela O'RourkeFounder & CEO, ICON, Houston, TX — October 2019 WIPP Monthly Membership Spotlight

Privacy Policy / Disclaimer    |    © WIPP  |    888-488-WIPP

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal