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WIPP President's Column - May 2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018  
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WIPP President's Column - May 2018

By Candace Waterman

I have spent over 30 years in the business world, as a corporate executive, a business owner and almost 13 years with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) helping women-owned firms get access to growth opportunities through corporate and government procurement. 

For over a decade, I have worked with WIPP as a one of our partners. Thus, with the announcement of the WIPP and WBENC Strategic Partnership, the time was right for a new challenge that would harness my expertise, my network of wonderful WBENC partners and constituents, and my passion for leveling the playing field for women in business.  I am honored, and humbled to be stepping into the role of WIPP President this month. 

Some people say timing is everything, but I say timing is the only thing!

And what a future this organization has before it.  The WIPP and WBENC Strategic Partnership is a win, win, win – a win for WBENC, a win for WIPP, and a win for women business owners across our nation.  WIPP’s public policy efforts and federal procurement education programs are to become an important benefit that WBENC’s 14 Regional Partner Organizations will offer to WBEs certified in their regions.  WBENC will be adding the voices of its over 14,000 certified woman-owned businesses to WIPP’s national advocacy work in Washington, ensuring that women business owners will continue to be a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill.

WIPP has been doing amazing work for decades, yet many women business owners don’t realize the depth and breadth of WIPP’s impact on policy and the entrepreneurship ecosystem.  My first goal as WIPP President will be to raise the brand awareness for WIPP. 

We’ll be creating an “Each One, Reach One” campaign, in which every person that has been engaged with WIPP will have the tools to become an ambassador for this great organization by reaching out to at least one women business owner and bringing them into the WIPP community.  With a refreshed focus and new partnerships, we will work to improve the visibility of this great organization and all its accomplishments through our expanded network of women business owners.  I am committed to make WIPP a household name, ensuring that current or prospective women entrepreneurs know that WIPP is tirelessly working to create an economic and policy climate they need to succeed.

Second, I plan to work with our top-notch policy team to leverage the economic impact of women-owned firms in this country to expand our policy reach.  We will not only continue to take the voice of the Boardroom to the Halls of Congress, but with new partnerships that provide a regional reach and WIPP’s stellar reputation in the policy arena, we will get women business owners engaged in grassroots advocacy in their communities as well. 

There are so many policy challenges and opportunities before us on issues like procurement, infrastructure, implementation of tax reform, access to capital, and workforce development.  In my role as WIPP’s President, I will dedicate my full resolve to ensuring that women’s entrepreneurship continues an upward trajectory and business owners, like you, have continued success and growth. 

Thank you again for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting you all!

 


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