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WIPP Works in Washington: What President-Elect Trump Needs to Know about Women Business Owners

Wednesday, November 9, 2016  
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NOVEMBER 9, 2016

What President-Elect Trump Needs to Know about Women Business Owners

By: Ann Sullivan, WIPP’s Chief Advocate


As a nonpartisan organization working to assist women entrepreneurs by participating in national policy conversations, WIPP looks forward to working with the new Trump Administration.  As with any new Administration, our Washington DC team’s first initiative is to educate those who will lead the country for the next four years.   The platform that we developed during this election cycle continues to be relevant and is laid out in WIPP’s statement, which we are reprinting below.  


Statement by Jane Campbell, president of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and director of the National Development Council’s Washington, D.C. office


Women business owners are one of the fastest growing segments of our economy, and they need policies that will help them succeed, such as more access to capital, increased federal contracting opportunities and relief from high healthcare costs.


President-Elect Trump has a lot of work ahead of himself to help women entrepreneurs thrive.


Women business owners face inequality on many fronts. Only 4 percent of all commercial loan dollars go to women. They only receive 5 percent of all government contracts, and are shut out of some of the government’s most lucrative ones. And only 3 percent of all venture capital goes to companies run by women.


Despite these roadblocks, women-owned firms make up a third of all businesses in the country, generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues and employ 8.4 million people. More importantly, they're growing faster in number and employment than most other companies. The American Express 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that between 1997 and 2015, when the number of businesses in the country increased by 51 percent, the number of women-owned firms increased by 74 percent.


WIPP has identified 10 things President-Elect Trump needs to know about women business owners to help them thrive:

  • Women-owned firms make up a third of all businesses and are growing at four times the rate of men-owned firms and contribute $1.6 trillion to the American economy.
  • They don’t get the capital that they need. Only 4 percent of all commercial loan dollars go to women.
  • Healthcare costs continue to rise for employers. Congress and the Administration should fix Health Reimbursement Accounts, a viable tool for small businesses.
  • Despite significant barriers, women-owned firms compete for and win government contracts: Parity in federal procurement opportunities is essential for women-owned businesses.  
  •  Women businesses are a good investment, yet only 3 percent of all venture capital goes to companies run by women.
  •  Ninety-five percent of consumers live outside the U.S.; women’s growth must be fueled by access to international markets. Intellectual property protection is key to this.
  • The burden of regulation can be crushing.  We need a regulatory system that is inclusive, transparent and flexible.
  •  Moving away from light touch regulation— which has helped the broadband Internet and technology sector flourish— means less investment and less access to these technologies. These platforms help women business owners compete and succeed.
  • Women business owners are unique, and they're woefully underrepresented within the regulatory environment. Women business owners need a seat at the table within institutions such as the SEC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and others.
  • Women business owners seek certainty, simplicity and fairness from the American tax system. The outdated and non-competitive nature of the tax code impacts, and effectively restricts, the plans of women business owners and potential growth of their firms. 


Investing in women business owners is an investment in the American economy. We’re looking forward to working with the Trump Administration to help women business owners succeed. It’s time to get to work.

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