The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National Women’s Business Council have joined forces in an effort to increase the flow of capital by and into small businesses run by women. The overriding goal is to encourage greater participation by women on the financial and investing side of high-growth entrepreneurship.
“Developing a deeper pool of women investors and financiers is key toward expanding the marketplace of women-owned businesses,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “These roundtables, which will continue through 2015, are the first big steps we need to take together to make it possible for more women to invest in each other’s companies, while exponentially increasing the growth potential of these businesses. This initiative complements our goals of providing counseling, capital and contracting to small businesses.”
“Today’s roundtable focused on the pipeline to women to careers in finance. An intimate conversation was facilitated between successful women in finance and academics. We have a responsibility to support young women in the pipeline – earlier and strategically. Today, we heard about the importance of thoughtful management, mentorship, and sharing women’s stories. It was clear that scholarships, sponsorship, scorecards, and also entrepreneurship and leadership institutes are important, and you can trust that the Council will be taking these suggestions into consideration,” said Carla Harris, Chair of the NWBC and Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Senior Client Advisor, Managing Director.
The SBA and the NWBC will hold a series of roundtable discussions nationwide to develop policy recommendations that will become action items to be pursued by the SBA. Today, the first in the series of meetings was held at Morgan Stanley in New York City. Moderated by NWBC Chair Carla Harris and Javier Saade, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, the session included questions about women entering and advancing in finance careers, with a focus on investing.
During the next few months, the working groups of about 20 will meet with investor and fund managers to discuss ways to increase the ranks of women investors while developing strategies to encourage investment in companies run by women. The series will culminate with unveiling the policy recommendations at the Private Equity Women Investor Network Meeting, tentatively scheduled for May 2015.
The SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation houses the Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs along with SBA’s innovations initiatives. For more information specifically on the SBIC program, visit www.sba.gov/inv.
The National Women’s Business Council is a non-partisan federal advisory council serving as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the SBA on issues of importance to women business owners. For more information, visit www.NWBC.gov.