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WIPP is a national nonpartisan public policy organization advocating on behalf of its coalition of 4.7 million business women including 75 business organizations. WIPP identifies important trends and opportunities and provides a collaborative model for the public and private sectors to increase the economic power of women-owned businesses.

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According to Politico several dozen House Democrats are pushing the FCC to maximize participation in the coming spectrum incentive auctions.  Politico reported that recently that almost 80 lawmakers signed onto a letter sent to Chairman Tom Wheeler directing regulators to do what they can to boost broadcaster participation and incentivize wireless industry bidding. "In fact, inviting as many bidders as possible to compete in an open and fair auction on equal terms will allow for the full market price for spectrum to be realized and, in turn, lead to higher compensation to incent greater broadcaster participation resulting in more spectrum for the auction," the letter reads: http://bit.ly/1jEyyBt. 

FCC Chairman Wheeler commented about possible restrictions on the auctions:  "All who want to participate in the auction will be able to bid. In order to assure coverage and competition in rural America it may be necessary to assure no one can monopolize the bidding." This National Journal article does a good job of summarizing the possible restrictions the FCC is thinking.

One might wonder why is this important.  The spectrum auctions have the potential to impact the country's ability to meet exploding consumer demand for new and more robust mobile broadband technology by providing the necessary spectrum.  A recent Cisco survey indicated that American demand for mobile broadband will increase by eight-fold over the next five years.  The technology and wireless industries' ability to innovate and invest to meet this increasing demand will depend on the availability of spectrum to support new technologies.  In its Economic Blueprint, WIPP's telecommunications principle calls upon the FCC to continue its programs to expand broadband access.   WIPP members and women entrepreneurs as well depend heavily on mobile broadband for the growth of their businesses. 

 

The National Women's Business Council (NWBC) initiated research to understand the reasons behind the general lag of women-owned business growth in terms of business size and receipts, as compared to firms owned by men.  Other studies have indicated that, on the whole, women and men approach entrepreneurship differently.  In order to assist women, and the nation, to advance economically, the NWBC looked to the research to provide insights on key considerations when reaching out to women entrepreneurs to encourage maximum growth of their businesses.  The research centered on questions about three key attitudinal areas associated with business ownership and growth: risk tolerancemotivations, and expectations.  The research team also listened for instances where culture could be influencing behaviors or experience. Click here to read the full report:  Factors Influencing the Growth of Women-Owned Businesses

 

NWBC believes that new policy and programming for women business owners should help women to see how to remain true to their motivations for business ownership while accomplishing business expansion and wealth creation.  This study reveals a number of considerations, which mirror much of WIPP's educational programming for women entrepreneurs.

·         Stress the need to focus as much on expansion as on startup and stabilization.

·         Provide training on organizational development, human resources, and hiring, so that women find the right people as advisors or employees, and increase their confidence in making smart decisions about expanding their workforce and delegating responsibilities.

·         Acknowledge the multiple roles that women business owners play (work, home, community) and their desire to perform well in their roles. 

The Office of Women's Business Ownership is pleased to announce "Office Hours" to educate the public and the SBA's resource partners on the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program. The Office Hours will begin on Thursday, March 20th and will continue through Thursday, May 1st.  

The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program presents an opportunity for firms to increase their presence in the federal marketplace. The federal government is the biggest buyer in the world and is a must-have customer for women-owned companies. 

Office hours will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 2pm to 3pm EST. To view the slide presentation, log on to: https//www.connectmeeting.att.com and enter the call-in number for the Meeting Number, and the access code for the Code.The call-in number is 888-858-2144, and the access code is 5117913.


Women's Initiative is a not-for-profit agency operating primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its mission is to build the entrepreneurial capacity of women to overcome economic and social barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. Women's Initiative has proven that women are able to create jobs for themselves and others, access the mainstream economy, and increase their economic self-sufficiency when they are given business planning and financing support. Since 1988,  by targeting low-income women, focusing on the needs of traditionally underserved groups including minorities, immigrants, and welfare recipients, Women's Initiative has brought new resources into local communities in a unique model.  WIPP is pleased to share a story that demonstrates microenterprise targeted at women entrepreneurs does have a positive impact on local economies.

 

Recently Women's Initiative examined the impact of its program on the local economy through increased sales, income, jobs and sales tax.  Among the key findings were the following:

·         For every dollar invested in the Women's Initiative program, $30 was returned to the local economy within 18 months after training.

·         Five years after training the return on investment reached $108 for every dollar invested in the program.

·         Five years after training, each client had an average total cumulative impact of $531,811 on the local economy.

·         26% of the self-employed clients provided local employment opportunities through their businesses.

·         In 2012 alone, Women's Initiative program participants led to 2.313 local jobs being created for others. 

Investing in women's entrepreneurship is good for business, and essential for economic growth. As gender equality has become a strategic priority for the World Bank Group (WBG) it realized the importance of establishing a baseline of data for access to funding. The World Bank recognized that it did not have a consolidated view across its portfolio of how many women-owned SMEs it was reaching. A new report, "Women-Owned SME's A Business Opportunity for Financial Institutions", prepared by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has attracted attention world-wide.  WIPP, its Coalition Partners, and members, are committed to the principal of access to capital for women entrepreneurs and welcome this report and its findings.

In 2011 - 2012, IFC conducted the "SME and Women-Owned SME Baseline Survey" to determine the share of female owned SMEs financed by IFC's client banks worldwide, to establish a baseline, and to learn more about the operational and financial characteristics of these firms. Within the scope of this project, a global and regional market assessment and the credit gap for formally registered women-owned SMEs was reviewed. 

IFC is in a crucial, and in many ways unique, position to engage client banks globally to improve funding to women-owned SMEs. This new report offers recommendations to support the strategic focus across the WBG.  This report demonstrates that increasing women-owned SMEs' access to finance is not only good for women, but a growing and profitable opportunity for financial institution.


Among the key findings are the following:

·         Most of the financial and non-financial barriers affecting women-owned SME's occur at the start-up stage of the business life cycle.

·         Among significant barriers for women are the social and cultural norms underlying gender biases, tendency for women-owned small businesses to be smaller in size, and limited access to business education opportunities and networks.

 

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