Recently in the WIPP Category
11:57 AM March 28, 2014
Women Impacting Public Policy joined a recent White House Business Council Meeting to share how various policies are affecting women business owners across the country. The meeting included several White House staff along with top officials from the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration.
At the meeting, WIPP stressed the importance of capital access as the critical issue for women business owners looking to start and grow their companies, and highlighted WIPP's 2013 Annual Survey finding that it takes an average of two attempts for women business owners to secure funding.
Commerce Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Mark Doms, agreed that the economy would be best served by giving business owners more access to capital. The Commerce Department's new strategic plan, America is Open for Business, reflects that priority by stressing innovation and investment.
SBA Associate Administrator for Capital Access Ann Marie Mehlum concurred, saying her office will continue to identify opportunities to expand access while strengthening SBA's already available capital access programs. She went on to highlight the 7(a) loan program, which supported more than $15 billion in small business loans in FY13.
The meeting closed with a discussion of how trade can be used to fuel growth for businesses of all sizes. The Administration agreed there is a need for streamlining and simplification in exporting as well as engaging the women's business community on the value of selling goods and services abroad. Both of those priorities are at the front of WIPP's ExportNOW program that encourages women entrepreneurs to grow beyond our borders.
These meetings are open dialogues with policymakers, giving WIPP's advocacy team the opportunity to share ideas and concerns raised by WIPP's members.
11:35 AM March 17, 2014
Broadband Plan Anniversary: Some Goals Met but More Work Needed
Yesterday, March 16, marked the fourth anniversary of the National Broadband Plan. When it was released four years ago, this plan was lauded as the FCC's roadmap to universal broadband access, intended to expand access and bring affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity to Americans in every corner of the country. This connectivity is essential for us all, and in particular for women and women-owned businesses - without it, full participation in our global economy and modern life is virtually impossible.
Here at WIPP, we've long advocated for increased access to affordable broadband service because of the critical role Internet-based networks fulfills for women, as well as for our businesses and loved ones. Access to fast, modern high-speed broadband connectivity means access to professional opportunities, distance learning classes, telework jobs, civic engagement, and even health care. It delivers growth opportunities to businesses, helping those businesses run more efficiently and competitively in the global marketplace. Broadband connectivity also delivers much greater possibilities for higher education, job training, and professional networking.
In the plan, the FCC identified broadband as "the great infrastructure challenge of the 21st century," and set important goals designed to meet that challenge, many of which line up with our own tech principles. In only four years, the private sector and the FCC have already made incredible progress toward meeting those goals, and we applaud those efforts. Additionally, the upcoming spectrum incentive auction is a chance to make underused spectrum available to wireless carriers, thereby easing the strain on mobile networks while also funding FirstNet (a nationwide public safety broadband network for first responders) with auction proceeds.
The National Broadband Plan also recognized the vital role that private investment plays in the work to expand access and enhance broadband service. The plan explained that the old-fashioned "Plain Old Telephone System" network infrastructure was incapable of meeting future needs, and that maintaining that obsolete network required carriers to spend money on lines that hardly anyone relied on anymore. Meanwhile, consumer demand and continued tech innovation have driven private investment into modern, lightning-fast broadband network infrastructure. Investment in our country's broadband infrastructure has been substantial: Estimates report that this investment totaled $1.2 trillion between 1996 and 2011. And last year, a White House report said since 2009, private sector investment into these networks came in at over $250 billion. In fact, the top two wireless carriers last year led all companies in all sectors in investing in our nation's future.
Four years ago, the FCC presented a path that leads to expanded access, and those efforts are starting to pay off. But achieving truly universal access to broadband will not be possible without significant additional private investment. In order to achieve that goal, smart telecom regulations must be put in place; companies must have regulatory certainty. Rules that both encourage investment into next-generation networks and that accelerate the movement forward to an all-broadband future will enable continued innovation, economic growth, and universal access for all Americans. We encourage the FCC to study and learn the realities of today's marketplace, and ensure that any policies and regulations in the future accurately reflect today's dynamic and competitive ecosystem.
11:54 AM January 2, 2014
Without the research and data uncovered by the Center for Women's Business Research (CWBR) formally the National Foundation of Women's Business Research, the women's business owner community would not have achieved the economic and policy gains it has achieved. Patti Greene, Babson professor, former Chair of CWBR, and a member of the WIPP Advisory Board reports they are going global and moving to Babson College's Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL). We are so pleased to see the transition to Babson and the plans for researchers to work with both the Diana Project, which focuses on the difficulty women-owned business face raising equity funding, and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which publishes an annual report on women entrepreneurs worldwide. Those two research efforts are also housed at Babson and undoubtedly the collaboration will produce robust research and the data needed to drive new policy initiatives. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-19/moving-beyond-the-same-questions-on-women-entrepreneurs
5:07 PM December 12, 2013
Even in the face of unnecessary headwinds created by things like a government shutdown or the still-present threat of a debt-limit default in February (despite the respite offered by the budget compromise), the economic recovery witnessed in recent years is real and encouraging. And near the center of this recovery has been the emergence of a natural gas boom the likes of which few could have predicted, but the breadth of this impact could be greater with policies in place like those that enable American producers to access global markets.
11:12 AM July 23, 2013
By: Mitchell Schermer