How NWBC is Helping Women Gain Access to Capital

Female EntrepreneursGeneration W friend and speaker Carla Harris was recently quoted in a an article for Forbes.com on how the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is helping more women-owned businesses gain access to funding.   “As a Council, we will be doing outreach to the funding community, in particular, to advocate for more direct outreach to women from traditional sources of funding,” said Harris in the article.  “We will also be hosting a handful of briefings in September and October to illuminate the research findings, to discuss new emerging, alternative sources of capital and to define a call to action based on the recommendations we’ve outlined.”

This call to action comes on the heels of American Express Open’s study, The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.  According to the study, women are starting 1,200 companies each day, but most will not grow to their full potential due to a lack of access to capital.  From the article:

Access to capital is crucial to start-up and growing companies. Undercapitalized companies have lower sales, lower profits and generate fewer jobs.

Two recent reports, Access to Capital by High Growth Women-Owned Businesses, conducted on behalf of the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) and 21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship, conducted on behalf of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, confirm the underfunding of women entrepreneurs and the need to support women so they can reach their potential.

Of course, not all women want to start big businesses. That’s fine. It’s a valid choice. But, interestingly, the difference in capitalization between men and women grows wider when a woman wants to grow her business big. High-growth, women-owned businesses started with less than half as much money as their male counterparts, according to the NWBC’s report. The difference was even more acute among companies raising equity financing — these companies aspire to be huge. Women received 2% of total funding from outside equity compared to 18% for men.

The article encourages us all to become part of the solution:  “Whether you’re a women entrepreneur in need of money, training or connections, or a provider of money, training or influence, how will you become a part of this movement?”

Click here to read the entire Forbes.com article.

image courtesy of flickr/BY CC 2.0