WASHINGTONWomen entrepreneurs are more prominent than ever before, but still face barriers to starting their own businesses, according to the latest annual report from the National Women's Business Council (NWBC).
Women-owned startups are more likely to see rapid success than new businesses owned by men, according to the report titled, Building Bridges: Leveraging Research and Relationships to Impact the Business Climate for Women.
However, men on average have six times the capital as women when starting businesses, the report said.
Also, women-owned businesses tend to have fewer employees than other firms, across all industries, it said.
Today, women business owners are the fastest-growing segment of the economy, said NWBC Chair Carla Harris. Our hope is to sustain this momentum and build bridges between influencers, institutions, and entrepreneurs so that we can positively impact the business climate for women.
The NWBC report makes several recommendations for the White House, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration to implement. These include:
Ideas to encourage women to enter STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) industries;
Increased access to affordable child care for self-employed women;
Increased opportunities for women business owners to align themselves with government and corporate procurement officials; and
Implementation of the sole source authority for the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, which was part of the Defense Department's fiscal year 2015 authorization package and awaits implementation at the SBA.
The NWBC is a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an advisory body to the White House, Congress and the SBA. Its chair is appointed by the President.
The NWBC report is available for download via its website, www.nwbc.gov.