- U.S. Small Business Administration announces that it will elevate its Office of Women’s Business Ownership to report directly to the SBA administrator
- Move aims to strengthen the SBA’s support for women-owned businesses, which have grown substantially in recent decades
- Office coordinates programs and Women’s Business Centers that support women entrepreneurs
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
The U.S. Small Business Administration will elevate its Office of Women’s Business Ownership so that it reports directly to SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the agency announced. The move intends to bolster support for women-owned businesses, which have grown substantially in recent decades.
Guzman said the office is currently an organizational component of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development. The reorganization is currently in its planning stages and not expected to be completed until next year. Natalie Madeira Cofield, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, will begin reporting to Guzman immediately.
“While there has been historic progress in women’s entrepreneurship, significant disparities still persist, impacting women entrepreneurs’ access to resources and opportunity, especially in the face of the economic challenges posed by COVID,” says Guzman. “That is why I am proud to advance the mission of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership and reaffirm our commitment to America’s women-owned small businesses.”
- The Office of Women’s Business Ownership coordinates programs for women entrepreneurs including business training, counseling, federal contracts, and access to credit and capital
- The office also oversees a network of Women’s Business Centers, which have grown to 140 nationwide and offer services like counseling, training, and technical assistance
- Guzman says the number of women-owned businesses has grown from slightly over 400,000 in 1972 to more than 12 million today
- The SBA Office of Advocacy also found a strong increase in employer firms owned by minority women, which grew by 14 percent between 2014 and 2016 compared to a 6 percent boost in women-owned employer businesses and 3 percent increase in employer firms owned by men
- The reorganization comes shortly after the White House released its National Strategy on Equity and Equality, outlining objectives and priorities for obtaining equity for women