Women Discuss Strategies to Grow Their Businesses

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VP Kamala HarrisThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) held its 2022 Women’s Business Summit this week. The summit was a two-day event that consisted of virtual panels, workshops and fireside chats. The event was held in co-sponsorship with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.

Remarks were made by United States Vice President Kamala Harris, along with other notable panelists. Harris stated, “Women small business owners power the economy of our nation.”

“Women small business owners face many unique challenges, many lack access to paid leave, affordable child care and the capital to grow,” Harris made clear.

Harris noted, “Through SBA we have opened women business centers in every state of our country, 141 in total.” These centers connect women business owners with the tools and resources to succeed. Kamala later declared that the fight to pass legislation for women for affordable child care and paid leave will continue.

During the Innovation and Investment panel, Marianne Markowitz, CEO of First Women’s Bank, discussed how there is a gender gap in the lending market.

“We launched last year as the only women-founded, women-owned bank in the country that’s focused on closing the gender lending gap at a national level,” said Markowitz.

SBA LoansWomen only receive 2% of all the investments in America. Markowitz discussed that women are being introduced to the wrong loans and capital. Many women are relying on personal credit and sometimes lean on equity at the wrong stage of their business. Markowitz provides women with the proper education to make the right choice, fully understand and be prepared for when they apply for loans.

Mekaelia Davis, Director of Inclusive Economies, Surdna Foundation, explained how the consolidation of the banking industry has removed a great amount of financial institutions. This has had a negative impact on relationships with financial partners, leading to more predatory actions online taking the place of financial institutions.

“New York City Small Business Founder Collective estimated there is nearly annually $45 billion of unmet capital, most demand coming from Bronx, Eastern Brooklyn, Queens,” according to Davis.

Susan Au Allen, CEO and National President of the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce explained that even if women are educated they are not aware of all of the services that the SBA offers.

“For the Asian American community and the women community it is a structural problem, a systemic structural obstacle that we have faced,” Allen asserted.

The Associate Administrator of SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, Bailey DeVries, described what they have done for small business, “We have provided over $100 billion worth of small business through the SBIC program and currently manage over $34 billion worth of assets through those partnerships.”

The summit provided women with an opportunity to become further educated on how to succeed in their small businesses.

Last modified: March 31, 2022
Larissa Brulato writes for deBanked. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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