Women's History Month Celebrates Women's Contributions to Nation's Economy – Sterling Journal-Advocate

This year we observe the 37th anniversary of Women's History Month, a celebration of women's contributions to history, culture, society and business. Women are driving America's economic recovery from the pandemic, creating 50 percent of all new businesses by 2020. By 2023, women started more than 1,200 new businesses every day, with women experiencing the highest business growth rates. American history. This post-pandemic boom was fueled by policies that encouraged new business growth and expansion. President Biden's investment in America reopened our nation's economy, brought back Made in America manufacturing, and restored America's global competitiveness.

A proud first-generation Asian-American whose mother runs a small medical practice in Iowa, I learned from her experiences that running a successful business helps the community by providing needed services and good-paying jobs. During Women's History Month and throughout the year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides the training, capital and contracts that women need to benefit from the President's pro-business agenda.

The president's small business boom has transformed the nation's economy and revitalized America's main streets in both urban and rural communities. More than 16.5 million new business applications have been filed in the last three years – with 5.5 million registered in 2023 alone. Under President Biden, America is experiencing the first, second and third strongest years of business growth in history. In the period from 2019 to 2023, the growth rate of women-owned businesses is 94 percent higher than that of their male counterparts, and women now account for 39 percent of all businesses. Even more transformative, women are now disrupting traditionally male-dominated industries such as construction, technology and manufacturing.

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The latest SBA data shows that women make up 47.3 percent of the workforce and 43.2 percent of businesses. More than 12 million women-owned businesses generate $1.5 trillion in revenue nationwide, with $387 billion coming from minority-owned businesses. The number of women-owned businesses is growing at 1.5 times the national average, and many of those businesses are started by people of color and veterans.

President Biden's investment in America has made access to capital a priority. In fiscal year 2023, SBA supported more than 13,000 business loans worth $5 billion through its signature 504 and 7(a) loan guarantee programs for women entrepreneurs. After a gradual decline between 2017 and 2020, the number of SBA-backed loans to women is increasing, with a 70 percent increase in lending since 2020. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman has made addressing systemic gaps in access to capital one of her priorities. Smaller, underserved businesses, especially those owned by women, minorities, veterans, and people in rural communities.

SBA has developed an extensive support network of resource partners that provide a wide range of services to women entrepreneurs. Our network of Women's Business Centers (WBC) provides training, coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs in local communities across the country. Over the years, WBCs have supported more than 150,000 women entrepreneurs, generating $1.7 billion in revenue and creating 17,000 new jobs. My region has women's business centers in Denver; Laramie, Wyoming; Salt Lake City/Cedar City, Utah; Bismarck, North Dakota; Sioux Falls/Spearfish, South Dakota; and Bozeman/Missoula, Montana.

Another source of assistance is the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracts Program (WOSB Program), which helps provide a level playing field for female business owners competing for federal contracts. The federal government restricts competition for certain contracts to businesses participating in the WOSB program.

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During Women's History Month, it's important to recognize the growing role of women in our local, state and national economies. For more information about SBA's programs and services, visit www.sba.gov and follow us on Twitter @SBARockymtn.

Aikta Marcoulier serves as SBA's Region VIII Administrator in Denver. He oversees the agency's programs and services in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

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