National Women’s Business Council

Signatory: Esther Morales, Executive Director

Joined: February 2016

ContactDolores Rowen, Research Manager

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The National Women’s Business Council was established by H.R. 5050 — as a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress and the White House on issues of impact and importance to women business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs.  It is the Council’s job to equip the nation’s decision makers, public and private, with policy recommendations that will impact and improve the business climate for women in our country.  We do this by producing best-in-class research on the most relevant issues facing current and aspiring women business owners and leaders. Our hope is to use compelling and rigorous research to incite action and build bridges to support women’s entrepreneurial ambitions and endeavors.  

FY2016 Research Portfolio:

In 2015, the National Women’s Business Council gained early access to the preliminary results of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), the most accurate and comprehensive set of data available on the state of business ownership in America.When revised numbers were released in March, 2016, our new analysis highlighted that some of the greatest great increases in new business ownership occurred among women of color.  Statistics show growth of over 35 percent for women-owned businesses that are American Indian/Alaskan Native (36%), Asian (43%), Black (67%), Hispanic (86%), and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (67%).

To understand the story behind the numbers, the Council focusedthis year’s research portfolio  on looking more deeply at the diversity of the experiences of these entrepreneurs. In March,we released 7 fact sheets highlighting the most interesting new data at the intersection of withrace and ethnicity. Visitors to the website,, can download and print these PDF documents:

o   American Indian and Alaskan Native Women-Owned Businesses

o   Asian Women-Owned Businesses

o   Black Women-Owned Businesses

o   Hispanic Women-Owned Businesses

o   Hispanic Owned Businesses: A Deeper Look

o   Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Women-Owned Businesses

o   White (Non-Minority) Women-Owned Businesses

Black Women Entrepreneurs Research:

Black women’s business ownership has seen a sharp rise in recent years – nearly 67% since 2007, making them one of the fastest growing groups of business owners in the country and one of the only groups of women business owners to surpass the number of male business owners within their specific racial/ethnic group. Yet, despite the prolific advent of new businesses, Black women business owners continue to have average receipts of $27,753. This past year, we commissioned and released a report on Black Women Entrepreneurs:  Past and Present Conditions of Black Women’s Business Ownership, prepared for NWBC and the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy by Walker’s Legacy, a global women-in-business collective.  This report details the highlights of conversations among black women business owners who participated in three research events in Houston, New York and Washington, DC. The report is one of a series of planned NWBC studies into subpopulations of female business owners, which will be released over the coming year.

Latina Women Entrepreneurs Research:

We are thrilled that we have recently commissioned research on Latina Women-Owned Businesses as part of our FY2016 research portfolio. Latinas are emerging as a dynamic force among women entrepreneurs in the United States, yet continue to have low receipts and employment levels ($78.7 billion and 470,760, respectively). Due to their growing impact, it is imperative to develop a deeper understanding of Latina-owned businesses in the United States, and the climate in which these women business owners operate.

This research has been contracted by Ventureneer in collaboration with CoreWoman.  The researchers have already begun their environmental scan and preliminary data analysis. They are hard at work in determining the ecosystem of these amazing entrepreneurs, more specifically, in determining best-in class programs and policies that can contribute their success. This preliminary scan will be completed in early 2017.

“Women owned businesses, especially women owned businesses of color, are growing at significant rates in our country.  The National Women’s Business Council is committed to exploring and understanding the particular experiences of diverse women business owners all across the United States.  Turning research findings into action-oriented policy recommendations, we work with Congress, the White House and the Small Business Administration to better support women entrepreneurs from all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds achieve their business goals and give back to our communities. Today, we are honored to advance that mission through this partnership with the Collaborative to Advance Equity Through Research.”

Carla Harris, Chair of the National Women’s Business Council and Vice Chairman of Global Wealth