President Barack Obama is gearing up to address one of the fastest growing segments of business owners, Tuesday: women entrepreneurs. The speech at the 2010 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, DC coincides with the kick-off of October’s Women’s Small Business Month.
The address also comes just one day after the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the roll out of Women’s Contracting Rule, a new tool designed to direct more contract dollars to women owned small businesses.
“The final rule we accounted today focused on 83 industries in which we know there are too few contracting dollars and or too few contracts going to small women-owned firms,” said Karen Mills, Tuesday, in a blog post on WhiteHouse.gov. The White House expects the program to be fully operational in four months.
The SBA announced the new rule at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls with the event led by senior adviser to the president, Valerie Jarrett and Mills, and SBA administrator. The forum featured a panel on the state of women entrepreneurship as well as a series of breakout sessions addressing challenges women entrepreneurs face in today’s economy.
Women-owned businesses have grown exponentially throughout the decade with women owned accounting for 7.8 million nonfarm U.S. businesses in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s an increase of 20.1% from 2002. These firms also account for 6.4% of total employment and 4% of total receipts.