President-elect Trump has a lot of work ahead of him to help women entrepreneurs thrive. They need policies that will help them succeed, such as more access to capital, increased federal contracting opportunities, and relief from high healthcare costs, according to Jane Campbell, president of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and director of the National Development Council’s Washington, D.C. office.
A Trump Regime
According to Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), Trump’s purported agenda includes “lower taxes and simplifying the tax code, relieving small businesses of excessive regulation and red tape, competitive solutions for more affordable health insurance, bringing down barriers to capital access and formation, leveraging energy resources and America’s energy renaissance more fully, and smarter trade agreements.” He also promised new tax incentives for inner cities, new micro-loans for African Americans to start companies and hire workers, and a plan to reinvest money from suspended refugee programs in inner cities.
Groups are hopeful that a Trump administration will invest in women business owners. Studies show that women business owners face inequality on many fronts. Only 4% of all commercial loan dollars go to women. They only receive 5% of all government contracts, and they are shut out of some of the government’s most lucrative ones. Also, only 3% of all venture capital goes to women-led companies. Yet, women-owned firms make up a third of all businesses in the country, generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenue, and employ 8.4 million people. The number of firms owned by black women totals 1.3 million, employing 297,000 workers and generating more than $52 billion in revenue. Yet, less than 1% of all venture capital goes to black female founders.
6 Things President-Elect Trump Needs to Know
WIPP identified key issues Trump needs to know about women business owners to help them thrive. Among them:
- Healthcare costs continue to rise for employers. Congress and the administration should fix Health Reimbursement Accounts, a viable tool for small businesses.
- Parity in federal procurement opportunities is essential for women-owned businesses. Despite significant barriers, women-owned firms compete for and win government contracts.
- Women’s growth must be fueled by access to international markets given that 95% of consumers live outside the U.S.
- Light touch regulation has helped the broadband Internet and technology sector flourish. Moving away from these technologies means less investment and less access to platforms women business owners need to compete and succeed.
- Women business owners are underrepresented within the regulatory environment. Women business owners need a seat at the table at the SEC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other institutions.
- Women business owners seek certainty, simplicity, and fairness from the American tax system. WIPP points to an outdated and non-competitive nature of the tax code that impacts and effectively restricts the plans of women business owners and the potential growth of their firms.