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SBA announces women's business initiatives.


The Small Business Administration has announced a new program of nine initiatives designed to help increase the opportunities for women to own small businesses. Introducing the program, Susan Engeleiter, SBA administrator and chairperson of the National Women's Business Council, said, "Women are starting new business ventures at a rate 1.5 times faster than men, yet some businesswomen still report difficulty in obtaining credit and federal contracts. These initiatives will strengthen SBA efforts in these areas."

The initiatives include

1. Improved access to credit. The SBA will strive to increase the number of women applying for SBA-guaranteed business loans by 5% per year. It will sponsor 10 women's credit conferences across the country each year and will increase women's awareness of the small business investment company (SBIC) program.

2. More effective implementation of the SBA small loan program. This program will give lenders special incentives to make loans of $50,000 or less. It is expected to be particularly advantageous to women-owned service businesses, which typically need this type of business loan.

3. Additional federal prime contract awards to women-owned small businesses. The SBA hopes to accomplish this through (a) its set-aside program, which restricts certain contract opportunities to small businesses, (b) counseling and (c) expanding the solicitation lists of government contracting officers to include more women-owned businesses.

4. Additional subcontracting awards to women-owned businesses. The SBA will offer counseling on subcontracting and procurement opportunities to at least 56 women-owned businesses each month.

5. Expanded mentor training for women business owners. The women's network for entrepreneurial training (WNET) currently operates in only 28 states. The SBA will extend this mentor training program for fledgling women business owners to all 50 states.

6. Increased representation for women on the SBA's national and regional advisory councils. The representation of women will reflect the number of women-owned businesses in each of the SBA's 10 regions and 68 districts across the country.

7. Additional appointments of women to key SBA management and administrative posts.

8. Improved demographic information about women-owned businesses. The data can be used to guide federal and state policies that have an effect on women business owners.

9. Added support for the National Women's Business Council, which reports annually to the president and Congress on key issues concerning women-owned businesses.
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:May 1, 1990
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