According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) a small business is an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. The Census Bureau reports that in 2004, small firms with fewer than 500 workers employed 58.6 million and large firms employed 56.5 million. Firms with fewer than 20 employees employed 21.2 million, and firms with 100 employees, 41.8 million. Although small firms create 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs, their share of employment remains steady since some firms grow into large firms as they create new jobs. There is no doubt that in the United States, small business is a significant variable in our economic stability.
Women entrepreneurs are an important component of small business. Women increasingly develop businesses that create jobs, innovative products, and competitive industries. Much of the growth in the country's entrepreneurial activity is fueled by women-owned firms. For the past two decades, women owned firms grew two times faster than the national average. Women own nearly one-third of all businesses in the United States which total about $10 million firms. These women entrepreneurs take in about $1 trillion in gross receipts and employ 13 million people.
Despite significant success, there is still a wealth of untapped women entrepreneurs, especially in low-income areas. In order to effectively initiate and expand enterprises, women need information and technical assistance to develop successful business plans and production processes.
Women entrepreneurs continue to face obstacles starting, maintaining and growing small businesses. These difficulties are exacerbated in areas inner cities due to lack of readily available networks that can provide advice on developing business models, performing market research, understanding different types of business structures, and finding needed capital.
That is why I am a cosponsor of the Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act (H.R. 1873), which increases the government-wide procurement goal for small disadvantaged businesses and women-owned businesses from 5% to 8%.
* Small Business Bills I have co-sponsored: HR 2366 - SBA Veterans' Program Act of 2007 (Amends the Small Business Act to direct the Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development to: (1) increase veteran outreach by ensuring that Veteran Business Outreach Centers regularly participate, on a nationwide basis, in the workshops of the Transition Assistance Program of the Department of Labor; and (2) establish a Women Veterans Business Training Resource Program.)
* HR 2992 - SBA Trade Programs Act of 2007 (improves trade programs in the Small Business Act)
* HR 3020 - Microloan Amendments and Modernization Act (improves the Microloan program in the Small Business Act)