Hey AML People, I just wanted to share with you my recent live appearance on Fox40 television to discuss the rise of women in business and represent the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) for our upcoming Outstanding Women Leader Awards (OWL Awards). I am actually the event chair for the awards. The event takes place in October and “best believe” it is going to be all that and more!
A quick history on NAWBO. Up until 1988, in the United Stated of America, a woman needed a male relative to cosign on a loan. My organization NAWBO changed that ridiculous gender discriminatory trajectory we were on and literally opened the flood gates for an increase for women business owners. I am proud to affiliate with such an organization and to chair this year’s OWL’s event for my local chapter, Sacramento.
Check out my appearance and also get caught up on the little piece of history H.R. 5050 I just shared above with you.
As a side note, my people these are busy times on all front “but I dey come” meaning bear with me on the frequency of posts.
“HR 5050 Heroines: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
It is a quarter of a century since the Women’s Business Ownership Act was passed. It didn’t happen suddenly, it happened because a group of twelve pioneering women business owners in Washington, DC began meeting informally in the 1970s to discuss their difficulty in getting federal contracts, and expanded to a vision that would result in the Women’s Business Ownership Act (HR 5050) in 1988. These women, and that Act, changed the focus, forever, of the role women business owners would play in shaping public policy, as well as their impact in our national economy.
As a result of their effort, a movement was begun to drive change, and it resulted in the birth of NAWBO, the National Association of Women Business Owners, which incorporated in 1975. These amazing twelve women identified allies in Congress from both parties, in the Executive Branch, and in the SBA, and sought to debunk myths and the many misconceptions our government representatives had about women-owned businesses. Because of them, no longer would women business owners be solely categorized as crafters, a misperception which prevented them from being taken seriously by policy makers and the media.
They knew that research was critical to the effort, and in fact, it demonstrated that a significant percentage generated more than a million dollars a year in sales and owned significant companies. This research was the catalyst for a commitment to powerful data and statistics, and provided the ammunition needed to develop policy recommendations for government action.
And so began the road to national political activism, centered around a vision which resulted in supportive language about women’s entrepreneurship in both the Democratic and Republican party platforms in 1984, and then a political awakening at the 1986 White House Conference on Small Business. There were so many heroes throughout this movement as well as during the White House Conference on Small Business. Among them were Virginia Littlejohn, Gillian Rudd, Laura Henderson, Olive Rosen, Charlotte Taylor, Susan Hager, Hope Eastman, Susan Winer, Susan Chaires, and so many, many more. They worked tirelessly to train, to develop forward looking policy recommendations (which were published as “Framework for the Future”) and to build state delegations and coalitions. Terry Neese and I, cofounders of WIPP, circled the country to train and introduce the importance of advocacy for public policies that impacted their businesses. My company, Voice-Tel, provided the technology that connected women, provided briefings and updates and kept us inspired. NAWBO captured 12% of the delegates, more than the US Chamber of Commerce or the National Federation of Independent Business, and managed to get 15 of our members elected as chairs or co-chairs of their state delegations. NAWBO got 26 of its 27 issues adopted!
Emboldened with our successes at the 1986 White House Conference, it was clear that we were able to influence policies to address gaps. NAWBO’s President, Gillian Rudd, spoke with Congressman John LaFalce (D-NY) Chair of the House Small Business Committee and requested that hearings be held on women’s entrepreneurship – the answer was yes! Four major gaps were identified to focus on, witnesses for hearings were identified and trained, Congressional allies and champions identified (Congresswoman Lindy Boggs (D0LA) and Senator Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS). Hope Eastman assisted in drafting legislative language and a grassroots network around the country was established to lobby for the House Resolution (HR 5050) through to passage.
HR 5050, P.L. 100-533 was passed, and President Reagan signed it into law on October 25, 1988, to address the needs of women in business by giving women entrepreneurs recognition and resources, and by eliminating discriminatory lending practices by banks that favored male business owners, and has had considerable impact. HR 5050 has had a profound impact for tens of thousands of women business owners,…” ~WIPP
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