By Ann Sullivan, contributor
As featured in The Hill
There’s been a lot said about women this election season. What hasn’t made the headlines, though it should, is the importance of women business owners to the U.S. economy.
Women own nearly 10 million businesses—contributing $1.6 trillion to the economy and employing nearly 9 million people nationwide.
To put that in perspective, women-owned firms make up a third of all businesses in the country, and even more importantly, they’re growing faster in number and employment than most other companies.
The American Express 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that between 1997 and 2015, when the number of businesses in the country increased by 51 percent, the number of women-owned firms increased by 74 percent.
The report found that the growth in the number, employment and revenues of women-owned businesses, over that timeframe, exceeds the growth rates of all but the largest, publicly traded firms.
Given these numbers, investing in women businesses is a good strategy both for the public and private sector. The stats become more impressive, considering the sizable roadblocks women business owners encounter. This is where the election comes into play.
Government is in a position to help women business owners succeed, but first candidates from the top of the ticket all the way to local office holders need to know what women entrepreneurs need to thrive.
That’s why Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) partnered with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council to identify 10 things candidates need to know about women entrepreneurs.
We took our platform directly to the candidates at the Democratic and Republican national conventions. We received a warm reception from both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, delegates, business and advocacy organizations and small business owners.
Policymakers from both sides of the aisle attended the session, including Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, and promised to spread our message far and wide.
Click here for a summation of the 10 things candidates need to know about women entrepreneurs.