Resilience: Let’s Practice and Build It Together

May 14, 2024 | National Blog

Resilience—the ability to pick ourselves up and keep at it after a tough event or encounter—is one of the most essential traits of a successful woman business owner, and by practicing it, we build it.

As we begin to count down to NAWBO’s 50th anniversary in 2025 as the first advocacy organization for women business owners, the word “resilience” brings to mind the pioneering women business owners who founded NAWBO in Washington, DC, in 1975.

We know some of the tough events and encounters they faced: Women at the time weren’t allowed to be members of the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce or Junior Chamber (Jaycees) and couldn’t take out bank loans without a male cosigner. It was an unequal playing field, and resources were hard to come by.

Just imagine the resilience it took to pick themselves up and keep going—year after year, and decade after decade. These strong and dedicated entrepreneurial women who came before us pushed through the hurdles they faced to create positive, lasting changes and opportunities for all women business owners.

They built a network of chapters, testified before congressional committees and participated in task forces and small business groups. They held their first national gathering (and many others since) and participated in global trade delegations and in White House Conferences on Small Business. They also helped to shape and pass game-changing legislation—all while growing their own small businesses.

Now the time has come for all of us to practice and build our resilience as NAWBO leaders and women business owners. We continue to face unique challenges in accessing capital, contracting opportunities, education and tools to build strong, sustainable businesses. Not to mention the fact that we bear the greatest burden as caregivers to our families.

Please join me in a few weeks as we come together as women business owners—in the place where it all began for NAWBO—to use our bi-partisan voices, help our businesses, reduce regulations, celebrate NAWBO excellence and leadership, show up for future generations and build a brighter future for everyone.

We have been working for months with help from women business owners with a passion for advocacy—some beginners and others more experienced—to draft a new definition of microbusiness. The goal is for this to be utilized by the federal government to increase access to capital and procurement for our nation’s microbusiness owners who make up the majority of small business owners today.

We’ll be taking this new definition to Capitol Hill to discuss as we meet in groups with legislative decision makers, and we’re holding your seat at the table. I hope you’ll join me at NAWBO Days on June 3-5, because practicing and building resilience as a woman business owner is never easy, but it’s always worth it.

Finally, one more thing happening at NAWBO Days is the installation of our 2024-2025 NAWBO National Board of Directors. As I prepare to step into my new role as your Immediate Past Chair, I want to thank you for the tremendous opportunity to serve NAWBO and our nation’s women business owners to shape the women’s entrepreneurship landscape for the better.

—Lisa Coppola
2023-2024 NAWBO National Board Chair
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