Passion Fuels Purpose in 2019
Passion is the energy that keeps us going. It fills us with meaning, excitement and anticipation and serves as a powerful force in helping us accomplish anything—yes, anything—we set our minds to. As we look back at 2019, it’s clear that the passion of NAWBO’s leaders, members and partners fueled our purpose of propelling women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. Here’s just some of what we accomplished together:
Mentoring Military Spouses
NAWBO partnered with American Corporate Partners (ACP), a non-profit organization that provides career transition support to military service members who are leaving the military, primarily through matching them with mentors in corporate America. ACP was launching a program to help military spouses, and NAWBO members were invited to mentor those women with an interest in starting their own business. Read about one of these mentoring relationships here.
With the values of diversity, inclusion and empowerment running deep at NAWBO, the NAWBO National Board’s Membership Committee launched a new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. The goal: A more global representation of members regardless of their age, country of origin, ethnicity and business size and programming, leadership, education and advocacy opportunities that reflect the wants and needs of all members who know they are welcome and have a seat at the table. Read this Q&A about the initiative.
Growing in Numbers
There’s no one right way to grow NAWBO, and during the 2019 Membership Drive, the three winning chapters (Large Chapter: Cleveland, Medium Chapter: Southern Nevada and Small Chapter: Inland Empire) definitely showed that. Each did it their own way, from planning an incredible event to sharing their personal stories of NAWBO’s value and impact. Here, chapter leaders share what they did to drive success.
Making Board Service a Reality
High on NAWBO’s list of priorities is preparing the women entrepreneurs it serves for board service. A partnership between NAWBO and UCLA was formed to help make it a reality by giving NAWBO members access to the UCLA Anderson Corporate Governance Program and Women’s Leadership Institute at reduced rates so they could get the certification needed to be considered for such positions. Read about the partnership here.
With the last major election marking a huge shift in women’s influence in politics and public service, NAWBO helped to support and further this shift through our annual National Advocacy Day and Academy for Public Service in Washington, DC—which both enjoyed record turnouts. The events are designed to help NAWBO members explore and pursue their own paths into public service. Read the 2019 event recap here and mark your calendar for NAWBO DC Days in 2020 on June 1-2.
Supporting Legislation That Supports Us
NAWBO has a powerful voice on Capitol Hill and we used it often this year to support bi-partisan legislation that will help women and small business owners grow and succeed. From this one that would improve access to capital for women business owners to others that level the playing field and support new business formation, NAWBO clearly has a seat at the table.
Celebrating With New Data
As the nation celebrated National Small Business Week and Census 2020 got rolling, NAWBO took the moment to talk about the importance of data and most importantly, data on women business owners—sharing the results of our 2019 NAWBO Annual Membership Survey. For 2019, the top three business challenges identified were: finding ways to drive growth (58%), finding time to focus on core business (47%) and finding high quality employees (28%). Read this article about the survey.
Shining Light on Technology
When it comes to business success, technology can make a difference. Small business owners and leaders gathered at an event in Los Angeles, California, hosted by NAWBO, PayPal and Small Business Roundtable to discuss ways small businesses can leverage technology in their businesses efforts, as well as tools and trends that are beneficial to underserved businesses. Read the event recap here.
Proving WBC Is Must-Attend
NAWBO hosted another successful National Women’s Business Conference (WBC)—this time in Jacksonville, Florida, with amazing keynote speakers like authors and entrepreneurs Sophia Amoruso and Tiffany Dufu. When attendees say this event is a must-attend, there’s good reason why. Read about this year’s event highlights and favorite takeaways from those who came here. Also, register now to enjoy year-end savings for WBC2020 in Austin, Texas on September 21-23.
Honoring the Best of the Best
A WBC isn’t a WBC without our best being honored. This year, in addition to chapter and other individual well-deserved awards that were given out, NAWBO and Bank of America were thrilled to celebrate the three amazing finalists and one ultimate winner of our Woman Business Owner of the Year Award at the conference gala on the final night. Meet the finalists and learn more about their roads to success and best advice here.