The National Association of Women Business Owners is the voice of more than 11 million women-owned businesses in the United States. Since 1975, NAWBO has helped women grow their businesses by sharing resources and providing a collective viewpoint to help shape economic and public policy. It is the only dues-based national organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries.
NAWBO started as a small group of women in the Washington, D.C. area who met to trade information about federal contracts, bank credit, and other business issues. Every few weeks, additional women began attending the meetings. It soon became clear that there was a great demand for a formal organization devoted to helping women business owners; so NAWBO was created.
There are now chapters of NAWBO in almost every metropolitan area in the U.S., and a virtual chapter, and NAWBO is represented in 33 countries across the world through its affiliation with Les Femmes Chefs d’ Enterprises Mondiales (World Association of Women Entrepreneurs).
NAWBO-NYC was founded in 1985 by a group of like-minded women who understood the need for an association that would support the growth of women-owned business in the metropolitan area. NAWBO-NYC’s goals are:
To build lasting and supportive relationships among our members
To help our members develop increasingly strong and successful businesses through education, networking, and mentoring
To support the needs of emerging women business owners
To build strategic alliances, coalitions, and affiliations for our members
To impact public policy through active participation in the political process
To encourage and develop leadership skills to move women business owners into positions of influence
NAWBO-NYC’s strength comes from the diversity of its membership—women from all backgrounds, regardless of race, religion, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability. Membership is open to sole proprietors, partners, and corporate owners who have day-to-day management responsibility. Other types of memberships are available for those who wish to support NAWBO-NYC.
Public policy positions on taxes, health care and attitude towards business can affect the vitality of your business and the places in which you do business now and in the future. You can help shape the future of your business and business climate by keeping up to date on and getting involved in public policy.
NAWBO provides a platform for women business owners to come together as one voice that translates into a formidable economic force and an effective agent for change in the business environment.
NAWBO has continued to represent the issues and concerns of small and women-owned businesses at the national and state levels. Through Congressional testimony, public policy conferences and member education, NAWBO has been at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of women business owners and the issues that impact their companies. Join with NAWBO to represent the interests of the fastest growing segment of the economy.
NAWBO has focused on public policy issues of national and statewide interest impacting women entrepreneurs and small businesses since 1975. By attending White House events, providing Congressional testimony, holding advocacy conferences, developing reports, and educating members, NAWBO has consistently brought the concerns of women business owners to our lawmakers in Washington, D.C. In 1988, NAWBO played a key role in the passage of The Women’s Business Ownership Act, also known as H.R. 5050. This landmark legislation allowed women to receive business loans without the co-signature of a male relative. H.R. 5050 also created the National Women’s Business Council, a body of women entrepreneurs and women’s organizations that provides counsel to the President and Congress.
Access to Capital for Women-Owned Business
NAWBO supports federal legislation that helps to overcome the current barriers related to access to capital by women business owners (WBOs) and reduces the risk of private sector lending to small businesses. The major sources of funding that women business owners continue to rely on are personal savings, reinvested business earnings, lines of credit, loans, equity financing, and venture capital, in that order.
NAWBO favors a three-pronged advocacy approach in this area, choosing to focus on the various SBA loan programs, the Small Business Investment Company program, and tax incentives to encourage investment in the small business sector.
Increased Federal Procurement for Women-Owned Businesses
NAWBO supports achievement of the five percent Federal procurement goal for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) and other steps designed to assure women business owners their fair share of Federal contracts and contract dollars. Failure to achieve the 5% goal has cost women business owners an average of $5 billion in lost contract dollars each year. NAWBO opposes contract bundling, the Federal government’s policy of consolidating its purchases of unrelated goods and services into a single large contract. Bundling limits the opportunities for small businesses to effectively compete, thereby restricting competition and increasing the overall cost of goods and services to the federal government.
Health care insurance cost reduction is a very important issue for NAWBO members. The results of the 2010 NAWBO Public Policy Survey show that health care cost issues are third only to the economy and business taxes as issues affecting our members’ businesses and their votes. In this critical time NAWBO wants to be part of the dialogue on health care reform. NAWBO supports legislation that will make health insurance more affordable for women business owners and their employees. NAWBO will consider and support, as appropriate, federal and state legislation designed to address the rising cost of health insurance by lowering premiums or creating tax incentives that make the purchase of health insurance more affordable for small business owners and their employees.
NAWBO supports fair and equitable tax policy for large and small businesses that fosters the economic growth of women-owned and other small businesses. Legislation should be enacted to ensure tax equity and basic fairness for all forms of small business organizations. The privilege of deducting legitimate business expenses should no longer be based upon the entity chosen to operate the business.