National Women’s Business Council 2012 Annual Report Recommendations

Posted on December 28, 2012

National Women’s Business Council 2012 Annual Report: Recommendations Include Better Access to Private Equity Resources and Development of High Growth Businesses

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), the non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice for the President, Congress and the Small Business Administration, issued its 2012 Annual Report in early December.

The report provides a range of statistics, insight and comparisons between male and female owned enterprises. The data shows that 55% of women owned businesses with receipts between $100k-500k expanded or kept employment constant during the economic downturn from 2007-2009. Women own 30% of all businesses [compared to only 5% forty years ago]. This represents 7.8 million companies owned by women. Women owned businesses generate $1.2 trillion a year in sales, but this represents only 11% of total business revenue.

NWBC submitted recommendations to the President, Congress and SBA to: promote high growth businesses; improve access to markets and capital; and expand the availability of reliable, consistent data regarding women owned businesses.

In 2010, 18% of the U.S. patents issued were to women and 33% of the trademarks granted were to women. Patents, copyrights and trademarks are viewed by the NWBC as evidence of innovation and growth potential. Consistent with the NWBC goals for increasing growth businesses, technology that can be commercialized is essential to attracting capital investment. The NWBC convened meetings in New York and San Francisco to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women owned businesses to gain better access to private equity funding and investment pipelines. The goal is to address the fact that traditionally women owned businesses have been underrepresented in deal sourcing for venture and private equity investment.

Women entrepreneurs in northwest Pennsylvania have the opportunity to observe presentations by other potential growth businesses; pitch their own business to seek angel capital investment; and invest in other growth opportunities via the Erie chapter of Blue Tree Allied Angels. For more information, see Erie Angel Network is Open for Business. The angel network offers a broad base of current and former business owners, professionals, investors and economic development officials, whose collective backgrounds and experience provide entrepreneurs with mentoring and insight regarding markets and capital. The Angel Network has featured programs on developing and executing exit strategies and where appropriate, provided board representation with someone experienced in the industry.

Angel capital tends to be gender neutral. Angel investors ask this question: “Is this entrepreneurial team capable of executing a reasonable business and marketing plan, to defeat the competition, in order to better serve an identified customer population, to sell this product or service with these current and future features and benefits, which solves a problem, at a given price point and capture an identifiable market which drives certain financial projections, which in turn accretes value such that the angel investor will participate in an exit in 5-7 years and see a return of 10-20X on the investment?”

Although answering the investment question may seem daunting, moving from the idea to the payout exit is an entrepreneurial process with which the Knox Firm can assist you. For more information please contact Dave Mosier at 814-459-2800.

David M. Mosier is an Shareholder at Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.’s Erie office.

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