Press Center : Women's Leadership Exchange To Release Inaugural Edition Of Women Business Owners’ Economic Blueprint

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Women's Leadership Exchange® (WLE) To Release Inaugural Edition Of Women Business Owners’ Economic Blueprint

WLE Calls for Specific Support for Small Business in the Economic Stimulus Package in Response to Survey Results

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 8, 2009) – Following successful previews at the 2008 Democratic and Republican Conventions, and at WIPP’s We Decide! Conference in Washington, DC, Women's Leadership Exchange® (WLE), the nation’s largest bipartisan group of women business owners and professionals, will release a special edition of “Economic Blueprint – The Women Business Platform for Growth” at its Inaugural Celebration on January 19th in Washington, D.C.  

Created by WLE with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and a coalition of 30 women’s business groups, the Economic Blueprint is a call to action for the 111th Congress and the Obama-Biden administration that outlines the public policies necessary to help women entrepreneurs continue to grow their businesses in the 21st Century.  Included in the Economic Blueprint are six critical public policy areas that affect the expansion of women-owned businesses today: Healthcare, Access to Capital, Energy, Procurement, Taxes and Telecommunications. The Blueprint is currently posted on Obama-Biden website, change.gov.  The Blueprint mirrors the views expressed by WLE members in a recent survey.

In mid December WLE conducted an online survey of its members.  They reported that the most important business issues are (in order of importance): affordable health coverage (76.87%); increased government contracts to women (59.6%); small business tax incentive (59.4%); free access of the internet without price controls, tariffs and government regulation (50.3%); Tax Incentives to Investors in – small business (47.1%).

“Women entrepreneurs are a growing force in our nation, owning 10.1 million firms and generating $1.9 trillion in annual revenues and are keeping pace with all firms despite economic fluctuations.  However, there are still several obstacles impeding our growth,” said WLE Cofounder Leslie Grossman.  “It is our expectation that each and every member of Congress, regardless of party, and the incoming administration, will take action to make the principles outlined in the Economic Blueprint a reality.”

WLE Cofounder Andrea March added:  “The nation’s economy is the top challenge facing all Americans in 2009. Women business owners are innovative, successful entrepreneurs and the job creators in our economy.  If Congress will take swift action to support small businesses, and the goals and principles which are spelled out in the Economic Blueprint, we can and will provide the economic stimulus needed to boost the economy.”

Partners in the Economic Blueprint include Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), WBENC, WLE, Count-Me-In, SBTV.com  and WPO.  Additional support for the project was provided by ASBC, AWBC, AWC, C4CC, CFWFBR, Enterprising Women Magazine, Equal Voice, Global Exec Women, HIPP, IEEW, KCCWBO, MIBN, Microenterprise Journal, NACGBE, NAFE, NAMS, NASDB, NJAWBO, NWBC, NWBOC, WBDC, WCOE, WIPP FL, Womenable and women business owners around the country.

For more information visit www.womensleadershipexchange.com, contact lmartin@womensleadershipexchange.com or call 212.209.1567.

WLE Survey Results

Total Started Survey: 978
Total Completed Survey: 978 (100%)

1. Please indicate the importance of the following business issues to you, your business and other small businesses:

 

answered question

978

 

skipped question

0

 

Very Important

Important

Somewhat
Important

Not Important

Response

Count

Affordable Healthcare Coverage

76.8% (743)

15.0% (145)

5.8% (56)

2.5% (24)

968

Increased government contracts to women-owned businesses

59.6% (570)

23.8% (228)

13.1% (125)

3.6% (34)

957

Small Business Tax Incentives (ie, reduced capital gains tax, research & development credits)

59.4% (567)

24.9% (238)

12.9% (123)

2.7% (26)

954

Free access of the Internet without price controls, tariffs and government regulation

50.3% (478)

25.2% (240)

16.5% (157)

8.0% (76)

951

SBA Loan Program - increased accessibility at competitive interest rates

47.5% (453)

30.1% (287)

17.3% (165)

5.1% (49)

954

Tax Incentives to Investors (supporting the creation and growth of small business)

47.1% (448)

32.2% (307)

16.6% (158)

4.1% (39)

952

Child care and early education

43.8% (420)

28.8% (276)

15.6% (149)

11.8% (113)

958

Support of Title IX - eliminating gender discrimination in schools

38.4% (364)

31.4% (297)

18.8% (178)

11.4% (108)

947

Incentives for R&D in new energy technologies

33.3% (313)

35.3% (332)

21.3% (200)

10.1% (95)

940

Family and medical leave

30.8% (293)

31.6% (301)

26.2% (249)

11.4% (109)

952

Repeal of the Estate Tax

29.8% (278)

25.6% (239)

26.9% (251)

17.8% (166)

934

2. If you have attended a WLE event, please answer the following question:

 

answered question

376

 

skipped question

602

 

Very Valuable

Valuable

Somewhat Valuable

Not Valuable

Response

Count

How valuable was the WLE Conference or Summit to your business:

34.0% (128)

37.5% (141)

23.7% (89)

4.8% (18)

376

3. If you have never attended a WLE event, please answer the following question:

 

answered question

708

 

skipped question

270

 

Absolutely

Yes

Maybe

No

Response

Count

Do you believe that your business would benefit by attending a conference or event that featured timely growth-oriented business seminars, expert one-on-one business coaching and connections/introductions to people with whom you can do business:

43.5% (308)

31.5% (223)

23.2% (164)

1.8% (13)

708

4. Would you be interested in attending any of the following:

 

answered question

934

 

skipped question

44

 

Absolutely

Yes

Maybe

No

Response

Count

One-on-one business coaching

28.0% (243)

24.4% (212)

28.1% (244)

19.5% (169)

868

Panel discussion with business experts/successful entrepreneurs

31.7% (283)

36.7% (328)

25.1% (224)

6.6% (59)

894

Facilitated networking

31.9% (289)

35.7% (323)

27.6% (250)

4.9% (44)

906

Keynote speakers (ie entrepreneurs, experts, business leaders, sharing their challenges and successes)

30.0% (269)

40.6% (364)

24.3% (218)

5.0% (45)

896

Experiential business workshops

28.2% (252)

36.3% (324)

27.3% (244)

8.2% (73)

893

Town Hall Meetings

14.0% (122)

23.4% (203)

42.9% (373)

19.7% (171)

869

Teleseminars

20.0% (167)

28.3% (236)

36.0% (301)

15.7% (131)

835

5. WLE is planning Summits, Conferences, Teleseminars and web content for 2009,
please indicate how important the following is to the growth of your business:

 

answered question

929

 

skipped question

49

 

Very Important

Important

Somewhat Important

Not Important

Response

Count

Leads and Referrals

64.0% (581)

22.6% (205)

10.2% (93)

3.2% (29)

908

Networking Skills

40.1% (361)

35.3% (318)

18.7% (168)

5.9% (53)

900

Sales Techniques

36.1% (321)

38.9% (346)

18.0% (160)

7.0% (62)

889

Marketing

48.3% (439)

34.8% (316)

13.2% (120)

3.7% (34)

909

Branding

36.6% (329)

35.4% (318)

20.8% (187)

7.1% (64)

898

Internet Marketing

42.7% (385)

31.3% (282)

19.1% (172)

7.0% (63)

902

Financial Management

36.7% (327)

38.5% (343)

18.3% (163)

6.6% (59)

892

Leadership Development

35.3% (315)

34.0% (303)

23.8% (212)

7.0% (62)

892

Access to Capital

44.2% (396)

24.8% (222)

19.5% (175)

11.5% (103)

896

Retaining & Hiring Employees

20.3% (177)

31.7% (277)

30.1% (263)

18.0% (157)

874

Work/Life Balance

27.9% (249)

30.6% (273)

28.6% (255)

13.0% (116)

893

Mentoring

26.1% (233)

36.2% (323)

26.7% (238)

11.0% (98)

892

Greening Your Business

18.4% (153)

32.4% (270)

28.3% (236)

20.9% (174)

833