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What Women (in Small Business) Want

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has issued an authoritative paper on the things the federal government needs to be doing to stimulate women-owned small businesses. The NWBC says that a number of female small-business owners are experiencing difficulties in the present economic climate, and cite health care as a particular area of concern. It also outlines a number of steps that the government needs to take in order to protect female entrepreneurs.

The NWBC call for a wide range of tax reforms- everything from an increase in tax incentives for women-owned businesses and US-based manufacturing businesses to the cancellation of the inheritance tax.

Health care continues to be a contentious issue for entrepreneurs and, after polling its members, the NWBC urges President Obama to empower women business owners with more options on this front.

Overwhelmingly, women business owners want to be able to provide this benefit, but the lack of affordable options makes it impossible for many. While there was a predictably wide range of opinions on the topic of health care reform, most participants agreed that expanding the options for affordable coverage and improving the portability of coverage were important goals.

From reading the paper, it seems one general problem that female entrepreneurs are facing is a lack of information. The paper quotes an NASE study that says that in a January survey of members, only 18% of respondents were aware of the Small Business Development Centers, and only 10% were aware of Women’s Business Centers. So there is help out there, but the government needs to do a better job publicizing its pre-existing programs.

The Internet continues to rage with debate over the merits of what President Obama is – or isn’t – doing to protect small-business people and entrepreneurs. Have a read over the NWBC document here.

What else do women entrepreneurs need to stay on their feet? Some bloggers are saying it might be time for women to be more selfish.

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