Small business is the backbone of a growing economy. You hear these words, or similar phrases, more frequently since the economic downturn began some eighteen plus months ago. Entrepreneurship appears to be on the rise, either by choice or force. Those displaced by the dwindling economy and rising unemployment rates, along with those interested in pursuing their hobbies and interests full-time are seeking opportunities to become their own boss. And the timing appears right for those aspiring entrepreneurs, especially for women.
The Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development reports that since 2000, over $626 million in contract dollars were awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. A proposed new regulation by the SBA would allow federal agencies to set aside contracts for women-owned small businesses. If the new regulation takes effect, more than 75,000 women-owned businesses could take advantage of the ruling.
The value and importance of women in business is taking shape through increased federal and local legislation, and in the rise in training and networking opportunities specifically for female entrepreneurs. Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore (WEB) formed in 1989, was created to help build strong businesses that lift women and their communities. They continue to provide training to aspiring business owners, proclaiming 90% of their graduates start businesses. WEB is hosting a free program on small business basics on March 31st at the Federal Hill Training Facility.