By The NWBC Council


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2020 – In its new Annual Report, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) has issued policy recommendations on angel investment tax credits with the aim of incentivizing new investments in women-owned firms.

The NWBC submitted its 2019 Annual Report to the President, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the House Committee on Small Business, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.

This report recaps NWBC’s 31st year and provides the findings, conclusions, and policy recommendations of the Council. NWBC Chair Liz Sara, now in her second year at the helm, has concentrated the Council’s efforts on three important policy initiatives: improving access to capital for female founders, encouraging more women to start and grow companies in STEM-related fields, and removing obstacles for women business owners in rural areas.

Read more here.

01/14/20: Ditch the Funnel and Build Better Relationships with Consumers and Teams

Lisa Bragg, CEO & Founder of MediaFace

I don’t need to ask you if you’ve heard of the funnel before – of course you have. Called the “marketing funnel” or “sales funnel,” it’s a model for how customers interact with a business leading up to conversion to a sale. It imagines a large number of people at the funnel mouth, who either proceed on down the line to buy, or drop off at some point. Some marketers and salespeople think that analyzing those drop-off points can strengthen your sales process and convert more of those people into buyers.

In that respect, the funnel can be a helpful visualization tool. For the most part, though? It’s killing your chance to build trusted relationships with your audience, and keeping the functions of your business from working in concert with each other. Read more here.

01/02/20: Founder Comes Full Circle By Joining The VC Firm That Funded Her Startup

By Geri Stengel, Forbes

I interviewed Ilana Stern in 2014 after she had closed a $9 million Series A venture capital round for Weddington Way. The startup is a direct-to-consumer brand that creates a personal, multi-channel shopping experience for millennials during special occasions. The brand pioneered collaborative commerce with its virtual showroom — and disrupted an age-old, in-store shopping process.

Stern founded the company in the Bay Area in 2010. She raised multiple venture rounds, sold it to Gap, Inc. in December of 2016, and joined the Fortune 500 company’s executive team. In 2018, Gap sold Weddington Way to Adrianna Papell, an e-commerce and retail company for wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, evening gowns, and accessories. Her accomplishments include being named an “Accelerator” by The Wall Street Journal and one of “40 under 40” by SF Business. She has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Stern had no grand plan after she left Gap. “I wanted to see where the wind took me,” she said. During this period, she mentored founders, shared her experiences, and asked the tough questions. This led her to angel investing and advising companies.

Read more here.

12/16/19: How To Amplify The Voices Of Women Entrepreneurs

By Serenity Gibbons, Forbes

Pregnancy isn’t exactly a contagious disease. However, you might not know that from the way society has treated working women. In defiance of this bias, Amy Nelson, founder of co-working network Riveter, recently used social media to buck the “hide the bump” trend among women who happen to be planning the birth of both a business and a baby.

Nelson received a raft of support for her willingness to pull back the curtain on the archaic notion that motherhood equates to boardroom uselessness. Despite the kudos for her in-your-face reality slap, many women who dream of rising up the corporate ladder or founding a company — whether or not they have an impending due date — remain less fortunate. Stories abound of female startup aspirants being shot down without a good reason.

Read more here.

12/03/19: More U.S. Companies Placing More Women on Boards

By Corporate Women Directors International

Overall Percentage of Women Directors of 200 largest companies globally only increases slightly to 22.4%

While the percentage of women board directors serving European companies remains higher than on boards of U.S. companies, the number of U.S. companies placing more women directors is pushing into Europe’s recent dominance.  According to a new report by Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI) examining board composition of the 200 largest companies in the world as ranked by Fortune, the percentage of women board directors in European companies stands at 34.1%, as of October 31, 2019, while the percentage of women on U.S. company boards has reached 28.2%.

Read more here.

11/12/19: Entrepreneur Builds Beauty Business By Building On Beauty Rituals

By Geri Stengel, Forbes

Adiya Dixon Wiggins loves beauty rituals. It’s not just about looking good. It’s about feeling good. This was instilled in her at a very early age. “I grew up spending my summers with my grandmother in Northern New Jersey,” she said. Her grandmother had a beauty salon that was always packed with women. Women came in tired, worn out, and stressed. They left refreshed and rejuvenated.

“It was then that I realized the power of beauty,” said Dixon, founder and president of Yubi Beauty. As a working mother of two and an international counsel of a Fortune 1000 company, she started her day early and ended it late, and often had to travel. She had little time for the personal care and beauty rituals that she knew would lift her spirits.

“The beauty industry wasn’t meeting the needs of women,” she thought. “Something was fundamentally wrong.”

Read more here.

10/28/19: Five Reasons To Work For A Woman-Owned Small Business

By Kathy Miller Perkins, Forbes

Have you taken stock lately of where work fits into your priorities? Our jobs represent a more significant proportion of our life than any other single endeavor. No wonder we want our work to be meaningful.

Of course, unless we are volunteering, we are working for a paycheck. Yet our wages don’t inspire and engage us, nor do they provide us with a sense of purpose. Most of us find meaning in work that enables us to use our strengths, learn and make a positive contribution to our companies and the world.

Here is some advice to job seekers, whether you are just entering the workforce or looking for a new job: Take a look at small businesses, especially those that are owned by women. Why? Because these companies provide supportive work environments, offer opportunities for personal growth and can enable you to make a meaningful contribution to society through your work.

Read more here.

10/25/19: Assessing the Translatability of Your Content

By Eriksen Translations, founded by WPEO-NY WBE Vigdis Eriksen

Your team has been working hard developing strong, effective copy for your global communication plan. Now it’s time for translation. Everyone is eager to see the project through to completion, and there’s no room in the timeline or budget for surprises.

How can you be sure your content is easily translatable?

Read more here.

09/26/19: Women's representation on boards reaches a milestone

By Anne Stych, BizWomen

Women now hold more than 20 percent of the board seats at the top 3,000 publicly-traded companies, an achievement that reaches the goal set by national advocacy group 2020 Women on Boards a year early.

Data governance company Equilar Inc. analyzed gender representation on the boards of directors at companies in the Russell 3,000 Index, which represents about 98 percent of all publicly traded U.S. companies, and found that women now hold 20.2 percent of board seats.

Read more here.

08/28/19: 8 Female Executives On The Habits They Gave Up

By Lindsay Tigar, Fast Company

There are many theories about how long it takes to form a habit. Some say 21 days. Others argue it’s more like 60, or more. Whatever the case, some aspects of our routine are beneficial to our personal and professional growth, while others just slow us down. For leaders who are tasked with not only meeting their own goals but also guiding others, paying attention to negative patterns is essential. That’s why these women, across industries, stopped apologizing. Or adding a “maybe” to every sentence. Or opted to do things their way–even if it wasn’t the “right” way.

We asked eight impressive female executives to describe the habits they’re glad they gave up:

Read more here.

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