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 Political Factors Are Affecting Women’s Access To Markets

The National Women's Business Council analyzes women's access to markets, and how politics may be one hindrance behind this limited access.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Women’s Business Council today released a new research report, analyzing obstacles that women business owners face in their access to customer markets: Understanding the Landscape: Access to Markets for Women Entrepreneurs.

The report is a comprehensive literature analysis on women business owners’ access to markets. The analysis examines various political, economic, social, and technical elements that impact women in business. It helps to identify gaps in the existing research to assist the National Women’s Business Council in developing areas of future investigation that are vital to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Women-owned businesses are a major component of the U.S. economy. Measured in terms of quantity and economic value, women-owned businesses account for approximately 20 percent of all businesses with paid employees and a combined payroll of $293.1 billion in 2015. To put this latter figure into perspective, if women-owned businesses were a country and their 2015 payroll were that country’s gross domestic product, then the women-owned businesses would have been the world’s 37th largest economy. That would make it greater than Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, and 133 other countries.“Women business owners do face a number of obstacles in their access to financial capital and customer markets. As women business owners develop innovative ideas and enter into new markets, it is important they receive crucial support from the entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to thrive and continue to contribute to the nation’s economy,” commented Jen Earle, NWBC Council Member and CEO of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Key research from the analysis shows:

  • Open-source research on the political factors affecting women business owners’ access to markets in the United States has largely focused on the federal level.
  • The available studies have not investigated a range of economic variables that affect this access, such as the effect of export credit insurance on women-owned businesses’ access to foreign markets or information on corporations’ supplier diversity programs in relation to women-owned businesses.
  • Council research highlighted that there was only one relevant article that covered the social factors affecting market access for U.S.-based women business owners.
  • Further research into innovation and technology for women business owners can be a vital asset to the ecosystem; such as the effectiveness of web-based entrepreneurial trainings in relation to women’s confidence in their technical capacity for their entrepreneurial journeys.

View the full report.


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