Story by Hilary Burns, Bizwomen Reporter
October is National Women’s Small Business Month — an annual month-long celebration created by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) with leaders in the women’s entrepreneurship community.
“Women’s Small Business Month is a great time to highlight the advancements made by women in business and celebrate women business owners,” Amanda Brown, executive director of NWBC, said in a statement.
The NWBC is a non-partisan federal advisory council created in 1988 to counsel to the president, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners.
Last week at a meeting in Washington, D.C., NWBC members discussed the state of women and business and announced that women are still having trouble gaining access to resources needed to start and grow businesses.
“This October we celebrate the women that have persevered and become successful business owners, and we will continue to push for increased access to capital and to markets so women entrepreneurs can keep growing and scaling their businesses,” Carla Harris, the Morgan Stanley executive who President Obama appointed as chair of the NWBC, said in a statement.
According to American Express’s 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, there were over 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the country in 2013 — a number that has increased by 59 percent since 1997.
The report states that women-owned firms generated over $1.3 trillion in revenues for 2013 and employed about 7.8 million people.