Press Releases

Women's Business Centers Improvements Act Passes The House

Knight legislation to support female entrepreneurs

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Washington, DC, May 8, 2018 | Chris Jusuf (202 225-1956) | comments
On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the House of Representative voted to unanimously approve H.R. 1680, the Women's Business Centers Improvements Act. Introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA), this bill would modify several programs within the Small Business Administration (SBA) to modernize and improve initiatives to support female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses.

The Women's Business Centers Improvements Act would update the mission of the Office of Women's Business Ownership to direct it to assist women entrepreneurs to start, grow, and compete in global markets by providing quality support with access to capital, access to markets, job creation, growth, and counseling. This bill also directs SBA to establish criteria for a grant program to support organizations that operate women's business centers.

"According to the department of labor, women make up forty-seven percent of our workforce. However, this percentage is not reflected in their share of business ownership or executive positions,said Rep. Knight "While there are millions of innovative and ambitions female entrepreneurs out there, many face challenges getting access to capital, legal counseling, or guidance as they start or grow their businesses. This bill will help address this inequity by ensuring the SBA has a robust and modern program to assist women-owned businesses."

"Entrepreneurship is the quintessential American spirit that turns ideas into businesses that grow our economy,said Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) "Women entrepreneurs are increasingly a driving force for business growth. With this bill by Congressman Knight, America will continue to support women entrepreneurs with the resources and tools necessary to start and grow a business. Steve's support has been crucial in ensuring that Women's Business Centers are working in the best way possible to help women succeed."

Representative Knight is a member of the House Small Business Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce. In the 115th Congress, Rep. Knight has introduced several other bills to specifically support women in the workplace, including the Workplace Advancement Act and the Women in Aerospace Education Act, which passed the House. The Women's Business Centers Improvements Act is cosponsored by Representative Al Lawson (D-FL), Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), and Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL). With today's passage, the bill now awaits consideration in the U.S. Senate.
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