THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release May 23, 2000
THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRTION ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES
Today, President Clinton issued an Executive Order reaffirming the Administration's commitment to increasing opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses. The Clinton-Gore Administration has helped small businesses succeed in a competitive marketplace, especially business owners who have been historically underserved or excluded.
The Executive Order would require departments and agencies to develop long-term comprehensive strategies to expand opportunities for women-owned small businesses. Included in these measures are: (a) designating a senior acquisition official to identify and promote contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses; (b) requiring contracting officers, to the maximum extent practicable, to include women-owned small businesses in competitive acquisitions; (c) implementing mentor-protégé programs to include women-owned firms; (d) and offering industry-wide as well as industry-specific outreach, training, and technical assistance programs for women-owned small businesses.
Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of all businesses and staying in business longer. Based on current calculations using the latest data from the Census Bureau, SBA's Office of Advocacy estimates that there are 9.1 million women-owned firms today, employing 27.5 million people and contributing $3.6 trillion in sales and revenue to the U.S. economy.
The Executive Order signed today by the President builds on recent advances by the SBA and other federal agencies to increase opportunities for women-owned businesses:
- Since FY 1992, guaranteed loans to women have tripled in number and increased in dollar value by 164 percent. In FY 1999, women entrepreneurs participating in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs received loans worth $1.85 billion. Moreover, between FY 1992 and FY 1999, more than 73,00 loans amounting to more than $11 billion were granted to women-owned businesses.
- In January 1998, the Online Women's Business Center was launched. The Online WBC is a free, interactive training-and-counseling center on the Internet. It offers information on best business principles and practices, management techniques, networking, industry news, and market research to more women who want to start or grow a business.
- The Clinton-Gore Administration has been instrumental in the development and release of the Womenbiz.gov website. This website brings together volumes of government information on federal procurement and acquisition. In addition to providing valuable links to all federal acquisition pages, the site features detailed pages on how to get started in selling to the government, subcontracting opportunities, mentor protégé programs, and news and events.