Women Veterans in Business: Unique Challenges and Opportunities

Veterans are in the minority of the American workforce and female veterans are an even smaller subset of the population, however, the impact veterans and women veterans can make to society can be huge. This is a point made by NAWRB Magazine contributor and Army Veteran Erica Courtney as she moderated our panel Women Veterans in Business: Unique Challenges and Opportunities.

Continue reading

Women Business Owners Are Missing Out On Billions in Tax Incentives & Investments: Congress Can Change That

When her short-term corporate housing company started to draw sizable revenue, Chicago-based business owner Francine Manilow realized she needed to change how her business was organized in order to take greater advantage of tax breaks.

Women-owned businesses like Manilow’s represent more than a third of all U.S. companies. Yet they are often disadvantaged by the tax code because of their legal classification or service-based industry.

Manilow figured that out, saying, “The S-Corp wasn’t any good for me. I switched to C-Corp.”

Her story, however, is rare. A new report by Caroline Bruckner of American University’s Kogod Tax Policy Center, which drew upon a survey conducted by national advocacy organization Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) as part of its analytical foundation, found that many women entrepreneurs can’t take full advantage of tax incentives because the kinds of companies they own don’t benefit from provisions designed to stimulate growth and attract investment.

The good news is, rather than small businesses having to undergo the byzantine process of changing their legal structure, we have a huge opportunity to change the system for the better. For the first time in 30 years, Congress is looking seriously at revamping the tax code—a once-in-a-generation chance to transform it into a tool that empowers women entrepreneurs.

For the report Billion Dollar Blind Spot: How the U.S. Tax Code’s Small Business Expenditures Impact Women Business Owners, Kogod researchers surveyed 515 women business owners across the country to determine how they use four small business tax provisions. An online survey of WIPP members—companies with at least 51 percent female ownership who represented more than 15 different types of
industry—found that they were predominantly small business owners, with 96 percent reporting 100 or fewer employees.

A startling fact of the Kogod research is that 84 percent of women surveyed operate businesses in service industries that are excluded from those key provisions. There were other problematic trends revealed by the survey:

– Only 12 percent of respondents organize their businesses as C-corporations, meaning the remaining 88 percent are excluded from significant small business tax incentives.

– Only 0.6 percent of women surveyed reported at tracting capital for their businesses from non-corporate investors by using a portion of the code that allows them to issue qualified small business stock.

– 53 percent of respondents said they didn’t fully benefit from Section 179, a provision allowing businesses to deduct equipment purchased  and placed into service. They said they either didn’t know about the provision or don’t buy the kind of equipment qualifying under the provision.

– 86 percent of respondents said they’d never claimed a tax loss under a provision that permits an ordinary loss on the sale or exchange of qualified business stock.

The bottom line is three of the four tax provisions studied either explicitly exclude service firms or effectively bypass companies that are not C-Corporations or have few capital-intensive equipment investments. Given that most women-owned businesses are concentrated in service industries or are organized as something other than a C-Corp and have few capital-intensive equipment needs means they’re missing out on more than $255 billion in tax help.

What’s more, Kogod’s research found a complete lack of government analysis about the effects of tax expenditures on women-owned firms. This situation raises real questions about whether the tax code’s small business tax expenditures are operating as Congress intended. Clearly, policymakers have a billion-dollar blind spot when it comes to understanding how effective such expenditures are with respect to women-owned firms.

Members of both houses of Congress have reviewed Kogod’s research and are considering the importance of its findings. Yet, to date, neither the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance nor the House Committee on Ways and Means—the two primary bodies undertaking reform—has held a full hearing to assess the impact of the tax code’s small business tax expenditures on women business owners.

In addition to sounding the alarm on tax reform, in its 2017 Economic Blueprint, WIPP also highlighted numerous potential reforms in capital infrastructure needed to spark greater investment in women-owned businesses. A key recommendation includes developing more female fund managers through the Small Business Investment Company’s “Emerging Managers” Program with the likelihood that it would lead to more investment in women entrepreneurship.

The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report affirms that between 2007 and 2016, the ranks of women entrepreneurs grew at a rate five times faster than the national average. Yet, in 2016, less than 5 percent of venture capital deals went to women-led businesses, according to PitchBook. Research from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship also shows that women receive only 4 percent of the total dollar value of all small business loans, and CrunchBase reports that between 2010 and 2015, just 10 percent of venture dollars globally went to startups with at least one female founder.

Correcting these inherent inequities carries the potential to dramatically impact our economy. The percentage of firms owned by women has skyrocketed from 4.6 percent in 1976—the first time the Census released a report on women’s business ownership—to 36 percent today. There are 10 million women-owned businesses, and they employ 9 million people and contribute $1.6 trillion to the economy, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Clearly, women entrepreneurs’ economic might is significant and growing. But they could accomplish even more if the tax code created stronger investment opportunities and if a greater number of women were positioned to make investment decisions to help businesses run by other women.

Things might not have gone so well for WIPP member Francine Manilow had she not figured out that inequities in the tax system were keeping her from greater prosperity.

“Many women have not been part of the inner workings of policymaking,” Manilow said. “I have no doubt I would have been even more successful if there had been a fairer tax code.”

Congress must use a tax reform and opportunities to improve access to capital to harness the economic energy generated by women.

Jane Campbell
President of Women Impacting Public Policy

NWBC Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Their Service of Women Entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs are on the rise, and they are leaving their footprint on the nation’s economy. In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reported an estimated 9.9 million women-owned firms, 35.8 percent of all U.S. firms classifiable by gender, and the total estimated receipts from those firms was $1.4 trillion.

Nevertheless, women-owned businesses are still an underrepresented segment in the economy and require support for their continued growth. The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is providing insight on how federal and regional stakeholders can help.

In April of this year, the NWBC released Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Their Service of Women Entrepreneurs, a research report conducted with Washington CORE, which analyzes local entrepreneurial systems to identify influential actors and mechanisms that aid, or present a barrier to, the support and growth of women-owned businesses.

The report utilizes the “entrepreneurship ecosystem” model, which Washington CORE defines as “a set of interconnected entrepreneurial actors, entrepreneurial organizations, institutions and entrepreneurial processes which formally and informally coalesce to connect, mediate and govern the performance within the local entrepreneurial environment.”

This approach, the report explains, “emphasizes the importance of the overall environment within which an
entrepreneur establishes and grows her business,” helping us understand the resources she can leverage, as well as gaps within the economy that may hinder her.
Continue reading

Raising Your Bottom Line: Capitalizing On Your Business Classification-Women-Owned

In today’s competitive business arena, a minute detail or decision can mean the difference between long-term success and immediate failure. In the real estate industry, where networking and connections play such a significant role in business performance, what you and your business connote is particularly vital.

As a professional in this highly competitive marketplace, not utilizing the business classifications at your disposal is an oversight. A strategy as old as the industry itself is tailoring to your community. You must play to your strengths, and increasing your business’s appeal to a particular market including potential homebuyers is essential. For women business owners, the utilization of women-owned business classification is vital.

According to 2014 Census Bureau data, there are currently 18,057,000 female homeowners in the United States. As women make advancements in their careers and their wages grow in parity to those of men, women’s homeownership will continue to grow. With this extended buying power, we are seeing the emergence of more women homeowners and a specialized niche for real estate professionals. This growing market is evidenced in the fact that 10 million American women homeowners live alone.
Continue reading

NAWRB is looking for a Social Media Assistant to be the face of SHE is Changing Real Estate!

unnamed-2

About NAWRB:

The National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) is the most visible women’s trade association specializing in the housing economy. NAWRB is dedicated to providing women the tools and opportunities for economic growth and expansion, while advocating and promoting women-owned businesses specializing in the housing economy. NAWRB is also the only third-party industry-specific certifier of Women-Owned Business (WOB) and Minority Women-Owned Business (MWOB) specializing in the housing economy.

By utilizing its presence in Washington D.C. and consultations with the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), the Small Business Administration (SBA), the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) and other organizations, NAWRB acts as a resource base between members and government contracting, new business opportunities, marketing, and business training.

 Specializing in the Housing Economy, our trademark, SHE is Changing Real Estate™

Job Description:

NAWRB is looking to add a part-time Social Media Assistant to our team! You’ll act as a front-line brand manager by interacting with supporters and members in real-time across web platforms. The right candidate for this $13 an hr position will have excellent verbal and written skills, the ability to work with cross-functional teams, and be a self-starter. This position will be based in our Orange County office.

Responsibilities

  • Work with Social Media Manager to create cutting edge social media campaigns and calls-to-action that engage and drive people to specific websites and articles.
  • Spend time on Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterestevery day to engage with our target audience and share content, grow followers, and improve overall engagement.
  • Holistically manage our LinkedIn and Facebook “members only” Groups to create added value.
  • Participating in real time online conversations by answering questions, offering solutions, and facilitating discussions to create content for feeds.
  • Engaging with top leaders within the industry on their social media platforms in addition to commenting on behalf of NAWRB on popular industry articles.
  • Prior experience in advertising, public relations or online marketing is preferred.
  • Knowledge of the housing economy and/or government issues is a plus.

How to apply:

Please submit resume, one formal writing sample at least 1 page in length (i.e. excerpt of college paper, article, case study, etc.), and either your personal or professional social media portfolio to info@www.nawrb.com.

Are you following the NAWRB Financial Fitness Road Show?

Road_show_socialMedia_pink

NAWRB partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Santa Ana District Office to present the Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show in July at the Lutron Experience Center in Irvine, CA.

NAWRB’s Inaugural Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show is a first-of-its-kind, breakthrough program for women in all industries within the housing economy. More than just tools to navigate women’s existing business through the changing terrain, the Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show reached an entire new level. Utilizing a specialized hybrid of women in housing and women in government outreach, women can take advantage of NAWRB’s Fast Track niche. By connecting women with federal and local programs, set-asides, funding options and contracting opportunities available to grow their businesses both vertically and horizontally, women in housing will have the awareness to sustainable growth and live beyond commission-to-commission.

Morgan Stanley hosted the Road Show and provided its wealth of knowledge to attendees. Vivian Afriyie, a Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisor, opened the event in dramatic fashion showcasing assets explaining the often missed difference between asset-based loans, traditional income, and credit-based loans. Morgan Stanley has crucial experience, having just closed a 150 million dollar commercial real estate loan in 6 weeks. “Bringing the shock treatment with our takeaways from $25,000 SBA business loans to the $200 million dollar Morgan Stanley Diversified Securities for clients, really ignited the awareness in the room,” stated Desirée Patno, CEO and Founder of NAWRB.

The excitement for the event is rapidly growing as respected agents, suppliers, and other professionals in the housing industry look forward to learning the opportunities and resources available to them on behalf of multiple federal agencies and organizations.

The Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show is the first in a series of nationwide road shows that will travel to major cities. Do you want to attend this dynamic Road Show or have it travel to a city near you? Contact Roadshow@NAWRB.com for more information on being a part of the movement to bring awareness, opportunities and access to women in housing.