White House hosts Women’s Business Summit (includes video story)

President Biden kicked off the Small Business Administration’s Second Annual Women’s Business Summit at the White House this week. Biden said women-owned businesses added nearly two trillion dollars to the country’s GDP, and his office wants to keep the progress going by expanding the Women’s Business Centers Network.

“These are places where women who want to start or grow a small business can get business counseling, apply for a loan and compete for federal contracts,” said President Biden. “Today I’m announcing we are expanding the network of women’s business centers to 160 centers nationwide, the largest number in all of American history.”

According to the U.S. Census, women own 12 million businesses in the U.S. that generate about 10 million jobs. The White House says that means those businesses create two-thirds of all the new jobs and account for half of all private sector workers. 

“For all the women who have dreamed for decades and made plans to have their own businesses, make their own money, carving out a slice of independence but couldn’t because the laws wouldn’t let them or didn’t have the money or family support, that’s why what you’re doing today with women across the country is so important,” Biden said.

More than 10 million applications to start new businesses have been filed in the last two years after the administration’s American Rescue Plan, which provided emergency aid for small businesses affected by the pandemic. According to the World Economic Forum, in 2021 only, over half of the start-ups were created by women.

The Women’s Business Summit will continue through Wednesday featuring women entrepreneurs in various panels including “How to Access Capital” and “Strengthening Entrepreneurs from Underserved Communities.” 

Rachel Costa is a student at Florida International University majoring in Digital Journalism and Communications. She was born and raised in Brazil, and enjoys reading and writing. In the future, she hopes to work in the publishing industry.