On February 3, NFIB/Texas members and independent business owners gathered together in Austin for the bi-annual Small Business Day at the Capitol
, to meet with legislators and learn about priorities for the 84th Texas Legislative Session. During this event, Governor Greg Abbott made a determined declaration stating that Texas was currently number two for women-owned business in the nation and that he intended to make Texas number one. His vision was met with thunderous applause by the crowd, which included a large number of women from the San Antonio chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
members, who had taken a bus that morning from San Antonio to be at this event.
Seven months later, the mission to make Texas the number one state for women-owned business is on track and supported by several organizations and efforts that are working to empower entrepreneurial women and bring down barriers to resources and education. There are so many exciting opportunities around the state of Texas right now to help spark the change needed to progress, including Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (EBW2020)
a movement by Ingrid Vanderveldt that provides education, funding, and other resources to women globally. According to EBW2020 “Women control 70% of the global market spending and they tend to reinvest 90% of their earnings back into their families, their communities and ultimately the world.”
This week marks the annual NAWBO conference and their 40 year anniversary celebration in San Antonio. At this event Governor Abbott
will speak to this group and his message will echo the declaration he first made at the NFIB/Texas event in February and again in Forbes
. As the unified voice of over 9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. representing the fastest growing segment of the economy, NAWBO’s conference will focus on leadership, building alliances, and shaping public policy.
After our attendance and participation in the NAWBO conference we will then move into the Texas Conference for Women
in Austin expected to bring 7,000 participants. The main focus of this conference will be further education on financial independence, networking, funding small business (historically women-owned businesses have been underfunded in the startup phase), and career management.
As a grassroots organization with little to no funding for support of these important organizations, we have had to find innovative ways to participate and do what we can to further the mission. As a former small business owner this is a movement connected to my heart and my job. Whether it is volunteering my time so I can participate in an organization or event, shopping local, or using my communications tools to connect small businesses with educational opportunities and upcoming events, we are finding additional ways we can support women-owned business outside of our advocacy work in the Capitol. 88 percent of our 24,000 members in Texas have 20 employees or less. Because we truly represent them, we know that small business is the backbone of our economy, and at NFIB, it’s who we proudly work for every day.