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Female Business Leaders Collaborate On Economic Growth Plan

BALTIMORE,  -- The Roadmap to 2020, an unprecedented collaboration of the nation's major women's business organizations and entrepreneurial thought leaders, was  released , launching a comprehensive action plan to achieve exponential revenue growth and job creation among women's businesses over the next decade.  

"Roadmap 2020" recommends nothing less than a paradigm shift in women's business development – from early entrepreneurial education to policy support to capital availability – designed to enable the creation of at least 6 million new jobs over the next ten years.

Quantum Leaps, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Association of Women's Business Owners (NAWBO) jointly released the Roadmap 2020 report at WBENC's 11th Annual Women in Business National Conference and Business Fair before some 2,500 corporations and women business owners in attendance.  It was presented on behalf of the 10 women's business organizations and 20 companies that were supporters and collaborators in Roadmap 2020.

"Roadmap 2020 not only tells us how to create more jobs – but also how to improve the quality of those jobs, with higher salaries and better benefits, in growing, innovative companies," said Virginia Littlejohn, CEO and co-founder of Quantum Leaps, the nonprofit that mobilized Roadmap 2020 participants.  

By galvanizing the leadership of the women's business community, Roadmap 2020 will drive change on the national and grassroots level, and dramatically sharpen the nation's competitiveness.

Roadmap 2020 prescribes agents of growth all along the business continuum:  

  • Start-up companies should focus on goal-setting for growth, and training to enable that growth, instead of income substitution,
  • "The Missing Middle" – those companies past the start up stage, but with some potential for growth – need vision, strategy, benchmarking, coaching and mentoring
  • Multi-million dollar businesses can expand through peer mentoring, globalizing, and increased access to corporate and government markets
  • Businesses of all sizes need access to capital

Quantum Leaps will organize a strategic think tank in the fall to specify the next steps in implementing Roadmap 2020 recommendations.  

"The Roadmap to 2020 is leading a transformation and connecting women in business around the world," said Marilyn Johnson, vice president of Market Development for IBM. "IBM is proud to be the lead corporate sponsor of such a high-impact global initiative."

Roadmap 2020 recommendations focus on six key areas:  Measuring Economic Impact and Job Creation; Entrepreneurial Training; Innovation, Technology and Sustainability; Accessing Capital; Accessing Markets; and Building the Movement.

Through 32 core recommendations, Roadmap 2020 challenges policymakers, corporations, financial institutions, educators and the women's business community itself to enable women's business to access more capital, more corporate and government contracts, more expansion and responsible risk.

Among the boldest recommendations are:

  • Expand the role of the Small Business Administration's Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO) beyond oversight of the Women's Business Center (WBC) program to other growth-focused initiatives, including access to capital and access to markets
  • Increase communication and collaboration among women's business groups
  • Encourage federal, state and local governments to accept third party certifications for women's business enterprises (WBEs)
  • Expand entrepreneurship education into ever younger populations

Supporters include the Association of Women's Business Centers, Center for Women's Business Research, Count Me In, Direct Selling Education Foundation, Enterprising Women, WEConnect International, Women Presidents' Organization, and Women Impacting Public Policy. The full Roadmap to 2020 report is available online at www.quantumleapsinc.org

Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)  www.wbenc.org.

NAWBO. www.nawbo.org.

 

SOURCE Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)



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