Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Top Concerns of Women Biz Owners: Capital, Health Insurance

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Top Concerns of Women Biz Owners: Capital, Health Insurance

Article excerpt

Access to capital and affordable health insurance and the state of the economy top the list of concerns for America's women business owners, according to a study released by the National Women's Business Council.

The study compiled polling responses from participants attending five entrepreneurship summits entitled, "Women Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century," which were co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Small Business Administration, with support from the National Women's Business Council. The summits were in Washington, D.C.; New Britain, Conn.; Nashville, Houston, and St. Louis.

Access to capital was the most important issue, cited by 28 percent of respondents. More than half of the women surveyed found it difficult to secure the capital to start their business.

The majority of respondents were most likely to rely on personal savings as their primary source of start-up capital, followed by reinvested business earnings, loans, or lines of credit.

While access to capital was cited as the most important issue at each location, the proportion of respondents citing it varied by location. In Houston, 48 percent of respondents named access to capital as the greatest problem, whereas in other locations the proportion of respondents who selected access to capital ranged from 25 percent in Washington and 28 percent in Nashville to 32 percent in New Britain.

Friends and associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration and private banks were considered to be the most helpful sources of information about business financing options.

"The results of these surveys will play an important role as we continue to move forward with research initiatives and policy recommendations that help foster the growth of women-owned businesses," said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies and chair of the National Women's Business Council. "This study underscores the challenges that women business owners continue to face. Clearly, there is still much more to be done in terms of improving access to capital, access to affordable health care coverage, and access to Federal contracts, as well as in many other areas. …

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