National Women’s Business Council Holds #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable in San Juan
SAN JUAN – The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) held its first #LetsTalkBusiness Roundtable of the year Thursday in San Juan.
In partnership with the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, government officials, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) representatives, lenders, women business owners and entrepreneurs, and others discussed one of the council’s key policy initiatives: Access to Capital & Opportunity.
The NWBC is a nonpartisan and independent federal advisory committee established to provide advice and policy recommendations to the president, Congress and the SBA. As advocate for the United States’ estimated 13 million women-owned businesses, NWBC launched the series of roundtables across the country convening women business owners to better understand the challenges they face and identify opportunities for growth.
Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced and the executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), Jennifer M. Storipan, Esq. participated in the event to discuss access to capital and opportunities to empower women.
The NWBC discussion topics included “economic development opportunities and partnerships with the business sector as Puerto Rican women continue to boost the island’s economy by creating or growing enterprises,” a PRFAA release explained, adding that the roundtable was also about “financial education, recent disaster recovery efforts, and substantial differences in loan amounts rates offered to women compared to the ones provided to men.”
The governor said her government “is committed to strengthening economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs,” according to a release. “Through advocating for the right to equal pay for equal work, increasing access to quality healthcare for women, and being committed to the rebuilding of women-owned businesses on the island, Puerto Rico is continuing to work and create partnerships with organizations that empower women,” it adds.
“I am proud to have worked with the NWBC to bring this important event to Puerto Rico,” Storipan said. “Women’s issues—such as equal pay for equal work, increased access to quality healthcare, supporting and encouraging women entrepreneurs are all priorities I remain committed to advancing. The discussions that occur at these forums are a step forward in our fight to eliminate gender inequality. We must work together to empower and uplift women, and I welcome the opportunity to join the fight for equality to build a path for others to follow. I truly believe the future is female, I truly believe in the future of Puerto Rico.”
The NWBC is focusing on three areas this year.
“We want to recommend policies that improve access to capital and opportunity for female founders, encourage more women to start and grow companies in STEM, and remove obstacles for women business owners in rural areas. We do this by convening women business owners and stakeholders across the country to hear and learn about the real-world problems and overall landscape that women are facing,” the council wrote.