By Ryan Velez
The upcoming presidency of Donald Trump has led to a lot of questions regarding how many different groups in the country will either benefit or suffer from his purported policies. One group discussed by a recent Black Enterprise article that may not be making headlines, but still has a huge stake in the years to come are women in business. According to Jane Campbell, president of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and director of the National Development Council’s Washington, D.C. office, some of the things that businesswomen will need to succeed are more access to capital, more federal contracting opportunities, and relief from high healthcare cost. The pressure will be on a Trump administration to deliver in this regard.
Perhaps the best place to start where evaluating a Trump administration in terms of helping women in business is to look at what he has already laid out on the table. According to Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), Trump’s planned agenda includes “lower taxes and simplifying the tax code, relieving small businesses of excessive regulation and red tape, competitive solutions for more affordable health insurance, bringing down barriers to capital access and formation, leveraging energy resources and America’s energy renaissance more fully, and smarter trade agreements.”
Other plans of particular interest to African-American women and those based in inner cities include tax incentives for inner cities, reinvested money in these communities from suspended refugee programs, and micro-loans for African-Americans. While these plans certainly seem like a good start, there is much more that Trump will likely have to do to help women overcome some of the biases already in the business world. Only 4% of all commercial loan dollars go to women, they only receive 5% of all government contracts, and only 3% of all venture capital goes to women-owned companies. Considering the fact that businesses ran by women make up a third of all business in this country and bring in over $1.4 trillion in revenue, it’s easy to see how this is not fair.
In addition to the things that Trump has already addressed, there are other issues important to women-owned businesses that he has not mentioned. These include the fact that these businesses often need access to international markets, how the growth of the broadband and tech sectors have increased opportunities for women to succeed, and a lack of representation for them in groups like the SEC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and others.