Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable

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This past March, the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE) assisted in the establishment of the first-ever bipartisan Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus.  The new Caucus is co-chaired by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tim Scott (R-SC), and also includes Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Gary Peters (D-MI), David Perdue (R-GA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Tina Smith (D-MN).

The Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus is very interested in the unique issues and challenges experienced by women entrepreneurs.  In recent years, only about 17 percent of new businesses were launched by women and female entrepreneurs receive only about 2 percent of venture capital.  And yet some research suggests that women may be launching new businesses at higher rates than men, even as they confront unique challenges as entrepreneurs, particularly with regard to securing financing and managing family responsibilities.

Meanwhile, recent research and evidence collected by CAE by way of roundtables with women founders suggest that women entrepreneurs differ from their male counterparts in significant ways.  For example, women appear to start businesses for different reasons than men; run their businesses differently; have different objectives and goals for their businesses; grow their businesses more slowly than men, but have higher rates of success; and, take a different approach to financing their new businesses.

At CAE’s invitation, the Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus has agreed to participate in a special roundtable discussion of the issues, challenges, and needs of women entrepreneurs with 22 women business founders from across the United States.  The roundtable will take place in Washington, DC on September 24, 2019.  Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tim Scott will serve as honorary co-hosts of the event, and Wendy Guillies, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will moderate the discussion.

CAE is strongly of the view that thriving entrepreneurship is the essential pathway back to the faster economic growth and expanding opportunity the American people need and deserve.  Economic growth is propelled by gains in productivity, driven by innovation – which comes disproportionately from new businesses.  Revitalizing American entrepreneurship, in turn, requires far higher rates of participation by women entrepreneurs.  And closing the gap between male and female entrepreneurship requires a rigorous, evidence-based understanding of why the present disparity exists.

It is our hope that the Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable hosted by the Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus will be an important first step toward understanding and addressing the unique challenges and barriers that confront women entrepreneurs in America.

Meet the Attendees

Cynthia Adams
Co-founder and CEO
Pearl Certification

Grace Belangia
Co-founder and ED
The Clubhouse

Kenzie Biggins
Founder and CEO
Worxbee, LLC

Allison DeVane
Founder and CEO
Teaspressa

Bethany Edwards
Co-founder and CEO
LIA Diagnostics

Kodee Furst
Co-founder and MP
Annie Capital

Kayla Rodriguez Graff
Founder and CEO
Sweet Bio

Suzanne Hamill
Founder
FutureSuzi Consulting

Monica Landers
Founder and CEO
StoryFit

Caroline Karanja
Founder and CEO
26 Letters

Jordan Kaufmann
Executive Director
Iowa MADE

Sky Kelley
Founder and CEO
Avisare

Dianna Liu
Founder and President
ARIX Technologies

Krista Marks
Co-founder and CEO
Woot Math

Tina Tran Neville
Founder and CEO
Lana Learn

Andrea Nye
Founder and CEO
Xylyx Bio

Charu Ramanathan
Co-founder and CEO
vitalxchange

Wendy Romeu
Co-founder and CEO
Alluvionic

Skyler Pearson
Founder and CEO
Nexgarden

Jay Newton-Small
Founder and CEO
MemoryWell

Heather Spalding
Founder and CEO
Cambrian

Andrea Wallace
Founder and CEO
Fourtifeye

Our Sponsors

A number of organizations and individuals helped make the Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable with the Senate Entrepreneurship Caucus possible.

CAE is especially grateful to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) for its vitally important work on behalf of American women and its generous support for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable and CAE.

CAE is also grateful to Jason Seats of Techstars for his generous support.

Special thanks to Wendy Guillies, President and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, for moderating the Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable and for the Kauffman Foundation’s longstanding support for American entrepreneurship – and for CAE.

CAE wishes to thank the following organizations for their generous support for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable: