Business groups team to boost opportunities for women entrepreneurs

To promote more opportunities for women entrepreneurs, Women Impacting Public Policy, a leading women's business advocacy group, is teaming with the American Small Business Coalition.

According to WIPP's 2005 annual national survey of women business owners, 60 percent of respondents said their biggest challenge to winning federal contracts was their inability to gain access to buyers in the federal government.

"This partnership with the ASBC will help facilitate matchmaking activities between women entrepreneurs and prospective customers in the government," said Barbara Kasoff, president of WIPP.

Women own roughly half of all privately held businesses, which are growing at nearly twice the rate of other companies, according to a statement released by ASBC. But only 2.6 percent of all federal contracts are awarded to women-owned businesses, short of the 5 percent set-aside goal mandated by Congress and the Small Business Administration in 2000.

WIPP, a bipartisan group, has more than 500,000 members and works to strengthen their influence in business and politics. ASBC is a private membership organization that offers information and helps companies build relationships.

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