The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to unanimously approve the Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act legislation introduced by Congressman Steve Knight. This bill would modify several programs within the Small Business Administration to modernize and improve initiatives to support female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses.
The Women’s Business Centers Improvements Act would update the mission of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership to direct it to assist women entrepreneurs to start, grow, and compete in global markets by providing quality support with access to capital, access to markets, job creation, growth, and counseling. This bill also directs SBA to establish criteria for a grant program to support organizations that operate women’s business centers.
“According to the Department of Labor, women make up 47 percent of our workforce. However, this percentage is not reflected in their share of business ownership or executive positions,” Knight said. “While there are millions of innovative and ambitions female entrepreneurs out there, many face challenges getting access to capital, legal counseling, or guidance as they start or grow their businesses. This bill will help address this inequity by ensuring the SBA has a robust and modern program to assist women-owned businesses.”
During this session, Knight has introduced several other bills to specifically support women in the workplace, including the Workplace Advancement Act and the Women in Aerospace Education Act, which passed the House. The bill now awaits consideration in the U.S. Senate.
Knight is a member of the House Small Business Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce.