The United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Commerce announced they have created Women’s Entrepreneurship—a community-focused, collaborative, and creative initiative to inspire women nationwide and tap their potential to increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity.
The initiative launches ahead of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day this Saturday, November 19, and comes on the heels of President Biden’s recent proclamation naming this month as National Entrepreneurship Month.
“Unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs is good for business, good for families, and good for our economy,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “The WE initiative will serve as a valuable resource to women on their journey to start a business and strengthen the community of women entrepreneurs that continue to power American prosperity.”
Benefits for North Texas female business owners and entrepreneurs
It’s an initiative that could benefit many female business owners and entrepreneurs in North Texas, with Dallas being an important cog in the USPTO network. The Texas Regional Office, which opened in 2015, is in the Terminal Annex Federal Building in downtown Dallas. It serves the Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas regions.
The USPTO said that women represent the fastest-growing category of entrepreneurs worldwide, but are less likely to be able to secure the capital and the intellectual property protections they need to attract investment and become sustainable, the agencies said in a statement.
“Women are still vastly underrepresented in leadership positions in the U.S., and the percentage of women who decide to pursue an entrepreneurial career is lower than that of men,” Kathi Vidal, undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO, said in the statement. “With this important initiative, our goal is to increase the number of women-led businesses to bolster jobs, consumer choice, and our economic prosperity. The time is now to put women’s entrepreneurship into overdrive, and we are excited to launch this valuable initiative to shift it into gear.”
Women are ‘severely underrepresented as business owners’
The agencies said that when compared to men, women are severely underrepresented as business owners.
Citing the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS), the USPTO said that men have an ownership stake in about 80% of U.S. businesses and a majority ownership share in 63% of U.S. businesses. Women, on the other hand, hold an ownership stake in about 37% of U.S. businesses, but only had a majority share in 21% of businesses.
Women’s Entrepreneurship will build on efforts across the private sector and government to inspire and support startups and aspiring women entrepreneurs, connecting them with each other, with support, and with funding sources, according to the agencies.
New online hub launched
The initiative includes a new online hub for aspiring women entrepreneurs to provide important information on how to get started, identify and protect their intellectual property, funding options, and build and maintain a network. The WE hub aggregates the information in an easy-to-digest format and will include USPTO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium series to be hosted in March 2023.
The official WE launch event will take place on November 30 at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. To sign up to attend this event live or virtually, visit the event page on the USPTO website.
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