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New Women’s Small Business Ownership Act Will Increase Lending and Federal Contract Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses

A new bill has been introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) that will substantially increase business opportunities for women-owned businesses. The goal of The Women's Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 is to remove some of the obstacles that often prevent women who own small businesses from becoming successful.

How the bill will help women-owned businesses

The bill is advocating support in three primary areas.

  • Increasing capital - the bill would allow lenders in the SBA Microloan to increase overall lending capacity from $5 million to $7 million.
  • Sole source contracting - the bill would would authorize sole source contract awards to women-owned small businesses. Sole source contracts are no-bid contracts that are legal and sometimes used by the U.S. government under specified circumstances. This target goal is important because the federal government's current 5 percent goal of awarding contracts to women-owned small businesses is not being met.
  • Business counseling - the bill would double the funding to Women's Business Centers throughout the U.S. and provide more business counseling programs for women-owned businesses. Women's Business Centers are operated by the SBA Office of Women Ownership.

To read the entire bill, visit