Women business owners interested in conducting business with the federal government had the opportunity to attend a workshop directly geared toward helping them navigate the procurement process. Experts volunteered their time and provided important tips for winning government contracts and advice underscoring President Bush's commitment to increasing government contracts to women-owned firms.
Each federal agency has an office dedicated to helping women-owned firms pursue government contracting known as the "Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization" (OSDBU). OSDBU representatives were also on hand at the conference to answer questions. The OSDBUs provide beneficial resources for women business owners.
The Women's Bureau staff joined the conference attendees at workshops to learn the most up-to-date strategies for dealing with issues that impact women business owners. Experts addressed the topics of health care, exporting, taxes, media relations, achieving work-life balance, technology, finance and accessing capital, providing in-depth information on where women business owners can turn for help. All of the conference workshops are available on the DOL website.
"Accessing capital" was the top issue for attendees, with health insurance affordability, taxes and general economic concerns all making the list of top challenges faced by women business owners. Based upon workshop discussions, as well as on-site feedback received over the course of the two-day event, Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao pledged to continually work on the priorities of women business owners. "Working together, we will overcome these obstacles and help more women like you create jobs and generate wealth," said Secretary Chao.
Additional information presented at the conference workshops reflected the Women's Bureau own Strengthening the Family and Technology Initiatives:
- Work-Life Balance: Too many priorities, too little time
Experts discussed and focused on women small business owners and provided a general forum in which the panelists, and audience, could identify obstacles, strategies, and solutions for balancing work-life responsibilities to successfully meet the demands of work and family.
- Financial Security: A look at investment choices for retirement
Panel members provided financial tips to participants. Discussions addressed the economic situation women face, highlighting the fact that women live longer than men and women are less likely to participate in a pension plan. Women are great savers but need to focus more on their retirement savings. Of the 59 million wage and salaried women working in the United States as of June 2000, less than half (47%) participate in a pension plan.
- Trends in Technology: What's New, What's Affordable and What
Experts noted the growing trend in conducting business over the Internet. Most large companies will be doing business online by the end of 2002 and small businesses are moving in this direction as well. Half of the Fortune 1000 companies are already online and report 60% of their clients as Internet-based. The advice to entrepreneurs was to use the technologies available and join this growing trend.
e-News Alert -- Use this mailbox to be notified of upcoming e-News letters.
For More Information About WB, Contact:
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW - Room S-3002
Washington, DC 20210
Telephone 1-800-827-5335 or (202) 693-6710
Fax (202) 693-6725