During World War II, FDR asked us to join Rosie the Riveter and 20 million women responded by going to work in factories across the country. In the 1960's, President Kennedy asked us all to join the Peace Corps. During the last recession in 2001, President Bush told women to keep shopping! Now, President Obama, please ask women business owners to grow their businesses and create jobs, because they can and they will. To play our part in the economic recovery, we need access to credit, markets and some mentoring and we will create jobs immediately. Considering that the new Kauffman Foundation-funded U.S. Census Bureau study reports "startups remain robust even in the most severe recession," it is the perfect time for the President to create a virtual women's business center dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs who can create jobs faster than anyone.
This is the best educated generation of women in history - creative, innovative, and problem solvers.
North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue knew this in October as she addressed a captive crowd of women entrepreneurs who attended the Make Mine a Million $ Business event held by Count Me In, a not-for-profit that helps women grow their micro businesses to $million plus enterprises. Then, Lieutenant Governor Purdue was in the midst of the meltdown at Wachovia, and she knew employment in North Carolina would no longer be generated in financial services but in sectors like health care and education, where women small business owners thrive.
Some of the economic stimulus package needs to get into the hands of women business owners who can create jobs. Women entrepreneurs can create solid private sector jobs in every state. We are job-creating machines. There are currently 1.8 million women business owners stuck in what the experts call the "missing middle," women with businesses earning annual revenues of $250,000 to $750,000. These women stand "shovel-ready" to grow to $1 million plus in revenues and create 500,000 new jobs in the new year.
Senator Hillary Clinton (NY), Governors Janet Napolitano (AZ), Christine Gregoire (WA) and Rich Perry (TX), Representatives Nydia Velazquez (NY) and Mel Watt (NC) and Newark's Mayor Corey Booker have all spoken at Count Me In's Make Mine a Million $ Business events, encouraging women's economic independence through entrepreneurship while recognizing the positive effect of women's business growth on job creation and the economy overall.
Elaine the Entrepreneur could do for the great recession of 2009 what Rosie the Riveter did for the faltering U.S. economy in 1942. We can create all kinds of jobs for everybody - whether you can wield a shovel or not.