USPTO, Commerce Department Launch Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative to Empower More Women Founders » Dallas Innovates

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Department of Commerce announced that they have created Women Entrepreneurs—a community-focused, collaborative and creative initiative to inspire women nationwide and harness their potential to increase equity, job creation and economic prosperity.

The initiative kicks off this Saturday, November 19, ahead of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and President Biden’s recent announcement to name the month as National Entrepreneurship Month.

“Unlocking the potential of women entrepreneurs is good for business, good for families and good for our economy,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “The WE initiative will serve as a valuable resource in their journey to start a business and strengthen the community of women entrepreneurs who continue to power American prosperity.”

Benefits for women business owners and entrepreneurs in North Texas

It’s an initiative that could benefit many women business owners and entrepreneurs in North Texas, an important cog in the Dallas USPTO network. The Texas regional office, which opened in 2015, is located in the Terminal Annex Federal Building in downtown Dallas. It serves the regions of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

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The USPTO said women represent the fastest growing class of entrepreneurs worldwide, but are less likely to be able to attract investment and secure the capital and intellectual property protection needed to become sustainable, the organizations said in a statement.

“Women are still vastly underrepresented in leadership positions in the United States, and the percentage of women who choose to pursue an entrepreneurial career is lower than that of men,” said Kathy Vidal, Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO in a statement “Through this important initiative, we aim to is to increase the number of women-led businesses for jobs, consumer choice and our economic prosperity. The time is now to put women’s entrepreneurship into overdrive, and we’re excited to launch this valuable initiative to shift it into gear.”

Women ‘severely underrepresented as business owners’

Organizations say women are underrepresented as business owners compared to men.

Citing the US Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS), the USPTO states that nearly 80% of US businesses are owned by men and 63% of US businesses have a majority ownership stake. On the other hand, women hold an ownership stake in about 37% of US businesses, but only hold a majority stake in 21% of businesses.

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Women 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 funding sources, according to the agency.

New online hub launched

The initiative includes a new online hub for aspiring women entrepreneurs, providing important information on how to get started, identify and protect their intellectual property, funding options and build and maintain a network. The WE Hub brings together information in an easy-to-digest format and will include the USPTO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium Series scheduled for March 2023.

The official WE launch event will be held 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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