They own 31% of all privately-held businesses in the US, employ nearly 8 million people (14% of the workforce), and generate $1.4 TRILLION dollars in domestic sales. But less than 40 years ago, they received only 10% of all business loans, and were awarded fewer than 5% of government contracts. Who are “they?” Women.
“Women-owned businesses have come a long way in the decades since NAWBO was started, but we still face obstacles every day,” said Patricia Nolan, newly appointed President of the Broward/Palm Beach County Chapter of NAWBO. “Organizations like NAWBO exist to make sure all women entrepreneurs have support, continuing business education, and an advocacy platform.”
New Chapter President Inducted in June 2017: Ms. Nolan knew exactly what she was getting into by taking the helm of this vibrant NAWBO Chapter, having served as its President-Elect during a successful term with Immediate Past President, Julia Aquino-Serrano. “In my five years with NAWBO, not only has my business grown, but also my desire to serve my fellow women business owners,” said Ms. Nolan. “Julia was an outstanding President, as well as a great friend and mentor. We worked hard to grow the Chapter and to be a positive presence in the business community. I plan on continuing that important work during my term.”
NAWBO Expands: The Broward County Chapter’s roster grew significantly these past two years, and over time, many Palm Beach County entrepreneurs wanted to be a part of NAWBO. What began as a small satellite mastermind group has expanded, and the Chapter officially changed its name to NAWBO Broward/Palm Beach just this month. “We are thrilled to welcome our Palm Beach NAWBO sisters and to change our name to reflect this larger population we serve,” said Ms. Nolan. “We consider NAWBO a sisterhood, and the more sisters, the better! We also work closely with NAWBO Miami-Dade, hosting joint events, sharing information and resources and working to help each other in any way we can. That is what NAWBO is all about.”
An Entrepreneur’s Journey: Like many entrepreneurs, Ms. Nolan’s business life has taken many twists and turns. She started out as a copywriter working for clients in almost every imaginable industry. Now her company, About The Words, has shifted its focus. While she still offers blogging and content services to a few select clients, her specialty now is much larger projects. “Over the years, I have met dozens of fascinating people, all with a story to tell,” said Ms. Nolan. “The problem is, they don’t have the time, inclination, or skill set to get those stories down on paper. That’s where I come in. As a ghostwriter, I help these amazing people tell their stories. It’s a wonderful writing niche.”
Thankfully, organizations like NAWBO provide the support entrepreneurs need, with advice on virtually every subject imaginable at members’ fingertips. “At the time NAWBO was started,” said Ms. Nolan, “women had no real network to call upon for ideas and support.” Today NAWBO employs a full-time advocate working the halls of DC, and has over 65,000 engaged members in 60 Chapters nationwide. “It’s incredible,” said Ms. Nolan. “We keep growing, we keep working to make a difference, and we’re here to stay. I am proud to be a woman business owner, and proud to be a part of NAWBO.”