BE2C2 Report — President Donald Trump hosted a roundtable Monday at the White House to promote economic empowerment for women small business owners, moving forward with his pledge to help America’s small and medium business enterprise (SMBE) sector.
“We must ensure that our economy is a place where women can work and thrive. We will continue addressing the barriers faced by [women in the workforce],” Trump assured the group of female executives.
In attendance at the meeting were 11 women owners of small businesses including Claudia Mirza, CEO and co-founder of global workforce solutions company Akorbi, and Shirley Ann Perry, founder of environmental consulting company HydroTech. Also at the table was Trumbull Unmanned founder Dyan Gibbens, a former Air Force graduate and Department of Defense employee who now heads one of the nation’s leading drone service providers to the energy sector.
According to experts, small businesses have created 66% of net new jobs in the US since the 1970s; a key economic indicator tied directly to the overall health of the economy. In addition, minorities are fueling small business growth and outpacing other segments in firm creation. For example, over the last decade, minority-owned companies have grown at a rate several times higher than that of all other firms. Non-minority firms had 6% negative growth, according to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
A minority as well as women-owned small business, Akorbi, started as a home-based translation business in 2003 and has flourished into an award-winning, fast-growing, international company with approximately 750 full-time and part-time employees.
The Texas-based company provides translation, interpretation, staffing, and multilanguage call centers in more than 170 languages, according to its website.
Its co-founder Azam Mirza — an Indian-American, holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Orleans. He secured a Bachelor’s degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India.
Also sitting in on Monday’s meeting was Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
President Trump signed two executive orders last month championing the importance of women in business.
The “Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers and Innovators and Explorers Act” calls on NASA to encourage women to pursue careers in science, engineering and math. The “Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act” endorses a higher level of support for entrepreneurial programs started by women.