Mar 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Joni Ernst to introduce bill giving women more access to SBA venture fund

Joni Ernst
Photo: Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will introduce a bill aimed at giving women greater access to the Small Business Administration's venture capital fund, she told Axios at an event on International Women's Day.

Why it matters: Women are less likely to seek small business funding than their counterparts, per the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Ernst said the provisions of the Empowering Women in Small Business Act will be "enticing" to members of both parties.

What she's saying: "We know that women often do struggle as they're financing a new small business, so this would increase those opportunities and pair it with a number of our other initiatives through the Small Business Committee through a number of bills that I have," Ernst told Axios on Tuesday.

  • "We are hopeful to see many more women gain of access to capital and start successful small businesses.

What to watch: Ernst said she expects the bill to get bipartisan support.

  • "This is an important topic to so many, many of the states or like Iowa, where 99 percent of our small business, our business is small business.
  • "So it is very important to members, not just those that serve on the Small Business Committee, but everyone else across the spectrum. And we are celebrating Women's History Month, so this is a very timely topic."

Ernst said she will introduce the legislation later this month.

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