Dear BWE Friend,
Please join The New York State Association of Black Women Owned Enterprises, Inc. (BWE) and fellow business leaders, in a historical initiative to identify and pay tribute to New York State's women business owners of color, at our annual luncheon celebration, The Black Rose Entrepreneurial Awards & Annual Meeting.
ADECCO, Alpha Rae Personnel, AT&T, Astoria Federal Savings, Americana Mall, Bank of America, Brookhaven National Labs, Citibank, City National Bank of New Jersey, Canon USA, Computer Associates, Con Edison, Economic Opportunity Commission, Fidelis Care, The Finance Department, Fortunoff, Hofstra University, JP Morgan Chase, KEYSPAN Energy, Long Island Development Corporation, Mercy Medical Center, Molloy College, Newsday, Northrop Grumman, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Pay Source USA, Philip Morris, St. Joseph's, TIAA-Cref, UPS, Verizon and WAMU traditionally partner with BWE to support this initiative to celebrate women business owners of color.
The Black Rose
is the rarest of the roses. The Black Woman Business Owner
is the rarest of the entrepreneurs, especially in the private and public sector procurement process. Women business owners of color are making valuable contributions to our nation's economy and society. BWE's Black Rose honorees include women business owners of all ethnic origins; Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American.
According to The Center for Women's Business Research:
Growth is the key focus for all women entrepreneurs regardless of race or ethnic background. In 2002, more than half of the women business owners reported that their businesses had grown over the past three years and business growth is the primary goal for the vast majority (86% African American, 71% Asian, 80% Caucasian, and 84% Latina).
As of 2002 there are over 1.2 million firms owned by women of color in the United States, a woman or women of color-amounting to 1 in 5 women-owned firms (20%) in the United States. Overall, the number of minority women-owned firms increased by 32% between 1997 and 2002 - four times faster than all United States firms and over twice the rate of all women owned firms.
Fast-growing women and men-owned firms use a wider variety of sources of capital, and are more likely to use bank credit than other firms. Yet, only 39% of fast-growth women owners have a commercial bank loan compared to 52% of fast-growth men owners.
Access to capital is more problematic for women of color. As of 1998, fully 60% of Caucasian women business owners had bank credit, compared to 50% of Hispanic, 45% of Asian, 42% of Native American and 38% of African American women owners.
Large corporations are a vital market for women business owners. Six in 10 Fortune 1000 companies report spending $1 billion or more annually with outside suppliers and vendors. Yet this market has not yet been fully tapped by women-owned businesses, who currently receive just 3% of the corporate business.
BWE established in 1993, is New York State's first and only nonprofit organization established primarily to promote greater opportunities and success among black women business owners and potential owners. Offering business counseling, credit counseling, debt management, technical assistance, procurement opportunities, business certifications, vendor registrations, RFP & BID response assistance, strategic marketing programs, business referrals and collaborative support services, BWE actively assists the small business community reach their fullest potential.
Today BWE is New York State's largest women's business owners association. An inclusive, ethnically diverse membership organization, with over 2,450 members statewide and 425 members across the United States and a unique mission to:
Identify and remove the barriers that impede the success of Black Women Owned Enterprises from participating in government and private sector procurement, promote equal access to capital, educate, advocate, reverse trends that foster business failure and serve as a clearing house for all information related to Black Women Owned Enterprises. Although BWE's core mission is to serve black women business owners, we do not discriminate. We serve all.
Help BWE help the small business community of color, the most unidentified and underserved segment of small business. Your participation ensures BWE's continued success. We appreciate your interest and look forward to your support.
Warmest personal regards,
Phyllis Hill Slater
Gina Slater Parker
President & CEO