NAWBO and Advocacy: A Trip to Washington D.C.

NAWBO was founded in 1975 to serve as the first advocacy organization for women business owners.  In the years that followed, they achieved many great things, including an integral part in the passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act, also known as H.R. 5050.  H.R. 5050 eliminated any state laws that precluded women from securing their own business loans without a man to cosign for them.

Why Advocate?

The diversity of our membership is one of NAWBO’s greatest strengths.  Representing women business owners of all sizes, in all stages of business development, and all sectors, allows us to have an accurate snapshot of the obstacles and opportunities before the women’s business owner community.

Engagement in our advocacy efforts allows NAWBO members to continue NAWBO’s long-standing legacy of being an issue-based organization that will work with members of both political parties on the issues that impact our members.

By engaging in advocacy, you are continuing NAWBO’s legacy, as well as working for the betterment of your business and the broader women’s business of on our community.

Decisions are made that can make it easier or more difficult for women to start and grow their business.  By joining your voice with ours, you have a seat at the decision making table and we ensure that women business owners are heard.  We are proud to weigh in collectively on behalf of our members in ways that make it easier for them because we know when women business owners do well, our economy does well.

Where to Start Advocating

Advocacy, like business, is about networking and establishing relationships.  Elected officials want to hear from and engage with the people they represent so they can better serve the public.

First, learn who your elected officials are. Secondly, look at elected officials whose committee or issue assignments most align with the issues impacting businesses.  Commerce committees, tax committees, finance committees, and Ways and Means committees are all great places to start. Google their names to see if they are in the news for supporting any issues or sponsoring legislation that might impact the business community.

Reach out to their offices (preferably by phone) and ask to be connected with the staffer who handles business issues and/or community assignment of interest.  Staffers play an important role in filtering and forwarding information to the elected official and can serve as your conduit to that elected official.

Let the staffer and/or elected official know about you and your business – how many people you employee, how long you have been in business and the obstacles and opportunities you see ahead.

Offer to let the elected official visit your business or arrange to visit their official office.  Exchange contact information so that you can stay in touch via phone and email.

Don’t worry – you don’t have to be an expert on all the issues.  You are an expert on your company and how policies and regulations impact it and your decision-making.  When engaging your elected officials, explain how their decisions impact your business, your employees, your plans, etc.  Your testimonial of the real world implications of a law or regulation can be useful and impactful.

NAWBO Advocacy and Public Policy Day 2018

This summer, NAWBO National is hosting two advocacy events in Washington, D.C. and you’re invited.

National Advocacy Day (Tuesday June 19, 2018)
Academy for Public Service (Wednesday June 20, 2018)

Wendy Coulter is organizing a 4-day Chapter group trip.  You can register for one or both events. If you are interested, please register on the website.  Once we know how many members will be attending from our area, we can then determine transportation needs, and hire a charter bus if needed.

Suggested itinerary:

June 18th travel to Washington D.C.
June 19th – National Advocacy Day
June 20th – Academy for Public Service
June 21st – travel to Raleigh

Hotel accommodations are through The Kimpton Palomar Washington DC where NAWBO has secured a room block.  

If you are interested, please send Wendy Coulter an email at

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