SOURCE: NAWBO

January 19, 2010 16:26 ET

NAWBO Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary in 2010

Key Accomplishments Pave the Way for an Exciting Future for Women Business Owners

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - January 19, 2010) - This year, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) proudly celebrates its 35-year anniversary and will reflect upon their journey to becoming the strong and unified voice of more than 10 million women-owned businesses across the country today. It all began in 1975 when a group of a dozen like-minded women business owners in the D.C. area gathered to share information and create an atmosphere of professional community to further and strengthen their entrepreneurial interests.

NAWBO's Founding President Susan Hagar once said: "Get a seat at the table or build your own table, and make sure to include other women at that table." NAWBO has turned that sound advice into reality over the years as it has worked to grow the organization from one U.S. chapter to more than 80 and extended its reach to 60 countries on five continents worldwide through its affiliation with Les Femmes Chefs d'Enterprises Mondiales. Along the way, NAWBO has opened doors for thousands of women business owners -- to business advice and resources, public policy decision makers, leadership development opportunities, networking connections and more.

As NAWBO launches its anniversary commemoration this month, here are some of the accomplishments it will look back on through special activities and a celebration at their Women's Business Conference, which will be held June 10-11, 2010 in Washington D.C.:

1970s:
-- Association of Women Business Owners (AWBO), which becomes NAWBO, is
   incorporated.
-- NAWBO goes national and publishes its first directory of women-owned
   businesses -- a resource it continues to offer members today online.

1980s:
-- NAWBO national and chapter members attend the White House Conference on
   Small Business, testify before congressional committees and participate
   in task forces and small business groups. NAWBO holds its first
   conference and first National Public Affairs Day. HR 5050, the Women's
   Business Ownership Act, is passed.

1990s:
-- A delegation of Russian women, attempting to establish a Soviet
   Association of Women Business Owners, meet with NAWBO members and
   President George Bush.
-- Women-owned firms employ more people than the Fortune 500 companies
   combined. A 5 percent goal for Federal procurement for women-owned
   firms is established.
-- Past national NAWBO presidents are inducted into the Women's Hall of
   Fame.

2000s:
-- NAWBO signs on to the Women21.gov project, and participates in four
   town hall meetings across the country with then-President Bush.
-- NAWBO incorporates the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development
  (NAWBO IED), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that seeks to create
   educational experiences for established women entrepreneurs.

"With 2010 marking NAWBO's 35th anniversary, our organization is excited to pay tribute to our history and the exemplary women whose achievements have propelled us into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide," says NAWBO President and CEO Helen Han. "But equally exciting are the opportunities for women business owners that still lie ahead -- and what NAWBO's leadership, members and sponsor and affiliate partners are now doing to capture those and create even more."

NAWBO Chair Wendy Lopez agrees: "There is so much for NAWBO and its members to be proud of, and yet it's just the beginning of the long-term impact our organization will have in the U.S. and around the world -- on business, on policy and in our lives and communities. I'm honored to be a part of it."

About NAWBO

Founded in 1975, NAWBO propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. More than 35 years later, NAWBO is still the only organization that solely represents the interest of women entrepreneurs in all industries. The organization's mission is to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of its members and promote economic development; to create innovative and effective change in the business culture; to build strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and to transform public policy and influence opinion makers. To learn more about NAWBO, visit www.nawbo.org.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    NAWBO Media Relations
    Christina Jorgensen (ext. 103)
    Lauren Astor (ext. 115)
    Phone: (818) 772-9555
    Email: Email Contact