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Entrepreneurs of color push women-owned business growth in U.S.

Martin Desmarais | 7/15/2014, 6:33 p.m.

Organizations such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, an organization started in 1997 that helps women business owners get government and big contracts, still emphasize traditional methods of obtaining business, such as networking and partnerships.

Council CEO Pamela Prince-Eason has been widely quoted in the media stressing the need for women business owners to work even harder than they do now if they want more contracts with big corporations and the government.

Prince-Eason has even gone as far as to say that women can hurt themselves in business meetings because they approach males and take a subservient position and have warmer personalities. She calls on women to approach every business meeting in a straightforward professional manner and treat it as a strictly business transaction.

Natalie Madeira Cofield, president and CEO of the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce and founder of women in business collective Walker’s Legacy, credited the ability of women of entrepreneurs to find such growing success in a 2013 Forbes article, “Minority Women Entrepreneurs: Go-Getters Without Resources.”

Cofield said that lack of social capital and access to the white-male dominated business world are continuing challenges for women entrepreneurs of color. She concluded that to be successful women they must increase participation with women’s associations, collectives and trade groups to increase social capital and broader business relationships.