Government

President Obama spoke last week on the work his Administration is doing to consolidate the six major federal departments and agencies that focus on business or trade into one to better serve American business owners.

In the speech above he is “calling on congress to reinstate the authority that past presidents have had to streamline and reform the executive branch.” The last time a President was given authority to do this was in 1984. He explains that when you talk to small business owners today they say “To deal with government on a regular basis is not always the highlight of their day.”

When running for office he pledged to make our government “leaner, smarter, and more consumer friendly” stating that “we live in a 21st century economy but we still have a government organized for a 20th century economy.”

He then goes on to outline the changes he will make if Congress gives him the power to streamline the Government with the goal to be specifically streamlining business and trade with one department, one website, one hotline, and one mission.

Currently, the “system is a maze” explains President Obama.

There is a number of websites and customer service numbers that all offering different forms of assistance for the small business owner. Small business owners want to concentrate on the doing and the government wants to make it easy for them. President Obama’s answer for this is:

  1. 1 Department: BusinessUSA
  2. 1 Website and Hotline
  3. That will take them from the day they have an idea, create the product, and are ready to export. He argues that will will save tax payer dollars while helping American businesses grow, which will in turn help our economy.

    The first thing President Obama is doing is to elevate SBA to a cabinet level agency starting today. Karen Mills is going to make sure SBA has a seat at the table at cabinet meetings. Following that, the new Business USA website will be unveiled in the next few weeks that is a one stop shop for business owners. He will keep going with or without the support from Congress, but emphasizes it will be easier with their support. Find more at whitehouse.gov.

    Young Female Entrepreneurs wants to know…
    Will this help grow your business in 2012?
    What questions do you still have after watching this video?

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Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 29, 2011

Young FEmale Entrepreneurs

As young, female entrepreneurs many of us have industry, business, and fashion magazines piled up on our bed stands. Our interests vary as do our lifestyles. However, one thing is for certain, there is something exciting about starting a new year. As you look back on your 2011 and make big plans for 2012, get some help from your peers. Here are products and services created by young, female entrepreneurs for YFEs that will help get your 2012 off on the right foot.

Get Fit and Healthy

At my company we purposely point out that good health is something we value to keep it top of mind everyday. Sick, tired, and grumpy people is not what a good company is made of. Are you committing to prioritize your health in the new year as an entrepreneur? Here are a few items that will give you some extra motivation to hit the gym, ditch the coffee, and reach for the h2o.

Get support

For the GlowLast year after having my son, I really needed a boost of energy to keep up with being a new mom while building a business. I decided to commit to fellow young entrepreneur, Jennifer Jordan’s Resolution Challenge and was amazed at how much I had really been neglecting my health in the process.

If you are like me and just need a reminder and a plan to get you going again, this is a great recipe for change. With the Challenge you are essentially outsourcing your planning to For the Glow who provides you with meal and workout plans with the knowledge behind it so that you can make healthy, educated decisions post Challenge. Jennifer is generously giving YFEs a two for one special too! Once you receive the orientation packet, respond letting her know that you’re a YFE & provide your pal’s email address and name. She will then email the friend all the details. Grab you business parter, VA, or best Facebook friend and have fun getting fit and healthy together.

Get the equipment

If yoga, pilates, and running are already staples in your day, check out Zweet Sport for workout clothes that will spice up your daily routine. Marja and Kimberly founded Zweet Sport from their shared passion for fitness and fashion. The company produces “high end active wear” that looks and feels good.

 

“Our top sellers are the light weight Jaco shorts (loved by hot yogi’s and pole fitness ladies) and our Brasilia & Ezieza tops” explains Co-founder and Managing Director, Marja Toan. “We’re working on our Spring/Summer line which will debut in Feb/March. We’re incorporating a tank, another Capri pant & restocking all current styles with new color combos and prints.”

oGorgeous

YFE’s most recent profile is on one of Youtube’s Next Trainers, Amanda Russell. You can subscribe to her videos to round out your focus on staying healthy while keeping busy here. Another Youtube Next Trainer is Cassey Ho who created POP Pilates and oGorgeous yoga bags. Check out her line of gym and yoga bags to help you stay organized and ready to get your sweat on.

Take Action on your Ventures

Having compelling goals in both your personal and work life that excite you are one thing, but having the confidence and know-how to get them started is another.

Get clear and gain confidence

Molly Majar recorded an amazing Young Female Entrepreneurs Podcast episode for us on the topic of getting past our fears to get stuff done. She has a new program called, “Create Your Magical Year” that is aimed at helping us quarter lifers get our vision out on paper. The program is affordable and includes a digital download of “3 training calls, 20 art-filled worksheets, and 7 inspirational interviews from women you admire.” Molly added two bonuses to the download that include a process for creating “your theme for the year” and a “reading of Shakti Gawain’s Clearing Blocks visualization.” Check out Molly’s program.

If you are a fan of Napolean Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” you will want to check out Natalie MacNeil’s 21 Day New Year Challenge. Natalie is using MightyBell.com as the platform for walking participants through Napolean Hill’s book and recorded videos that have recently been made public. “Mightybell enables people – like Natalie MacNeil – to quickly and easily create new ”experiences” as a short series of step-by-step, day-by-day ‘actions’ you can do.” Join the Challenge here.

Get help

While it’s not packaged in a bow, colorful, or sexy in any way, the SBA provides programs and resources across the country for budding and growing entrepreneurs. If you haven’t given your local office a ring in the last year, make an appointment to do so in the next week. Here are a few links for you to keep in mind: NWBOC: The Nationals First WBE Certifier, SCORE Mentoring, National Women’s Business Council: Advisors to the President, Congress, and the SBA

Celebrate and Enjoy Life

Yes, New Years Eve is on Saturday and time is winding down to grab your perfect party dress. However, why let the celebrating stop on Saturday night? As a young, female entrepreneur you will have a number of occasions to celebrate throughout the year. Be prepared with the right dress when the time to unplug, shower, and head outside comes around.

Dress to Impress Celebrate

Jolie & Elizabeth

One company I’ve followed for the past few months that is helping this cause is Jolie & Elizabeth. Sara Elizabeth and Jolie, two New Orleans fashion designers are often in the press for being among a select group of young entrepreneurs who are revitalizing the city’s economy. Their dresses stay “true to timeless southern style” Co-founder, Jolie recommends the Revanche dress- “We offer it in a pink/ grey colorway and a mint/grey colorway. It’s normally priced at $242 but we’ve marked it down to $120, for the next week, until New Years. The name, Revanche- is french for Revenge, a good heartbreak dress!

Vue Society

Moving westward, a hot name in the Seattle scene is VueSociety. Founder Rachel Kim explains that the online shop’s focus is on “the extra curricular activities that happen outside of the working environment.” She specializes in high end one pieces and dresses serving women that “knows what she wants. She dresses conservatively and is labeled a trendsetter.” In for some sparkle? Then check out Vue Society’s Olive Green Sequin Dress from Blaque Label. If you are less of a dress girl, then take a peak at the Again Apparel Flaunt TRUX Skirt made of embossed pleather with stitching detail. Rachel is offering YFEs a promo code to use for the New Year: NYE2012. Receive $20 off the entire order along with free shipping to all WA state orders (plus, 5% of every purchase is donated to WWIN!).

2012 will be a break out year for many young, female entrepreneurs. By minding our health, our businesses, and remembering to still have fun outside of work we can all expect great things from one another. Many thanks to the young, female entrepreneurs featured in this piece who offered generous discounts. If you or a young, female entrepreneur you know of has a great product or service that would benefit YFEs in prepping for the new year, please share in the comments below!

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As young, American women we have a duty to be informed of what is going on in the world around us. As business owners, on top of staying current in consumer, industry, and business trends we must also be actively involved in knowing what is being discussed in our government. Our livelihoods can depend on government policy: taxes, health care, regulations, and more. Last night President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress presenting the American Jobs Act. What is your plan for making sure your elected officials represent your best interests?

The following is a summary of a fact sheet from the White House that pulls some of the pieces that are more relevant to the young, female entrepreneur. However, it should be reviewed in it’s entirety  for a more well rounded perspective. The plan came out to total $447 billion dollars. Watch for the President’s strategy for how we are going to pay for this and stay on track with his plans for reducing the defecit, which will be released on September 19th.

“The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. And it would do so without adding a dime to the deficit.”

Download this reader friendly fact sheet.

The American Jobs Act has five key components:

1. Tax Cuts to Help America’s Small Businesses Hire and Grow

  • A payroll tax cut to businesses, with a focus on small employers ($65 billion in combination with the payroll tax holiday for new wages).
  • A complete payroll tax holiday for new jobs or wage increases. In addition to the 3.1% payroll tax cut for all firms, the President’s plan provides a direct incentive to encourage firms to hire additional employees or raise wages for their current employees. The plan would completely refund payroll taxes paid on added workers or wage increases for current workers above the level of last year’s payroll.
  • Extend 100 percent business expensing through 2012 ($5 billion). The President is proposing an extension of the 100 percent expensing provision that he signed into law in December 2010, which rewards firms for making investments by allowing them to deduct the full value of those investments from their tax obligations through 2012.
  • Changing the Way the Government Does Business with Small Firms: The Administration will soon announce a plan to accelerate government payments to small contractors to help put money in their hands faster.
  • The administration also supports establishing a “crowdfunding” exemption from SEC registration requirements for firms raising less than $1 million (with individual investments limited to $10,000 or 10% of investors’ annual income) and raising the cap on “mini-offerings” (Regulation A) from $5 million to $50 million. This will make it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital and create jobs.
  • Passing Patent Reform

2. Putting Workers Back on the Job While Rebuilding and Modernizing America

3. Pathways Back to Work for Americans Looking for Jobs

  • …work sharing that would let workers receive pro-rated UI benefits as compensation for a reduction in hours at businesses that would otherwise lay workers off.
  • The President is proposing to provide additional funds to allow states to introduce new programs aimed at long-term unemployed workers, including: Bridge to Work: A number of states have innovative programs that give workers the opportunity to take temporary, voluntary employment to keep up their skills and train at the workplace for a new job, while continuing to receive unemployment insurance. The President’s plan builds on what works in programs like Georgia Works or Opportunity North Carolina, while instituting important fixes and reforms that ensure minimum wage and fair labor protections are being enforced.
  • …self-employment assistance programs that encourage and enable unemployed workers to create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses. The President’s plan would allow states across the nation to support programs like these with federal UI funds, rewarding dislocated workers willing to strike out on their own and removing barriers that discourage participation in existing programs.
  • Tax credits for businesses that hire the long-term unemployed ($8 billion): The President’s plan includes a special bonus credit of up to $4,000 for firms that hire the long- term unemployed.

4. More Money in the Pockets of Every American Worker and Family

5. Fully Paid for as Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan

Earlier this morning I stumbled across a press release from Generation Opportunity of a poll that claims “67% of Young Adult Women (18-29) do not believe that today’s political leaders reflect their interests.” Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.

The organization goes on to report that “54% of Young Adult Women agree the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference, 33% disagree.”

Credible or not, YFE wants to know what your answers are to the topics Generation Opportunity’s poll brought up above. Do you believe that today’s political leaders reflect your interests?

What are your thoughts on the President’s American Jobs Act and what is your plan for voicing your opinions to your elected officials?

PS. To limit the likelihood that potential clients or partners will search for your name only to find information you would rather remain private, be sure to comment with a nickname or first name only. 

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