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Appeal for Next US President to Help Women in Business

Entrepreneur Elizabeth Gore wrote a letter to the "next president of the U.S." before she knew if it would be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Entrepreneur Elizabeth Gore wrote a letter to the "next president of the U.S." before she knew if it would be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Appeal for Next US President to Help Women in Business
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Before Americans knew who would become the next president, a group of business leaders sent a letter to the two main candidates.

Elizabeth Gore wrote the letter, and 85 business leaders, both men and women, signed it.

Gore serves an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Dell computer company. Her letter urges the next president to take steps that would make it easier for businesses owned by women to grow.

The letter was called “What We Need to Succeed.”

Gore noted that in the United States, women are starting new businesses twice as often as men, but their businesses too often fail. She thinks this is because women do not receive the same amount of financial support as men when their companies are launched. Also, she wrote, companies operated by men get more attention in the media.

Women in Business Look for Help
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Gore and the business leaders who signed the letter offered a list of things the government could do to help women-owned businesses.

Their suggestions include helping more women entrepreneurs get start-up loans. One way to do this is by offering incentives – motivation for banks or investors to make such loans. For example, cutting taxes on earnings from investments in women-owned businesses would make those companies more appealing to investors.

Gore’s letter called on the new U.S. president to make it easy for businesses of all sizes to sell products and services in other countries.

The letter went on to ask the new president to support changes in America’s education system. Gore wrote about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She said some young women do not get the support they need to study those subjects while in school.

Actress Jessica Alba was one of the people who signed the letter. Alba started The Honest Company, which makes products without using dangerous chemicals. Another signatory was Melanie Whelan, who launched an exercise studio business called SoulCycle.

Two other signatories are Steve Case, the founder of AOL, and Rhonda Vetere, the chief technology officer of Estee Lauder.

The business leaders were not just appealing to the idea of equality between men and women. Gore noted a study that found the U.S. economy could grow by $30 billion if women were more actively involved.

Gore told VOA “I always think about the venture funding gap, but there’s really a gap in the whole cycle.”

Another study found that women-owned businesses grew faster than those owned by men in the 10 years ending in 2007. A U.S. Department of Commerce report showed these businesses added 500,000 jobs to the economy.

Gore said there are many good social reasons to support women in business. But the most important reason is that it is good for business.

“If [women] get access to capital, they outperform their male peers,” she said. “That is a good business bet, not just a social bet.”

Gold told VOA recently that president-elect Donald Trump has yet to answer her letter. But she and some of the other signatories plan to visit Washington in February. They plan to meet with politicians and “explain why it’s critical for our country and the economy to be prioritizing the success of women entrepreneurs.”

I’m Dan Friedell.

Tina Trinh wrote this story for Dan Friedell adapted her report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Do you think more women will start businesses in the U.S. with Donald Trump as president? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

start-up – n. a new business

capital – n. money, property, etc., that is used to start or operate a business

critical – adj. extremely important

prioritize – v. to make (something) the most important thing in a group

venture – n. a new activity, project, business, etc., that typically involves risk

attractive – adj. having a feature or quality that people like

incentive – n. something that encourages a person to do something

entrepreneur – n. a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money

in-residence – n. having an official position as a writer, artist, etc., who has been chosen to live and work at a college or other institution for a period of time