Black Enterprise, By: Joyce Jones

The nation’s economic outlook appears to be growing bleaker from week to week.

Last week, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who chairs the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held a hearing in Washington D.C., to address some of those difficulties. The Senate is currently reviewing the Small Business Administration (SBA) Reauthorization and Improvement Act of 2008, which calls for two provisions that aim to improve the business climate for minority and women-owned small businesses.

“The venture capital world is still 77% white and male. These men greatly owe their success to close networks of peers and mentors. Women and minorities lack such commanding networks,” Kerry said. “This shortfall is one of the reasons why they received less than 5% of the venture capital investments made over the past 40 years.”

Sen. Kerry hopes that the testimony offered at the hearing will strengthen support for the SBA reauthorization bill by providing further evidence of minority, women, and small business owners’ needs and challenges.

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