2024 Legislative Meet & Greet

NAWBO Columbus and NAWBO Cleveland hosted a Legislative Meet and Greet  for members and guests to share their experiences face to face. Policymakers need to hear from women business owners so they can make sound, informed decisions that affect businesses across the state.

NAWBO was founded on the conviction that women business owners are entitled to a level and equitable playing field when starting and growing their businesses. Every day at NAWBO Columbus, we work to deepen relationships with policymakers and track legislation that has the potential to affect you and your business – positively or negatively.


NAWBO National Advocacy Microbusiness Listening Tour

April 16, May 21 at 12 PM ET

Join the NAWBO National Advocacy Committee to discuss and give feedback on NAWBO’s draft of a microbusiness definition to be utilized by the federal government to increase access to capital for our nation’s microbusiness owners. Also, get a regional advocacy update each month this spring. We’ll hear from the Northeast Region in January, the Midwest Region in February, the Southern Region in March, the Western Region in April, and the Western/California Region in May. Click HERE for ZOOM link to join.


Official Public Policy Partner


2022 Advocacy & Candidates Forum

At NAWBO Columbus’s Advocacy & Candidates Forum attendees heard from 10 candidates and got to meet and mingle more than a dozen candidates and elected officials from all parties and each branch of Ohio government.

With record attendance and the support of 9 partner organizations, we made it clear: November’s election is critical to Ohio businesses, and our voices will be heard.

Plus, the candidates featured on the forum answered questions and shared ideas for how they will address the unique issues our businesses face.

Click HERE for Forum Highlights

Connect with our Partner Organizations:



Learn More & Get Involved

Join the public policy committee here. 

To become a Public Policy Sponsor or for additional partnership opportunities click here. 

Check out NAWBO National Advocacy efforts and opportunities to get involved here.

Advocacy Platform

Our advocacy platform advances these beliefs and addresses the gender-specific disadvantages women face on their road to empowerment:

  • wage and wealth gap – that makes self-investment and external borrowing harder for women business owners
  • lack of access to capitalthat makes it difficult for women to launch, invest in and grow their businesses
  • representation gap – which makes it harder for society and aspiring women to recognize and celebrate role models
  • persistent deep-seated biases and stereotypes about women’s interests, abilities, and competencies (including our own limiting beliefs as women) that create unseen barriers, dampen the entrepreneurial spirit and hold us back

NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Agenda:

Based on our Advocacy Platform, the Public Policy committee has determined the following Advocacy Agenda priorities for 2021-23

  • Monitor legislation and examine policies that have an impact on women-business owners.
  • Introduce legislation that will have a positive impact on WBOs.
  • Educate and train on how to gain access to corporate and government contracts through certification.
  • Connect to corporate leaders, elected officials and policy makers
  • Provide information and resources from your local and state government.

See our one-sheet below for more on the NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Platform, Focus & Impact

NAWBO Public Policy Updates: 

SB 105

NAWBO Columbus was proud to advocate for and witness the signing of SB 105 into law by Governor Mike DeWine. This bipartisan legislation removes needless red tape and unnecessary paperwork when minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs seek certification in Ohio. Click HERE to watch proponent testimony.

Advocacy Updates

NAWBO members are diverse in many ways, including the size of their business, the sectors and communities they serve, the stage of business development, race, ethnicity, geographic business areas and political leanings that determine policy views. The NAWBO Advocacy Agenda embodies the ever-present need to represent all of our members while creating both the avenue and environment to build sustainable women-owned businesses. NAWBO recently rolled out its agenda for 2022 with a focus on microbusiness, the hiring squeeze and more. View it HERE.

For Monthly Advocacy Updates from NAWBO go to: https://www.nawbo.org/advocacy/advocacy-updates

WBE Certification

On October 9, 2020 the state of Ohio launched a first-of-its kind certification program to support women business owners by creating more government contracting opportunities. Spearheaded by NAWBO Columbus, the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification is the result of two years of work by public and private advocates for women in business.

To read the full press release click HERE

For more information on WBE Certification benefits and eligibility go to WBE.OHIO.GOV

“Entrepreneurs make Ohio and the United States a better place! My hope is that this certification is a continuum of access and opportunity…Certification is a seal of credibility!
Eric Seabrook, Deputy Director State of Ohio EEO Coordinator




“Government contracts, set asides for women can make the impossible dreams come true for a WBO. It allows us to think BIG and compete in a world that DOES make room for women!”
Merry Korn, Pearl Interactive

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women-Business Owners

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), there were more than 306,000 women-owned businesses generating approximately $29 billion in revenues and contributing $9.5 billion in payroll annually, and creating 330,000 jobs in Ohio. To better understand the needs and impact of COVID-19 for this sector of Ohio’s economy, women business owners (WBOs) were invited to complete a survey sponsored by NAWBO Columbus and conducted by Measurement Resources Company during the first two weeks of May 2020. The purpose of the survey was to understand the impacts and the current needs of women-owned business as a result of COVID-19. The following report highlights the survey findings, which is representative of 78 WBOs.

NAWBO Cbus COVID-19 Survey Report


WBE Bill 494 Signed Into Law

NAWBO Columbus Leads Effort to Create First WBE Program for Ohio

On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the persistent efforts of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Columbus for the creation of a Women’s Enterprise Certification (WBE) paid off.

House Bill 494 was passed by the Ohio Legislature and signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 19, 2018. The bill contains language that will create the first-of-its-kind certification program for women business owners in Ohio.

Read full Press Release HERE.


2019 Wealth Gap Study for NAWBO

Click HERE to read the full report.



NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Celebration after the passing of HB 494