Meet Rachel Winder- NAWBO Public Policy Advisor with Benesch

With more than 25 years of experience working in and around Ohio government, Rachel understands how public policy shapes the lives of every Ohioan. Rachel is passionate about educating policy makers about the impact women-owned businesses have in communities. She worked on legislation to pass the first Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification program in Ohio and continues to work with Ohio’s government officials to create the rules for the program. Rachel currently manages government relations for Benesch and successfully represents clients ranging from those in the healthcare field, to business, to education and criminal justice.  Her clients have won government contracts with state and local government entities and multiple laws and rules have passed, been removed or amended to improve the regulatory climate for her clients.



Prepared by: Rachel Winder, NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Advisor


NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Agenda:

*Reduce regulation and increase programming for micro businesses in Ohio law.

*Women’s Business Certification Designation 

*Reciprocal Treatment of Certification Programs 

*Other Government Contracting modifications 

Get Involved!

Check out opportunities to contact your legislators in our updates!

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 Public Policy Updates: 

Advocacy Updates

For Monthly Advocacy Updates from NAWBO go to:

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