The first ever EBW2020 Women’s Policy Forum Held in Columbus, Ohio on February 17, 2015 brought together women leaders, entrepreneurs and key legislators to look at issues and opportunities facing women across the State and to create solutions to help women business owners.
“Fueling the success of women as leaders and entrepreneurs is a critical ingredient to fueling our economy, creating jobs and generating wealth for our State and ultimately our country” says Speaker of the House, Cliff Rosenberger. “We intend to do everything we can from a policy perspective to open opportunities that enable women to build and grow while creating new avenues for opportunities for women in distressed areas, including Ohio’s women in Appalachia”.
As a result of the Forum, Representative Stephanie Kunze and Representative Dorothy Pelanda sponsored a new bill (HB 103), that enables the State to set aside this week every other year to allow for dedicated focus and meetings with women leaders, entrepreneurs and legislators across the State to come together and address issues and opportunities facing women.
“This is the first step in a long term plan towards creating comprehensive legislation addressing the unique issues and opportunities facing women” says Ingrid Vanderveldt, Founder and CEO of EBW2020 and co-developer of the model legislation. “By creating the Ohio Week for Policy and Entrepreneurship for Women, Ohio is taking the first step to bridge policy makers and entrepreneurs and a way that creates real opportunities for women.”
Representative Kunze added, “We are proud of our history in Ohio for supporting women as leaders and entrepreneurs and this is another step towards that end. This process [to develop a comprehensive policy package] will take time and dedication to get done, and Ohio stands behind our commitment to see this through.”
“Developing the first step in this model legislation with Ohio is a significant step forward for women as leaders and entrepreneurs” says EBW2020’s Director of Policy Initiatives Heather Wolf. Wolf, the former Bush Administration aide, says, “I looked forward to the day that a comprehensive package would be developed as I knew it would unlock key opportunities for women. To now be part of leading this process into reality is a dream come true.”
Vanderveldt was most recently the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Dell Inc. She is largely credited with being a key strategist to Dell’s transformation from “big business” back to its entrepreneurial roots. She created the $100M Dell Innovators Credit Fund (DICF) the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs and led development of the first ever EIR legislation at both the Federal and State levels. These efforts were developed as a way to connect big business with entrepreneurs worldwide as a way to create collaboration, financial efficiencies and open opportunities for entrepreneurial growth. That legislation has passed in a number of States including Ohio with the passage of HB 218.