Onwuka’s full testimony can be found HERE once the hearing begins.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) today announced Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at IWF, will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship at 10:00 a.m. ET tomorrow, July 26, on female entrepreneurship. 

The hearing, entitled, “Pathways to Women’s Entrepreneurship: Understanding Opportunities and Barriers,” will examine how policymakers can dismantle barriers to opportunity and promote entrepreneurship to ensure economic growth for women-owned businesses and prosperity for all. 

In her testimony, Onwuka writes, in part, “Small business ownership has created ladders of opportunity for women of all ages, races, and backgrounds. Entrepreneurship offers a pathway to achieve work-life balance, experience fulfillment, and better one’s community. Finding ways to ensure individuals can engage in entrepreneurial pursuits is admirable, but more importantly, it’s critical to ensure that government policies do not erect barriers to opportunity.” 

Hearing witnesses include:

  • Adrienne M. Somerville, CEO of Somerville Consulting Group LLC, Talent & Technical Solutions Corp; 
  • Patrice Onwuka, Director of Independent Women’s Forum Center for Economic Opportunity; 
  • Nik Sweeney, Founder/CEO of Amani Nicol Wellness; and 
  • Catherine Koch, President & CEO of K-Tech Systems

Specific areas of concern that Onwuka will focus on in her testimony include:

  • Government-imposed barriers to building capital associated with high startup costs to launch a business; 
  • Credentialing challenges, including occupational licensing and the unique challenges military spouses face in meeting each state’s requirements for a given occupation; 
  • Efforts to reclassify independent work which ignore the substantial costs to businesses, as well as the preferences of workers; and 
  • Unnecessary red tape that especially burdens home-based care facilities as an option for childcare to provide greater work flexibility. 

During her testimony, Onwuka will highlight the need for Congress to:

  • Consider directing the Small Business Administration (SBA) to quantify and monitor federal regulatory costs on small businesses; 
  • Employ greater oversight of the SBA and understand areas of improvement by reauthorizing the agency as it does other agencies; 
  • Protect independent contracting from sweeping reclassification through federal law or regulation; and 
  • Consider opening up to nonprofit childcare providers the funding programs that for-profit providers have access to at the SBA by enacting the Small Business Child Care Investment Act. 


WHAT: The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Hearing Entitled, “Pathways to Women’s Entrepreneurship: Understanding Opportunities and Barriers”

WHEN: Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at 10:00 AM

WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106

Media Inquiries: [email protected]

Onwuka’s full testimony can also be found HERE once the hearing begins.

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.
Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) aims to educate the public about how government policies impact people’s opportunities for economic development and upward mobility.