Ahead of World Entrepreneurs’ Day, Women’s Foundation Applauds Growing Consensus On Occupational Licensing Reforms

KANSAS CITY -- Ahead of World Entrepreneurs’ Day on Monday, August 21, Women’s Foundation commended the growing consensus at the state and federal levels on the need to break down occupational licensing barriers that can make it harder for women to start their own businesses and pursue more flexible, rewarding careers.

“Entrepreneurship is a springboard for women seeking financial independence and economic empowerment, but some occupational licensing requirements can get in the way,” said Women’s Foundation President and CEO Wendy Doyle. “We are heartened by the growing bipartisan consensus on the need to remove unnecessary occupational licensing barriers that hold women back from starting and growing their businesses. Now we need to translate this awareness into sound public policy.”

In research conducted in partnership with the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Policy, Women’s Foundation found that occupational licensing, while intended to protect the safety and well-being of the public, can create unnecessary barriers for women entrepreneurs by restricting entry and re-entry into professions, reducing employment, and creating economic inequity. 

Women’s Foundation research showed women are more likely to be affected by these professional licensing requirements. It also identified a number of potential policy solutions.  These included expanding mentoring opportunities, requiring a cost-benefit analysis before any new occupational licensing board or commission is created or expanded, and periodic reviews to determine the efficacy of each occupational licensing board.

The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, recently spoke about the need to rein in excessive licensing barriers that fail to serve their intended purpose, noting that “in 1950, only about 1 in 20 jobs required a license.  Today, more than 1 in 4 Americans need a license to legally perform their work.”

In Missouri, legislation that would help assess the performance of occupational licensing requirements through cost-benefit analysis was introduced in the legislature earlier this year with bipartisan support. Gov. Eric Greitens has also created a Boards and Commissions Task Force, recognizing that some boards and commissions may unreasonably regulate Missourians by improperly limiting access to professions through occupational licensing regulations. The Task Force will submit recommendations to the governor in October.

You can also read our post on Wendy's Huffington Post blog.

About World Entrepreneurs’ Day
The purpose of the World Entrepreneurs’ Day is to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership throughout the world. WED is the perfect day to celebrate the people who start a business alone. WED is the day of founders, managers, producers, contractors, industrialists, innovators, administrators, designers and producers. AIBA, the Alliance of International Business Associations, invites everyone to organize happenings around the world to promote WED. World Entrepreneurs’ Day is a great opportunity to push philanthropic, social and ethical business practices via conferences, awards and initiatives.  For more information: http://www.worldentrepreneursday.org/ 

About Women’s Foundation
The Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using research, philanthropy and policy solutions to make meaningful change. More information about the organization can be found at www.Womens-Foundation.org.

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