As we celebrate President's Day this week, I reflect on our country's leaders who guided and continue to guide our nation through highs and lows. Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy and their efforts to ensure that all people have equal rights, access and opportunity for success. Equal opportunity along with social and civil rights were, and continue to be, imperative in order for our country to thrive.

Today, we can equate social and civil rights to economic opportunity - the chance for everyone to succeed. Studies show that if women participated equally as men in entrepreneurship in the United States, the U.S. GDP could rise by $30 billion. The Senate recently passed the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act and INSPIRE Women Act, which will support women in the STEM fields. The bills, which passed the House earlier this year, were introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va). And now, President Trump has an immediate opportunity to help ensure the success of women and women entrepreneurs.

Only two percent of women entrepreneurs make it over a million dollars in revenue. Imagine if we could change all of this. With the Senate and the House passing these two bills, we are moving in that direction. We would create more jobs, scale purposes driven companies and finally provide women with the income they need to advance their lives and that of their families. After all, women are unique in that they put 90 percent of their income back into their communities and families.

Through Dell's #whatweneedtosucceed campaign, we learned that women entrepreneurs need greater access to capital, mentorship, networks, technology and continuing education. The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act and the INSPIRE Women Act will help with access to mentorship, networks and continuing education.

I'm grateful to Reps. Etsy and Comstock for their leadership in introducing these pieces of legislation and recognizing the impact women and women entrepreneurs have on our economy. I encourage President Trump to sign these bills into law to help bring forth the social and economic opportunity of our time.

Published on: Feb 22, 2017