As She’s Next, Empowered by Visa Arrives in Washington, D.C., Women in the Capital Face Funding Challenges and Focus on Diversity

Visa unveils Practical Business Skills, a financial literacy program designed to help small businesses develop business and personal skills to fuel resilience and growth

New Visa research highlights a focus on diversity and growing the bottom line among women small business owners in Washington, D.C.

She’s Next, Empowered by Visa arrives in Washington, D.C. Visa commissioned a research study that analyzed and surveyed female small business owners to better understand their attitudes, experiences and pain points. (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO & WASHINGTON--()--Hundreds of female entrepreneurs packed a Washington, D.C., ballroom today to learn ways to fund, run and grow their business as part of Visa’s (NYSE: V) growing, She’s Next, Empowered by Visa movement.

In conjunction with the event, Visa today shared new insights on the challenges facing Washington, D.C. women business owners and launched Practical Business Skills, Visa’s first-ever one-stop educational portal for small business owners.

“Running a business requires a lot of work, investment and dedication,” said Suzan Kereere, global head of merchant sales and acquiring, Visa. “As we scale She’s Next across the globe, we are learning more from women small business owners about innovative ways we can empower them through our network.”

The rate of new women entrepreneurs has increased by 15.4 percent in the last three years1, yet women still face more challenges than male entrepreneurs, including getting equal access to capital and connecting with a network of other entrepreneurs for support. She’s Next, Empowered by Visa connects like-minded women small business owners with industry experts for education, inspiration and networking opportunities that help deliver immediate impact for their business. Visa launched the program in January 2019, to help tackle specific challenges women small business owners face.

Survey: Women in Washington, D.C. Choose a Challenging Yet Rewarding Path

Washington, D.C. remains one of the top U.S. cities for employment growth spurred by woman-owned businesses. Visa commissioned a research study that analyzed and surveyed female small business owners in the Washington, D.C. region to better understand their attitudes, experiences and pain points. Key regional findings include:

  • What drives female entrepreneurs: Pursuing their passion (37 percent), having financial independence (36 percent) and making more money (36 percent) are the top three motivators for women in Washington, D.C. to start a business.
  • Having a network empowers: Seventy-nine percent of women in Washington, D.C. knew another female small business owner before deciding to start their own business, and ninety-seven percent solicited advice from other female small business owners before starting their own business.
  • Funding is a tremendous hurdle: Eighty-nine percent of women in Washington, D.C. said they encountered difficulty obtaining the funding they needed to start their business.
  • An emphasis on diversity and inclusion: Eighty-six percent of women-owned small businesses in Washington, D.C. have policies in place to establish diversity and inclusion for attracting and attaining talent – and 95 percent report having inclusive businesses.

Giving Entrepreneurs a Boost: Practical Business Skills

Building on the success of its flagship consumer financial literacy initiative, Practical Money Skills, Visa today launched its Practical Business Skills program, a dedicated, one-stop portal with free educational resources and interactive tools to help business owners start, manage and grow the small businesses that help communities prosper.

The new program is focused on helping growth-minded entrepreneurs with fewer than ten employees thrive via a variety of resources available in both English and Spanish – including 47 lessons accompanied by videos, infographics, templates, business calculators and more.

Practical Business Skills offers micro and small businesses at every stage of their journey the financial and business knowledge to better manage their money and make confident, informed business decisions.

Supporting Growth of Small Businesses across the Globe

As one of the largest small business payment networks in the world, Visa provides products, services and programs that go beyond payment tools to deliver the value of Visa’s network, helping small businesses to be more competitive today and in the future.

With the help of its partners, Visa continues to refine and explore new ways to offer secure, convenient and easy ways to pay and get paid. From powerful expense management and payment tools such as Visa Business Reporting, which helps small businesses improve cash flow and manage their spending with ease, to Global Loyalty & Offers Solutions, which helps small businesses enhance consumer engagement, Visa’s mission is to help small businesses do more of what they love and move their business forward.

Earlier this year, Visa launched She’s Next with workshops in New York, Atlanta, and Cape Town, South Africa at the World Economic Forum in Africa, to leverage its brand and network to empower women entrepreneurs with tools to build their businesses, ultimately creating a ripple effect throughout their communities.

For more information on the She’s Next, Empowered by Visa initiative, and to download resources and subscribe to become part of the global network, visit:

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, and @VisaNews.



Sheerin Salimi


Sheerin Salimi