Rep. Sharice Davids: Many Barriers Still Exist for Women, Particularly Young Women and Women of Color

Reps. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas), a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), recently co-wrote an article for The Hill highlighting the unique perspective they bring to the House Small Business Committee, and their commitment to expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs “who are increasingly young, female and racially diverse.”

“It wasn’t until 1988 that women could apply for a business loan without needing a male relative to co-sign it. Now more than 11.6 million businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, and 5.4 million businesses are majority-owned by women of color.


While we’ve certainly come a long way, many barriers still exist for women, particularly young women and women of color, to start and grow a business. 


Women face greater difficulties accessing capital to finance and grow their businesses. A 2018 study found that the average loan size for female entrepreneurs was one-third less than for their male counterparts.”

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Their article goes on to underscore how small businesses keep communities together, so people aren’t leaving reservations or small towns due to lack of access to opportunities. 

“We’re proud to be part of the 116th Congress, one full of so many firsts. We know that this Congress can be the first in other ways too. We can expand access to capital, lessen the burden of student loans, reinvest in our infrastructure, and connect people through better broadband,” Reps. Davids and Finkenauer state.

An attorney and former mixed martial artist, Davids earned her law degree from Cornell Law School and began her legal career at an international law firm as a corporate transactional attorney focused on mergers and acquisitions and Indian law deals. She went on to serve as the Deputy Director of Thunder Valley CDC in Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where she managed operations, acted as in-house legal counsel, and laid the foundation for a social enterprise program. She recently served as a White House Fellow during the Obama-Trump transition.

Davids campaigned on an economic platform that included a tax cut for the middle class, incentivizing health care benefits for small businesses, and creating a childcare tax credit. An advocate for addressing climate change, she considers Kansas uniquely poised to capitalize on wind energy. She has supported tax incentives that promote wind and similar energy sources.

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