USPTO Program Seeks to Educate, Encourage, and Support Women Entrepreneurs

February 8, 2023

While the ranks of women entrepreneurs and founders continue to grow, they lag far behind their male counterparts as business owners. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS), men have an ownership stake in about 80% of U.S. businesses and a majority ownership share in 63% of U.S. businesses, while women only hold an ownership stake in about 37% of U.S. businesses and a majority share in 21% of businesses. To improve those numbers and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by women, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently launched a program to provide them with education, resources, and support.

The Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative provides a community-focused program designed to, in the USPTO’s words, tap the potential of women entrepreneurs “to increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity through their ideas, insights, and innovations.” Launched on November 30, 2022, the program includes resources, online symposiums, and networking and mentorship opportunities.

While the WE initiative includes resources focused on other vital start-up issues like business formation and funding, the USPTO unsurprisingly focuses on educating female entrepreneurs about the critical importance and mechanics of protecting their intellectual property assets.

In March, the USPTO is hosting its three-part Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium. These online sessions offer attendees “a chance to learn about innovation and business from public and private sector experts.” Each day will cover a specific topic related to women’s entrepreneurship. The dates and times of the sessions are:

  • Part One: March 1, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST
  • Part Two: March 15, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
  • Part Three: March 29, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT

You can learn more about the Symposium and sign up for these sessions here.