President Obama is calling for more female and minority entrepreneurs, but two women approached by OneNewsNow say he needs to look at his policies.
Speaking August 4 at a White House showcase of more than 30 startup teams of women, minorities and young people, the president said there is an underrepresentation of women and minorities among the nation's startup businesses. For example, the White House says around three percent of U.S. startups backed by venture capital are led by women. Only one percent are headed by African-Americans.
Charlotte Hays, director of cultural programs and senior editor at the Independent Women's Forum, says there is an underrepresentation of startups, period.
"We don't have as many startups as we used to,” she says. “I work for a women's organization, so of course we want there to be more startups by women and minorities as much as anybody.
"But, look, having a White House confab about this is not going to solve the problem. What we really need are policies that are different from the ones he proposes. We have so much regulation that it's difficult to have a startup. Student loans prevent people from engaging in a startup."
Deneen Borelli, chief political correspondent at Conservative Review, finds the president's plan hypocritical. She says it's possible that not every individual in the demographics described by the president is interested in entrepreneurship. Even if they are, Borelli says it all starts with a quality education for children.
"And people need to be reminded that years ago President Obama did not want to fund the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships for poor, disadvantaged children," she notes.
"So I find President Obama being hypocritical when it comes to – and I'm using his words – 'giving people a fair shot and unleashing Americans' potential.'"
Like Hays, Borelli sees government regulations also hampering small businesses and entrepreneurship. Borelli is author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation.
President Obama has announced efforts to help people with student financial aid. Still, think tanks and news outlets from Politico to Forbes to the The New York Times have articles expressing doubts as to whether it would work.