DBE and Entrepreneurship

Women Business Owners: Pushing the Industry Forward

WTS International's DBE and Entrepreneurship initiatives promotes a vision of full equity and access for women in transportation, including business ownership. Diversity and inclusion have always been at the core of WTS; this aims to form strategic goals and actionable solutions to attain equity and access. For transportation to be diverse, inclusive, accessible to all people, we must make being a woman business owner accessible first.  “We are working to remove the obstacles for women to become entrepreneurs in the transportation industry and to better support existing business owners,” Stickler stated. “Some of that work is about eliminating stereotypes about what an owner looks like, but much of it is providing guidance and best practices for the technical, legal, financial, and business challenges that are a part of entrepreneurship.” The initiative is led by the DBE/Small Business Subcommittee of the Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee of the International Board. 


DBE/Small Business Subcommittee 

WTS DBE/Small Business Subcommittee
WTS International has formalized its program for women business owners and DBE organizations with the Entrepreneurial Program. In 2020, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Committee (DBE Committee) was formed at the International Board level in conjunction with the President & CEO and staff, to research, learn, and support DBE and women entrepreneurs. A subcommittee of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, this subcommittee works to provide a support network for women business owners to learn, grow, and promote their businesses and leadership careers. 

In 2021, WTS formed an Entrepreneurship Committee to sustain and grow women business ownership and provide a support network for business owners to learn, grow, and promote their businesses and leadership careers. 

  • The Entrepreneurship Mentorship Subcommittee kicked off the first webinar in a three-part series on Business Ownership on September 16, 2021. The session was geared towards those with an entrepreneurial spirit who considered starting their own business, or were in the first 5 years of business ownership. Panelists discussed the right time is to branch out on your own, financial considerations of business ownership, and how to identify your sphere of influence. “Take advantage of mentor protégé groups and become a lifelong learner. Understand the statistics on small business ownership and specifically what percentages you fall into demographically.” - Bridgette Beato
  • The second webinar, held on November 3, 2021, focused on the growing pains of business ownership. Participants learned how to maintain a unique culture, the importance of making operational investments, and how to create and maintain an institutional library.  

Additional Resources:  SCORE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping small businesses launch, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.


2022 DBE and ACDBE Program Implementation Modifications

WTS International recently submitted formal comments for the proposed rule to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Implementation Modifications

Recommendations included:

A. Consolidation of the DBE Certification process
B. Assistance for successful DBE ownership succession plannings
C. Increasing Personal Net Worth (PNW) limits for owner certification
D. Updating the current North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code usage and allowing firms to expand into new areas of business with additional NAICS codes
E. Raising revenue caps for non-construction NAICS codes
F. Consideration of pass-through costs in revenue caps G. More frequent updates on financial caps based on inflation

WTS International's submitted comments can be viewed here


Women's Business Owners Roundtable (WBORT)

During the annual WBORT roundtable, a select group of leading women business owners in the transportation industry share successful experiences and best practices, and learn from others about starting and running a business in today's world. Sessions may cover topics such corporate value and ownership succession, improving profitability, and attracting and retaining staff.