Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act

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Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn act to authorize the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women.
Enacted bythe 115th United States Congress
Public lawPub.L. 115–6
U.S.C. sections amended42 U.S.C. 1885a
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R.255 by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) on 01/04/2017
  • Passed the House on 01/10/2017 (Voice Vote)
  • Passed the Senate on 02/14/2017 (Unanimous Consent)
  • Signed into law by President Donald Trump on 02/28/2017


The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act (Pub.L. 115–6, H.R. 255) is a public law amendment in the United States that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on January 4, 2017 by Representative Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut and signed into law by President Donald Trump on February 28, 2017. The Act amends the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (Pub.L. 96–516) to authorize the National Science Foundation to encourage its entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for 47% of the workforce, but make up only 25.6 percent of computer and mathematical occupations. In addition, only 15.4 percent of architecture and engineering jobs are filled by women. Congress also found that only 26 percent of women who earned STEM degrees actually worked in STEM related jobs. The president stated, “(Pub.L. 96–516) enables the National Science Foundation to support women inventors – of which there are many – researchers and scientists in bringing their discoveries to the business world, championing science and entrepreneurship and creating new ways to improve people’s lives.” Trump signed the bill in a room full of women including Representative Barbara Comstock, who introduced the Inspire Women Act, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and First Lady Melania Trump. The bill was supported by both parties, with 36 Democrats and 8 Republicans signing as co-sponsors.


The bill was designed to primarily improve the programs in place at the National Science Foundation in order to encourage more women to enter into the STEM fields. The Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act allocates funding for educational programs and for research in STEM fields, and this bill adds the ability for the Science Foundation to allocate new funding towards incentivizing women to join their educational and entrepreneurial programs. There has been little news regarding this act and its effects recently and the expected results have yet to come to fruition. However, the act still represents a trend within the Trump administration with regard to technology and women. The president has said that this issue was, "going to be addressed by my administration over the years with more and more of these bills coming out and address the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and by those in STEM fields." Despite this, since the day of the law being signed, the Trump administration has yet to give a statement regarding future legislation that would further help improve the numbers of women in science and technology.



  1. ^ "What Could Trump Sign Worth $30B? A Bill For Women Entrepreneurs". 22 February 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Trump signs laws to promote women in STEM". CNET. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Public Law 115-6" (PDF). 28 February 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Trump Signs Bills Supporting Women Entrepreneurs and Women in STEM Fields". 28 February 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  5. ^ "H.R.255: Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act". Pro Republica. Retrieved 10 December 2018.