January 2018 — Susan Sylvester, President of local environmental firm Absolute Resource Associates (ARA), is among 14 female business owners profiled in a new report published by the US Senate Small Business Committee. Entitled “Tackling the Gender Gap: What Women Entrepreneurs Need to Thrive,” the report takes a comprehensive look at the intersecting financial, cultural and structural obstacles facing women entrepreneurs in the U.S. today.

American women are creating new businesses at a rate 5 times the national average, yet female-owned firms are growing more slowly and earning less revenue than male-owned firms. This report identifies such discrepancies, and proposes many key initiatives to help female entrepreneurs thrive in today’s economy. The 14 women profiled in the report were asked to share their successes, struggles, and advice for young entrepreneurs.

ARA’s Sylvester has utilized the resources offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for several years now, especially as her company has pursued contracts within the Federal Market. ARA has been able to take advantage of low interest loans, free training programs, and countless networking opportunities via the SBA. Many small, private companies are either unaware that such resources exist, or simply don’t have the time and staff to dedicate to the process.

Not one to shy away from the hard work required to grow a business, Sylvester says the process is definitely “not for the faint of heart.” She bought her business 18 years ago, and although growth has been steady, it has never been easy. Her advice to young women starting out? “If you commit your business plan to doing federal work, be prepared to invest the time, work, sweat and tears to make it happen for your company.”

Here is the profile from the Senate Report:

About Absolute Resource Associates:
Absolute Resource Associates is a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB, WBE, NELAC, ISO/IEC 17025 and DoD ELAP accredited) providing a broad range of environmental services to clients throughout New England and beyond. Services include Environmental Laboratory Testing, Indoor Air Quality Services as well as Project Management. The principals and partners of ARA have been active in both the local and national environmental testing industry for decades. Their experience includes regulatory compliance, information management, quality assurance, operations, and technical expertise in the environmental industry.