Battling Barriers: Report Finds Occupational Licensing Regulations More Likely To Hurt Female Entrepreneurs

By Crystal Thomas
The Joplin Globe, Mo.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to a report commissioned by the Women’s Foundation, which serves Missouri and Kansas, women were more likely than men to participate in a profession that requires occupational licensing. The report proposed easing back on occupational licensing regulations and upping representation of women on boards and commissions that regulate those licenses.

The Joplin Globe, Mo.

Eleven years ago, Tanisha Reed paid $8,000 to attend hair school in Joplin for 10 months at 40 hours a week.

She says she got more of an education from how to braid natural hair from YouTube than she did from her instructors.

Unlike several other states, Missouri requires hair braiders to get a cosmetology license. So, Reed went to school. She eventually opened a salon of her own connected to her husband’s barber business called Reed’s Beauty and Barber Shop.

But with three kids, she said she never advertised because too many clients meant child care that cost $800 a month.

Reed’s struggles are just one example of the difficulties women face in trying to run a business in Missouri.

According to a report commissioned by the Women’s Foundation, which serves Missouri and Kansas, found that women were more likely than men to participate in a profession that requires occupational licensing.

Wendy Doyle, the foundation’s president and CEO, said that often times because of the high cost or lack of quality child care, women often hope to run their own businesses for flexibility in their schedules.

The report proposed easing back on occupational licensing regulations and upping representation of women on boards and commissions that regulate those licenses.

Because of an executive order issued by Gov. Eric Greitens his first day in office, each state agency needs to open its rules and regulations for 60 days of public comment to identify which ones are unnecessary. A report will be submitted to the governor by the end of May of next year.

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