SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the Abigail Adams Entrepreneurship Act.
SECTION 2. The general court hereby finds and declares that:-
(i) women make up almost 50 per cent of the workforce, but less than 25 per cent of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions;
(ii) women are less likely to focus on the STEM disciplines in undergraduate and graduate study;
(iii) only 26 per cent of women who do attain degrees in STEM fields work in STEM jobs;
(iv) there is an increasing demand for individuals with STEM degrees to extend their focus beyond the laboratory so they can be leaders in discovery commercialization;
(v) studies have shown that technology and commercialization ventures are successful when women are in top management positions; and
(vi) it’s vital to encourage the commonwealth’s entrepreneurial programs to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.
SECTION 3. Subsection (b) of section 2RR of chapter 29 is hereby amended by adding the following clause:-
(4) To provide grants to create and maintain more favorable small business opportunities and workplace environments for women in science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions through the Abigail Adams Center for Women in STEM established pursuant to section 6B of chapter 40J.
SECTION 4. Chapter 40 J of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 6A the following section:-
Section 6B. (a) The corporation shall establish an entrepreneurial institute for technology and commercialization ventures to provide opportunities for women in the workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions to be known as the Abigail Adams Center for Women in STEM. The executive director of the corporation shall appoint a qualified individual is director to manage the affairs of the center.
The purpose of the center shall be to serve as an agent for the commonwealth to create and maintain more favorable small business opportunities and workplace environments for women in science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions. The center shall provide development support for women in STEM small businesses and in the workplace. The center shall work in collaboration with the Massachusetts technology collaborative, the Massachusetts office of business development, the office of small business and entrepreneurship, other quasi-public and not-for-profit agencies.
(b) The center shall provide the following support and assistance to women in STEM professions:
(i) assistance with grants for startup expenses and project costs;
(ii) small business incubator development;
(iii) entrepreneurial training;
(iv) STEM industry networking support;
(v) business plan preparation;
(vi) market research;
(vii) workforce development; and
(viii) business assistance services and marketing expenses
(c) The center may make grants to further the purposes of this section.
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