As a woman entrepreneur, it can be difficult to secure the financing necessary for your business. While crowdfunding and angel investors are becoming increasingly common ways to fund a small business, women often face more difficulty when applying for traditional bank or credit union loans. This is largely due to unconscious biases and outdated stereotypes that make many lenders wary of lending to women-led businesses. This article outlines five organizations that provide resources to help women in business succeed, including financing options.
When most people think of small business, they picture the mom-and-pop shops on the corner, and while they play an important role in the economy, there is much more to the small business world than just that. In fact, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are responsible for two-thirds of all job creation in the United States and pay the majority of local taxes.
Despite this, women are underrepresented in the business world and many struggle to secure funding for their ventures. To overcome this, many turn to online lenders that offer a variety of financing solutions from short-term three to 18-month loans to help bridge a cash flow gap to longer term two to five-year options. Many of these lenders also provide a variety of repayment terms, from flexible to fixed, and interest rates.
Another option is to seek out Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs. Though not reserved for women, these loans typically have the most competitive rates on the market and are easier to qualify for than other financing options. Some of these include SBA 7(a) loans, which provide up to $5 million for general business purposes, and CDC/504 loans that can be used for real estate and equipment purchases. small business loans for women