Many women entrepreneurs struggle to secure funding for their small businesses. They might turn to crowdfunding or keep their fingers crossed for an angel investment. These options, however, come with risks and require trading business equity. In addition, they don’t typically offer the necessary amount of money for the startup or scale phase.
Business loans for women offer a more reliable solution. They’re available from online lenders and credit unions that focus on supporting female-owned businesses and addressing the gender gap in financing. They also come with transparent rates and terms, and don’t require a high personal credit score to qualify.
One option is a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which guarantees business loans from banks and offers several programs that cater to women-owned businesses. These include the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program, which allows eligible women-owned businesses to compete for set-aside government contracts. The SBA also oversees a network of Women’s Business Centers that provide mentoring, networking, education, and capital to women-owned small businesses.
Other women-only financing options include incubators and accelerators. These support early-stage startups by providing a combination of funding, workspace, and mentorship. The Cartier Women’s Initiative, for example, awards up to $50,000 in funding for women-only startup companies that make a social impact aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally, some entrepreneurs turn to angel investors and venture capital firms. These organizations invest in startups and established small businesses, in return for a stake of the company. However, they’re often more difficult to work with than traditional lenders. business loans for women