Women are distinguished by their discipline, talents, skills, and empathy with the people around them; when these characteristics are combined and positioned at the company’s head, the potential is unlimited. Currently, there are 11.6 million companies owned by women, according to Forbes. However, although this number has increased substantially in recent years, there is still a long way to go.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women-owned businesses with employees only reached 1.1 million, while 10.6 million are women-owned nonemployer firms, typically referred to as self-employed. These statistics show little scalability in this type of entrepreneurship. The reasons are multiple, ranging from systemic disparities to poor access to business loans for women.
Suffice it to say that only 39% of women business owners have access to bank loans, compared to 52% of men. The lack of equity is evident, but while waiting for financial institutions and government entities to take effective actions to reduce the gaps, women must find the necessary tools so that the lack of capital does not limit their potential.
Below are some financial resources that enable women to achieve the ventures of their dreams.
Angel investors and venture capital funds for women entrepreneurs
These are private individuals or organizations that are willing to invest in companies owned by women. In both cases, this investment is made in exchange for a percentage of the company. In the case of angel investors, they are usually entrepreneurs who have extensive experience and are ready to enhance the scope of business through their capital and knowledge.
On the other hand, venture capital funds tend to be more strict in their role within companies. They are fully involved and although they consider it necessary, they can generate a 180º change to the initial model. Each option has pros and cons, but the best way to find out is to get to know some particular proposals, such as:
- 500 Women
- Female Founders Fund
- Golden Seeds
- Hypatia Capital
Small business loans for women
In case your idea is very clear and you want to keep the essence of your company without anyone modifying it, turning to these loans for women is the best option. These financing products are offered by banks, online lenders, and some other institutions. In the case of traditional banks, the requirements are usually many, social security number, letter of ownership of the company, business operation time of 2 years, and credit score over 680 points.
While online lenders handle much simpler processes and their requirements are less, annual income more significant than 30 thousand dollars, the company has been in business for only nine months. They even offer financing products by presenting only the ITIN number. In both cases, the amounts are awarded in a single installment and can be used at the entrepreneur’s convenience.
Grants for smart women
There are also public or private non-profit organizations dedicated to encouraging and supporting women’s entrepreneurship. The financing granted in most cases does not have to be repaid or has interest rates considerably lower than those established by traditional banks. The competition to obtain these grants is usually high. There are large projects that fight with all their capital capacity. If your company stands out for its impact on the community or its level of innovation, consider the following options:
- gov (database of federally sponsored grants)
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Grants
- Amber Grant for Women
- FedEx Small Business Grant
- Girlboss Foundation
Women are ready to transform the world; their willpower combined with all their capabilities make them a fundamental economic engine for the United States. Today, no entrepreneurship can be left behind for lack of capital, much less those led by a female. Don’t wait any longer, get the support of grants and investors, apply for business loans for women, take your company to the next level, and achieve all your professional and personal goals.