The SBA Financing Options to Support Women in Business
It is no secret that women in business face more hurdles than men and that one of those hurdles are getting funding to start their own companies. There are currently Small Business Administration financing options open to all small business owners or prospective owners as well as expanding options in the works for minority business owners such as women and people of color. When you research some of the options available through the SBA and others, you can find the right financing for your business needs.
Some of the current options for women in business to secure financing include popular SBA loans like the 7(a), 504 and microloan programs. These options are available for business owners who qualify but can have caps for both the amount of money any one business owner can qualify for and for the total amount of loans extended each year. By researching the programs offered by the Small Business Administration, you can find many options that work for your company’s current needs. For instance, if you are in a certified national disaster area, then your business can qualify for relief funds.
You can also find resources outside of the SBA such as grants designed to help women business owners and lending companies who focus on extending women and minorities start-up loans. The more options you research and apply for, the more likely you are to get the funding you need.
With more than 90% of the available small business funding going to men, almost half of businesses being run by women have a much harder time getting approved for loans. With awareness of this discrepancy growing, lawmakers are pushing to increase the caps on a number of SBA loans and microloans approved each year as well as encouraging private lenders to review their policies and offer more opportunities to minorities. The more these options are expanded, the more businesses can be started up and fill niches currently empty.
Women in business makeup almost half of the small business owners but receive less than 10% of business loans. This can lead to more companies struggling and failing within the first five years because of financial struggles in getting supplies and equipment. It can also lead to fewer companies being started in the first place because more of the start-up costs will need to be saved instead of financed. The Small Business Administration has many loan programs currently available to help and legislators are trying to open these programs to more business owners.