Where to Find Business Loans for Women
As the number of women in the workforce grows, so too do the opportunities for women. This includes incentives, information, and financing designed specifically for women who are interested in starting a business. In fact, the Small Business Association gave away 2.5 billion in 2004 and the numbers have been increasing since then.
The reason for this growth of opportunities is credited to the federal government’s initiative to increase opportunities to women and minorities. To continue this success and to continue offering opportunities to women, the Small Business Association has created Office of Women's Business Ownership. It should be noted that the Small Business Association defines a women owned business as "a small business concern—(a) which is at least 51 percent owned by one or more women; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women; and (b) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women."
The financial incentives for women are encompassed by a Federal Grant for non-profit businesses and a small business loan guarantee program.
Here’s how the loan guarantee program works:
You, as a woman business owner, head to your bank to apply for a small business loan. If your bank is unable to provide financing to your business, or if the terms are unreasonable, you can ask your bank to submit your loan application to the small business association for consideration.
The Small Business Association objective is to help women and minorities find financing. In this situation, the SBA may partner with your local bank and offer a government guaranty of your loan. SBA programs are designed to be valuable for new business start-ups and in instances where you may not have the financial standing to qualify for a standard loan. According to the SBA, their “loan application package can be as simple as a one-page form, and the SBA can approve an application in 1-7 days.”
The Small Business Association also recommends you to visit your local Small Business Association office to strengthen your business plan and loan application before you apply. You can also work with your district office to pre-qualify for a Small Business Association Guaranteed Loan. They also recommend that if the amount of money you need to borrow is less than $25,000, to consider the SBA's Micro loan Program. This program was created specifically for women and minorities.
The opportunities for education for women and minorities provided by the SBA are tremendous also. Plan a visit to your district office or hop online and see if any of the education or financial opportunities meet your needs.