The number of female business owners is on the rise in the United States. As these women take the plunge into entrepreneurship, they may be wondering if there are any unique small business financing options that they can use to shore up their companies' bottom lines. The good news is that there are several specific lending and finance arrangements that are directly set up to encourage and support female business owners. Here are a few of the financing options available for female entrepreneurs.
Traditional bank lending is available for many small business owners, including women. In the U.S., female entrepreneurs can apply for business-friendly loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans tend to have favorable lending rates and flexible repayment options that are a good fit for company owners who may be just starting out. While banks typically require that companies show a lengthy record of profitability before granting a loan, these SBA loans are often more accessible for new entrepreneurs.
Female business owners who have good credit records typically qualify for standard business loans. In addition, these women can also take advantage of business lines of credit or business credit cards that are issued by financial institutions. All of these resources can be helpful in starting or maintaining a business.
Small Business Grants
Business grants from the federal government may also be available for some women who operate their own companies. The SBA extends a few specific grants through a department called The Office of Women's Business Ownership. In order to find out about the qualification process, women can contact the SBA directly. In addition to federal grants, some local communities and cities may feature smaller grants for businesswomen. Often, these grants are provided through local Chambers of Commerce.
Special Opportunities for Minority Business Owners
Women are often considered as a "minority" for census and population recording purposes. As such, they may be able to receive special loans or grants that are designed to encourage minorities to start their own companies. Women who are also members of racial or ethnic "minorities" may qualify for additional assistance. Many of these special programs are also administered through the SBA.
Women who start their own businesses often face obstacles to success. One of these is securing the funding necessary to start a business and keep it running smoothly. By taking advantage of financing options that are available for female entrepreneurs, businesswomen have a greater chance of experiencing corporate success.