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Resources to Help Your Woman-Owned Business Succeed

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Resources to Help Your Woman-Owned Business Succeed

By kmurray, Contributor and Moderator
Published: September 3, 2013

According to the U.S. Census 2007 Survey of Business Owners, women owned 7.8 million businesses, representing almost 30 percent of all companies in the country. It’s also worth mentioning that the growth of women-owned firms has outpaced the growth of other types, having increased by just about 44 percent between 1997 and 2007.

So, what can you do to join the ranks of these successful women business owners? Are you exploring your options for capital? If you’re looking for help to finance your business venture, check out these resources.

SBA Loan Programs and Online Loan Search Tool

Although no government loan programs exist exclusively for for women business owners, the SBA is one of the largest loan guarantors in the country and offers a variety of loan programs to small businesses.

Keep in mind that the SBA doesn’t lend the money directly; it provides a guarantee to banks and lenders for the money they lend to small businesses owners. This protects the lenders’ interests by promising to pay a portion (the percentage varies by the type of loan) if the business owner defaults on the loan, so the lender is more likely to take the risk if it wouldn’t have without the guarantee.

Did you know? SBA loans are three to five times more likely to go to women than non-SBA loans. SBA’s leading loan programs include 7(a) and 504, but women-owned businesses often need small-scale financing, so SBA microloans are another option to consider. In fiscal year 2011, a little more than half of all microloans went to businesses owned in whole, or in the majority, by women. 

Online Resources from SBA.gov

With Business USA’s financing search tool, you can find out about loan programs based on your business profile and needs. The Loans and Grants section of SBA.gov is also great to explore to learn more about the loans and grants that may be available to you.

You can also check out the online courses, videos and chat sessions available in SBA’s Learning Center that are tailored to helping small business owners understand financial options, loans, processes, etc.

Women’s Business Centers

Overseen by SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) can guide women through the process of finding and applying for an SBA loan. They also offer regular training seminars on financing topics. You’ll find that some WBCs also provide access to alternative capital financing programs. And with 110 offices across the country, you’re bound to find one nearby. WBCs are a great resource if you’re looking for other types of counseling and training as well, so check out a location near you to get the help you need to start or grow your business.

Did you know? SBA data has shown that businesses that receive assistance from WBCs have significantly better survival rates than those that don’t receive similar support.

Other Financing Options

Have you considered options like crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending? These avenues for funding allow you to make your business case to others – usually online – with the hope that someone will make an investment. Given the tough times entrepreneurs are also facing with the current economic climate, methods like crowdfunding have become a popular and alternative method of raising finance for a business.

Additional Resources

  • SBA Local Offices: Another in-community go-to resource for business counseling, training and loan information. These offices oversee the delivery of SBA’s programs, including loans, nationwide. You can also locate your office on Twitter and Facebook here.
  • Women-Owned Businesses: Learn about the wide range of federal programs available to help women owned small businesses start up, grow and succeed.
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): A membership organization that provides resources and networking opportunities for women in business.
  • National Women’s Business Council: Advisory panel to the President and Congress on economic issues important to women business owners.

About the Author:

Katie Murray

Contributor and Moderator

I am an author and moderator for the the SBA.gov Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Our ongoing goal is to improve this site to meet your needs, so we're happy to receive your feedback and participation. Thanks for joining our online Community here at SBA.gov!

Comments:

Thank you for taking the time to write this article. This is a great breakdown of strategies women can take when looking for extra business funding. What works for one company might not for the next and so on. At WomensNet.net we wish more women were aware of this.
Well of course businesses that receive support will have better survival rates than those that don't. I wonder what the success percentage difference is between those that do have SBA support and those that do not, however. That would be really interesting to find out.
SBA has done quite a bit to promote women entrepreuners through specific measures listed in the article above. You could also get in touch with like-minded women entrepreners having links with the SBA. It always helps to speak to those who have come before us and faced the same difficulties as us. You can learn from their experiences. Also, it would help in motivating you.
We have been seeing more and more women coming to us to learn about funding a business pretax. It really is very exciting to see so many women making their dreams come true!
firstly thank you very much for this article cos this article is very important for weomen. all women should support about working subject.
Excellent & inspiring post for many ladies who want to try their hand in business. Due to lack of knowledge as how to start about & what are the resources to help them keep going, many a times deter them from entering the capitalistic world. Hope this kind of initiative shall work as an eye opener for many to come forward & join the league.
Below is a link to an incredible resource for increasing the number of people who visit your business website. To grow your business, you need to reach a lot of people who are actually interested in buying what you are selling. You can build and grow your business at the same time or increase your current sales. Go to the website below and check out this resource. It will make a huge difference for you and your business.
Thank you so much for this post!! As a woman in business I think it's very important to be educated on running a business. Any and all resources should be utilized to reach maximum potential for your company!!
We believe that women need to know about and utilize free business counseling that can contribute to their knowledge and skill along with resources that leverage their time and expertise if they are to succeed. The reply submitted represented valuable information and resources for women-owned businesses and was certainly within the spirit of the Community. We assist a great many small businesses each month through a national nonprofit network of free public sector business advisors and counselors and are pleased to share our knowledge through forums such as this.
i think it is also necessary to make this information available to women in poor areas, the ghettos of america. there are women there who dont know about these resources but what to be economically empowered. there is need for a lot of advocacy

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