Jump to Main Content
USA flagAn Official Website of the United States Government
Starting a Business

Blogs.Starting a Business

Register

Resources to Help Your Woman-Owned Business Succeed

Comment Count:
10

Comments welcome on this page. See Rules of Conduct.

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. Thanks for joining our online community here at SBA.gov!

Comments:

i like the focus on women, female entrepreneurs need more support
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 [This post was edited to remove a link] 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!
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.
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!!
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
Hello I am small business owner, female,and African American. What can you tell me about the Disadvantaged and Minority Business Certification? and how can I get certified if I have no operational capital outside what I make from a part-time job.
Hi Adriane, I saw your question had not been yet addressed. Then later, while doing some work of my own, I stumbled upon this information. It is from Wells Fargo's web-site, where they provide the step by step process for obtaining the certification. So I copied the link to paste for you here. Don't know if this is helpful but I thought I would do it just in case. Best wishes to you Adriane! Joani [This post was edited to remove a link]

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an SBA.gov account, Log In to leave your comment.

New users, Register for a new account and join the conversation today!