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Education is Key for Women Business Owners Access to Capital

Education is Key for Women Business Owners Access to Capital

By Solovic
Published: April 29, 2010 Updated: March 8, 2013

A few years ago, I wrote The Girl's Guide to Building a Million Dollar Businesses. Why? Because having successfully started and built a multi-million dollar enterprise myself, I was dismayed by the statistics that confirmed fewer than three percent of women-owned businesses cross over the million-dollar threshold in revenue. I figured if I could do it, every woman should be able to do it too, and I wanted to help them.

One of the challenges to growing a successful, sustainable business is the ability to obtain growth capital. However, according to research conducted by the Center for Wome's Business Research, women historically have not had equal access to financial markets. A key explanation for this lack of parity stems from a proven systemic bias against women business owners, but that in and of itself does not entirely explain the situation.

Another important reason women don't obtain the funding they need for their businesses is because they do't understand the process—which often means they often do't ask. In fact, the Center for Wome's Business Research noted in 2009 that nearly half of women business owners did not seek money for their businesses. From this finding, the Center concluded there is a need for new thinking and programming to support women who seek to grow their businesses.

Education is critical for women business owners who want to enhance their opportunity to access capital for their businesses. To address this issue, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) launched a program appropriately called "Women Accessing Capital: Women, Money and Opportunity." The program is designed to arm women business owners with the tools they need to secure capital.

Through a combination of seminars, events and online resources, the national program will help women understand the key steps of applying and securing the appropriate source of money, guiding participants through the process, as well as taking a financed business to the next level.

Terri McNally, President of Global Capital, Ltd. and national co-chair of WIP's Access to Capital Committee, says her hope is to break the myth and show women the money. "Our mission is to educate and arm course participants. We will commit to staying on the leading edge. Sharing what is working, who is lending, how to prepare and what the options are when it comes to access to capital. Part of the feat that women have regarding debt is intimidation. We want to change that to confidence through knowledge, bringing in experts to discuss details through training webinars."

WIPP is a national bi-partisan group representing more than 500,000 women business owners nationwide.

For more information on women-owned finance programs:

http://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-businesses

About the Author:

Susan Solovic
Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and a small business contributor to ABC News and other media outlets, public speaker and attorney. In addition to sitting on several executive boards of small business organizations, Solovic is the CEO and co-founder of ItsYourBiz.com – a company she led from a concept to a multi-million dollar enterprise.(formerly SBTV.com) She is also a featured blogger on numerous sites including Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, Constant Contact, WSJ.com and Fast Company. Her forthcoming book, It’s Your Biz: The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Own Boss, is scheduled for release in October 2011.