Where Can Women-Owned Businesses Get Funding?
You may be surprised to learn exactly how many small businesses in this country are owned and operated by women. According to the most recent study conducted by the National Women’s Business Council, the US has over 7.8 million women-owned businesses and growing. The rapid rise in this sector is great news for female entrepreneurs and the economy, but how can you become one of the 7.8 million and really kick start your small business?
If you are a woman looking for easy business funding, you are already one step ahead of the curve. There are dozens of non-government resources dedicated to helping women find a way to make their professional goals a reality and odds are there is a solution available that is right for your specific business. Many of the organizations serving this segment have local chapters and groups that meet in person or online; over time you can gain a lot of knowledge and information from the advice and networking opportunities presented to you as a female small business owner.
A great place to start your search for women-owned business funding options is through the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. Though the OWBO does not offer funding, they do provide an excellent list of directories and local resources women have found useful when starting new professional ventures. Whether you want to open a bakery, start a home healthcare company or even open your own law practice, you will want to start here.
There are several different options available to women seeking funding for their new or existing businesses. Some female professionals choose to work with a venture capital company. Many of these companies provide credit and funding through micro-lenders; that is, investors willing to lend sometimes small sums of money at a greater risk for interest or company equity. Companies that fit this bill, such as the Women’s Venture Fund of New York, also offer counseling and business services to their clients to see to it that more women-owned businesses survive and thrive.
Another common but non-traditional funding source for female entrepreneurs is to go with an alternative lender. These companies offer a variety of financial services geared towards small businesses, particularly for those who may have trouble finding financing through more traditional sources like a bank. Women can secure business lines of credit, small business funding and even asset-based lending services. If you have been turned down for a small business loan by a large corporate bank, it is definitely worth your while to look into alternative lenders.
If you live in Georgia, you should know the state has one of the highest percentages of women-owned businesses in the nation at nearly 31%. The Small Business Administration retains a strong presence here and there are a number of great financial institutions.