It seems like now more than ever, women are taking charge—harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit and opening their own businesses—officially bucking the trend of working for the man. While this makes it sound like women are finally getting ahead by creating their own job opportunities, they still face some challenges obtaining the funding needed to help their businesses get off the ground.
Here is a look at some of the best small business loans for women, as well as some alternative pathways to locking down funding:
SBA loans—loans facilitated by the Small Business Administration—aren’t just for women.
The organization does, however, offer assistance specifically for women-owned businesses, which provide training and counsel to business owners, and helps them secure loans through a lender like Wells Fargo or Bank of America or raise capital.
Aside from access to training programs, working with the SBA can help new business owners forge relationships with banks. Essentially, a green light from the SBA functions as a letter of recommendation, which allows banks to take a risk on a borrower with a lack of credit history or some other application issue.
If you’re in the early stages of setting up your business, consider looking into grant opportunities aimed at supporting women-owned businesses. There are many non-profits and government agencies that provide assistance to women, but note that the application and waiting periods may require some patience. Of course, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It’s never a bad idea to try—check out Grants.gov or the SBIR database for a look at grants you might qualify for.
The Tory Burch Foundation
Founded by designer Tory Burch, this Bank of America-Backed program provides small business loans for women entrepreneurs. These community lenders are local lenders that provide loan access to under served community members, including women and people of color.
The National Association of Women Business Owners
The organization, also known as NAWBO, isn’t necessarily the place to get small business loans for women, but it does provide a number of resources for the burgeoning entrepreneur. The Washington, DC-based group provides a network of women entrepreneurs—veterans and beginners alike—and offers events, training, and information on everything from locking down funding to marketing your company.
Women’s Venture Fund
The Women’s Venture Fund offers flexible lending to women-owned businesses. The lending program evaluates business owners based on credit-worthiness, need, number of sales, and other factors—much like a typical bank.
The difference, however, lies in the support offered by the WVF. The organization provides training, guidance, and workshops that help women troubleshoot various challenges and succeed in their business goals.
Gibraltar Working Capital Advances
Business capital advances are another great option for women entrepreneurs. This type of alternative finance product works on an as-needed basis, giving the customer quick access to capital that they may not get with a standard loan. Capital advances can help you pay employees, reduce debt, and stock up on the supplies you need to keep everything running smoothly.
To learn more about working with Gibraltar Capital Advance to further your business, call 888.963.6130.