Business Loans For Women

In the US, women-owned firms account for nearly 12 million privately-held businesses. According to numerous reports and studies, however, women-owned businesses are less likely to be approved for business loans — and when they are approved, they have to pay higher interest rates on average.

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Business Loans For Women

 

In the US, women-owned firms account for nearly 12 million privately-held businesses. According to numerous reports and studies, however, women-owned businesses are less likely to be approved for business loans — and when they are approved, they have to pay higher interest rates on average.

 

SBA 8(a) Program

The SBA’s 8(a) program sets aside resources to help small, disadvantaged businesses — including women-owned enterprises. SBA 8(a) doesn’t issue loans, but having 8(a) status makes acquiring 7(a) loans and Express loans much easier.

Your business must meet the following criteria to qualify for 8(a).

 

  • Be a small, for-profit business in accordance with the NAICS
  • 51% of firm ownership must be US citizens who are economically and socially disadvantaged (in this case, be 51% women-owned)
  • Applicant must have a personal net worth of $250,000 or less and total assets with a combined fair market value of $4 million or less
  • Applicant must have adjusted gross income of $250,000 or less for each of the past three years
  • The business and owners must be of good character
  • Demonstrate long-term success and the ability to perform successfully on contracts

If you meet these criteria, you can apply for SBA 8(a) certification at the SBA’s website. The documentation you’ll need to gather depends on your business structure. Once approved, it’ll be easier to apply for and get 7(a) small business funding.

 

SBA Community Advantage Program

Like the 8(a) program, the SBA Community Advantage doesn’t lend money directly. It instead helps business owners within underserved communities — including women — acquire financing of up to $250,000 for their businesses.

The loans themselves are made by participating local non-profit organizations. Per SBA regulation, these lenders cannot charge an interest rate greater than the Prime Rate + 6%.

 

SBA Microloans

SBA Microloans are good options for sole proprietors and businesses with small operations. Outside lenders make microloans — the SBA just facilitates the process.

Loans can be up to $50,000, but they come with higher interest rates and shorter term lengths. Additionally, they may require strong credit and collateral.

 

Alternatives to Business Loans For Women

Loans aren’t your only source of financing your business. Grants are an excellent option, as you don’t have to pay them back. You can obtain women-owned business grants from a variety of federal, state, and private programs. Keep in mind that grants have strict requirements.

Equity financing is another potential source of capital. Investors fcan be a big help, but finding  venture capital firms and angel investors who want to invest your business isn’t easy.

 

Summary

There aren’t business loans designed solely for women, but many existing lenders have loans and programs that can support women entrepreneurs in financing their business pursuits. At BCCUSA, we take time to understand your business, then arrange for the best source of financing given your situation.

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