What Small Business Loans Are Available Specifically To Women?
If you're a female launching or running your own small business, you're likely always on the lookout for new opportunities to finance growth and improvements in your venture. Launching a small business is tough, and sometimes rustling up the funds to take your business off the ground can take tremendous time and sacrifice. Luckily, your status as a woman can provide some additional funding opportunities not available to the general public, or even other small business owners. Read on to learn more about female-targeted business grants and loans.
Small business loans for women
The Small Business Association (SBA) is an organization that provides backing for small businesses who are seeking additional funds. Although the SBA does not make direct loans, by guaranteeing these loans it allows other lenders, places such as Bank & Trust Company, to disburse funds without concern about repayment. If you default on an SBA-backed loan, the SBA itself will help pay the balance. (However, defaulting on one of these loans will still have a negative effect on your credit score.)
The Office of Women's Business Owners is specifically designed to assist female business owners in obtaining an SBA-backed loan. Although to receive a loan you'll need a viable business plan and sales data to show that your business has a significant chance of success, this is true of nearly any small business loan application.
Grants for female small business owners
In addition to the small business loans you may be able to obtain as a female business owner, you likely also qualify for certain female-targeted business grants. One advantage to these grants is that, unlike loans, they do not need to be repaid. Although some grants will require that you use the funds for a specific stated purpose (such as hiring employees or purchasing advertising or inventory), most come with few required terms.
The exact grants available largely depend on your region and your business proposal. Many grant programs are established by local jurisdictions in an attempt to attract certain types of business to the area. For example, a town that has no dog groomers or boarding services may offer grants to business owners who wish to establish a kennel or doggy daycare.
The best way to find grants available in your area is to contact your local chamber of commerce or SBA office. These organizations are designed to assist small business owners, and their interest is in helping these business owners succeed.