Business Loans for Women

Women elect to create their enterprises in more significant numbers than ever before. Since 2007, the number of women-owned businesses in the United States has climbed by 68 percent, bringing the total number of women-owned firms to over 10 million. Minority women-owned businesses have grown at an awe-inspiring rate, up 265 percent since 1997.

Women-owned businesses employ millions of people across the country and contribute more than a trillion dollars in revenue each year. Despite the increasing number of women-owned enterprises, women continue to face numerous barriers to obtaining money. Women company owners are reported to be 15%-20% less likely than males to be approved for a business loan, and women seeking capital to start a new business receive roughly 80% less funding than men.

Fortunately, there are several credit programs available to women-owned businesses. We’ve outlined some of the top financing choices for female entrepreneurs wishing to expand their firm in the sections below.

Types of Business Loans for Women

Small business loans for women typically fall into one of four categories:

  • SBA Loans
  • Online Small Business Loans (Alternative Lending)
  • Microloans
  • Bank or Credit Union Loans

The best option for your business depends on your business’s financial profile, credit rating, financing needs, and business goals.1. SBA Loans for Women

Regardless of your gender, you may be eligible for an SBA loan if you own a small business. Although the SBA does not have any programs specifically for women-owned businesses, their programs often increase the chances of women-owned firms receiving a loan. According to the SBA, SBA loans are three to five times more likely to go to women than business loans that the SBA doesn’t back.

Whether your company requires working capital, growth financing, debt consolidation, or emergency assistance, the SBA offers a variety of options.

Types of SBA Loans for Women

Even though the Small Firm Administration does not offer programs specifically for women, they can help a woman-owned business get a loan. According to the SBA, SBA loans are three to five times more likely to be issued to women-owned firms than loans not guaranteed by the SBA. The following are some intriguing funding options:

Traditional 7(a) loans, 7(a) small loans, working capital, and other types of SBA 7(a) loans are the SBA’s primary program for financial assistance to small businesses, and they come in a variety of forms and sizes.

Microloans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help startups and newly established firms grow by providing up to $50,000 in funding and business-based training and technical assistance.

Microloans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help startups and newly established firms grow by providing up to $50,000 in funding and business-based training and technical assistance.

Debt consolidation loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) allow you to refinance debt at lower interest rates for more extended periods.

In the event of a natural disaster, SBA disaster loans can help.

How SBA Loans Work

Private lenders provide SBA-guaranteed loans, which are guaranteed up to 80% by the SBA, reducing the lender’s risk and allowing them to provide funding that would otherwise be unavailable at reasonable terms. On the other hand, SBA disaster loans are directly granted by the SBA. They can be used to cover routine operating expenditures, a continuation of health care coverage, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments for businesses affected by natural catastrophes, hurricanes, floods, or pandemics.

Requirements of SBA Loans for Women

SBA loans have stricter standards than other types of funding. To be eligible for an SBA loan, you must be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. Your company must also have been in operation for at least two years and have had no bankruptcies or foreclosures in the previous three years and no outstanding tax liens. However, the qualifying criterion may be raised depending on your lender or loan program.

Depending on the financing program, your company must have fewer than 500 employees and less than $7.5 million annual revenue for the previous three years. In addition, many products require a minimum credit score of 620, a net income of less than $5 million (after taxes and excluding carry-over losses), and a tangible net worth of less than $15 million. You must also demonstrate that you are putting your own time and money into the company, known as “invested equity.”

Benefits of SBA Loans for Women

SBA loans have lengthier approval times and are more difficult to qualify for than other financing options, but they have lower interest rates and better terms.


Surprisingly, businesses requiring a small amount of money have difficulty getting authorized for a standard business loan since they aren’t seeking enough cash for the lender to consider the transaction worthwhile. However, because tiny firms frequently require small sums of money, numerous institutions and groups have begun to offer microloans to help bridge the gap. In addition, many microloan organizations have initiatives specifically for female entrepreneurs. Unlike many other types of business loans, Microloans are frequently utilized to fund startups.

The Small Company Administration (SBA) also has a microloan program that is particularly accessible to women, with some of its certified intermediaries being groups that assist women business owners. During the 2011 fiscal year, 54 percent of all microloans made under the SBA’s program went to women-owned firms, either entirely or mostly.

Alternative Lending

Traditional bank business loans aren’t the only way for companies to receive the funds they want. Many other lenders provide various loans that do not require the heavy paperwork, lengthy approval times, or stringent conditions that traditional loans entail. For example, merchant cash advances and invoice finance are two common types of alternative loans that allow firms to receive the funding they require even when banks refuse. These loans are typically offered in lower sums and are best used to meet short-term requirements.

Equity Financing

Equity financing is one technique to raise money for a firm without going via a bank. Many business owners prefer to find people to invest in their firm rather than taking out a loan and taking on debt to assist their enterprises get started. Women are more likely than men to invest in a company led by another woman. If the investor has worked in your field before, their knowledge and suggestions could benefit you.


Many business owners seek grants because they are a method to obtain funds without paying anything back. However, grants can be difficult, are very competitive, have stringent restrictions, and applicants may be forced to match grant cash. First and foremost, the federal government does not provide funds to start or expand a commercial business, but it does provide grants to nonprofit or non-commercial groups. They do, however, provide monies to state and local governments, who may use the funds to provide grants to small business owners. Some private groups also provide grants to women-owned businesses.

Applying for Business Loans for Women

Depending on the type of loan you’re looking for, the application process will differ. Alternative lending might be quick and simple to apply for, whereas applying for an SBA loan or a grant can take a long time. Regardless of the type of loan you’re seeking, you’ll almost certainly be required to provide the following information:

  • Past bank statements and business tax returns
  • A copy of your business license/certification
  • Your resume and resumes for any partners/essential employees
  • A copy of your driver’s license/other official government-issued identification
  • P&L statements

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