This is a guest post by Nick Rojas
The number of women business owners is on the rise – with 11.3 million women-owned businesses reported in 2016, accounting for 38% of total businesses. But the financing tips for women business owners are still limited.
But all of this growth also means more competition for business owners. Unfortunately there are only a certain number of loans, grants, and cash advances to go around – even with lenders who have a commitment to supporting women-owned businesses. This is why research is so significant – to make sure you pursue the right type of financing for you and your business.
Here is your guide to finding financing tips for women business owners:
Connect with The Small Business Administration
The SBA facilities 100s of women's business centers throughout the country. The goal of these centers is to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs. These centers are run by the Office of Women's Business Ownership. They coordinate programs such on topics such as as federal contracts and how to access credit and capital.
People in these centers understand the unique challenges of finding funding as a women in business, and can help you overcome it by finding the right funding for your situation. Seek Out Bank Programs Designed For Women
Some banks and investment companies have programs set aside specifically for women-owned businesses. An example is the Key4Women program founded by KeyBank. This program offers customized financial solutions, as well as chances for women to further their education and take part in networking. However, this program is only offered in specific states. Some additional examples to check out would be Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative and the Women's Business Advocates at PNC Bank.
Apply For Private and State Owned Grants
Grants deserve to be included in this list because you don't have to pay them back! This means earning a grant is a risk-free form of financing. The difficulty is of course, qualifying for one among many other applicants. But many grants are set aside specifically for women. Groups like the Minority Business Development Agency can help you locate some. There are also private grants to consider – such as Huggies Mom Inspired Grant specifically for products "inspired by the joys of motherhood" and the Wal-Mart Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative.
You don't have to make financing decisions all on your own. Connecting with other women business owners and sharing their experience can shed some light on the best option for you. The trial and error work has already been done by those that came before you! And once you've done that research, choosing a lender you can trust means creating a relationship that lasts through the ups and downs of your business. The right lender wants to see your business grow – and is going to work with you to make sure you get the funding you need to succeed.
Source: Barry Moltz.