As the United States continues to encourage women's participation in business, numerous programs and opportunities have emerged to support and empower women entrepreneurs. These initiatives are part of a larger federal effort to foster women's growth by providing knowledge empowerment and career support, which have proven successful. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, 39 percent of small business owners are women or have at least 51 percent ownership in their businesses, with a total of over 11.6 million businesses.
In this article, we will explore the various programs that have been established and discuss how you, as an existing or potential small business owner, can benefit from them.
It is important to note that most programs tailored for women require women to have at least 51 percent ownership of their businesses to be eligible.
One of the best options for women entrepreneurs is Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. While SBA loans are not the only available financing option, they offer significant advantages due to the government's support and commitment to the success of women-owned businesses. The SBA offers various loan types, including the well-known SBA 7(a) loan program. Through this program, businesses can access up to $5 million with terms of up to 25 years. These loans often come with favorable terms, such as lower interest rates, and can be used for working capital, equipment acquisitions, and debt refinancing.
Another popular alternative is the SBA Microloan program, which provides loans ranging from $500 to $50,000. These loans are relatively easier to secure and can be used for working capital, equipment purchases, and small business startup funding.
It's important to note that the SBA does not directly fund SBA loans. Instead, these loans are offered by traditional lenders, with the SBA guaranteeing a portion of the debt (ranging from 50% to 85%). This guarantee gives lenders the confidence to provide funding to small businesses that may otherwise be deemed risky.
OWBO - Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The Office of Women's Business Ownership (OWBO), a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration, was established in 1979 and provides various services, including business training, counseling, and related programs, to support women-owned businesses.
Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program\
The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program is a federal government initiative that aims to allocate at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to small businesses owned by women each year. This program focuses on industries where women are underrepresented, creating opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
SCORE, a non-profit organization backed by the SBA, offers support, mentoring, and education to small businesses across the country. While their resources are not exclusively focused on women-owned businesses, they are committed to helping these businesses thrive. They provide educational articles, webinars, and resources that can benefit small business owners, including women entrepreneurs.
Local and State Programs and Support for Women-Owned Businesses
Local and state governments also offer programs and support for women-owned businesses. It is essential to stay informed about the programs available in your area by regularly checking your local Chamber of Commerce website and conducting research. Many programs, while not specifically designed for women-owned businesses, can still provide valuable assistance to your small business.
How Fundr Can Help
At Fundr, we understand that quick access to business funding is crucial for small businesses across the US. That's why we offer fast and efficient small business financing options that can be approved in as little as one hour and paid out as soon as the next business day. Whether you need $5,000 or $500,000, we have the expertise to provide your business with the funding it needs.
Your information must be verified and accurate in order to qualify.