Women-led businesses generate trillions of dollars in revenue and create thousands of jobs every year. But it can be a lot more challenging to find financing than a business that’s majority-owned by men. Fortunately, there are some sources of funding that make it easier for female entrepreneurs to secure business loans. And while there are no loan programs exclusively for women-led businesses, some lenders do offer special financing programs and more flexible qualification criteria for these types of applicants.
Typically, women-led businesses can get small business loans from online lenders, banks and credit unions that provide a variety of options to meet almost any financing need. These can include working capital loans that help pay employees and cover short term expenses, as well as longer-term financing like commercial mortgages or equipment leases. And in some cases, these loans may come with more flexible repayment terms and lower rates than traditional bank loans. In addition to these traditional options, there are also a number of nonprofit lenders and community financial development institutions that offer specialized lending programs for women and other underserved business owners.
Another type of funding that’s available to some female entrepreneurs is a small business grant. These funds are essentially free money because they don’t require you to pay back the funds you receive, although there are usually stricter requirements for obtaining these types of grants than traditional business loans. Finally, there are some accounts receivable financing companies that offer lines of credit based on the value of outstanding invoices, like Noble Funding and Bluevine. small business loans women