Women have come a long way in business, but in one area — finance — they still face many challenges. Old-school bankers can still be prejudiced or just plain ignorant of womens’ business acumen and success. The Center for Women’s Business Research reports more than 10 million firms are now owned by women and employ 13 million people.
Businesses with women owners rang up close to $2 billion in sales in 2008, the center found. One in five firms with revenue over $1 million is woman-owned. Clearly, it’s time for anyone who still only wants to make business loans to men to wake up to the 21st Century reality — women are making themselves at home in corner offices across the U.S.
When it comes to venture capital, women entrepreneurs still face terrific prejudice. A recent report from CB Insights showed only 8 percent of venture-backed seed and Series A funding went to woman-owned businesses in the first? half of 2010. That means the vast majority of women owners seeking to grow their businesses often wind up seeking a business loan or business line of credit to keep their company growing.
Women owners are also frequent victims of business finance scams. If you think you’ve been misled in seeking a loan or business line of credit, contact the Federal Trade Commission and report it.
Fortunately, there are some solid resources women entrepreneurs can draw on to help overcome obstacles to securing financing for their business. A few great places that support women owners:
The Small Business Administration — SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership has a network of nearly 100 Women’s Business Centers around the country. They exist to provide education for women looking to start or grow a business.
Business.gov — this SBA portal site has an extensive list of resources for women owners.
National Association of Women Business Owners — NAWBO is one of the oldest and most active organizations for women entrepreneurs.
The Women’s Funding Network — This venture-capital organization seeks to develop more funders interested in investing in woman-owned businesses.
WomanOwned — This portal site offers a broad array of resources to women looking to build or start a business.
Here at LenCred we’ve always been an equal opportunity lender. We are happy to assist women entrepreneurs in finding needed business loans or business lines of credit. If you’re a woman business owner who’s gotten the brush-off at traditional banks about obtaining working capital, give us a call for a no obligation consultation.