Starting a new business is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for women. Because of childcare and other responsibilities at home, some women have large gaps in their employment history. Even women who have always worked are likely to earn less than their male counterparts due to inherent bias in the workplace. Both of these factors can work against women entrepreneurs when it comes to obtaining business financing.
The good news is that women entrepreneurs have come a long way in just the last several years. More than 10 million launched businesses in 2015 and more continue to do so today. While the United States still has a long way to go with equality in business ownership, women who want to pursue this path have options available to them that men do not have.
Start by Seeking Funds You Don’t Have to Repay
Grant programs that offer to fund women entrepreneurs are ideal because the money is yours to spend on your business as you see fit. You never have to pay it back. Some organizations that offer grants for women entrepreneurs include:
- Mission Main Street Grants
- Small Business Development Centers
- Small Business Innovation Research
- Women’s Business Centers
These organizations represent only a fraction of the funding available for women entrepreneurs. We recommend starting your search with grants.gov where you can enter a variety of parameters to find just the right grant program for you.
Small Business Borrowing Options
Many financial institutions offer loan programs just for women entrepreneurs. Wells Fargo is a leader in the banking industry for female-owned businesses. Other organizations you might want to investigate include:
- Economic Opportunities Fund
- Minority and Women Revolving Loan Trust Fund Program
- Keys4Women offered by KeyBank
- Operation Hope Small Business Empowerment Program
- Women’s Economic Ventures Loan Program
At GP Solutions, we are proud to support new women-owned businesses. We invite you to request an appointment with us today to learn more about our many alternative financing programs.