Finding Funding As A Woman

Written by kgregorio Published in

Thought Leader Blog Post

Regardless of gender, ever entrepreneur needs working capital to get their business off the ground and to keep it in flight.  From startup costs to daily operational duties, a healthy cash flow is as important to a business as air is to our lungs.  Still, despite its necessity, additional funding is not so easy to come by, especially for female entrepreneurs.

According to the U.S. Small Business Association, women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing groups, however very few receive private funding; and as a whole, women-lead business receive less funding than men.  Whether you want to blame these stats on chosen industry or investor experience, there is no denying the significant gender-funding gap.

A sense of doubt and despair seems to have transferred over.  The National Association of Women Business Owners rings in by pointing out that women business owners are not seeking loans and lines of credit because they don’t think they will get it.  However, with ten million women-owned firms employing over thirteen million Americans, its time for a boost in confidence.  And what’s a more empowering tool than knowledge?  Read on to discover four funding tips designed for the female powerhouse.

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Ask the SBA

While the Small Business Administration offers limited loan options (like the General Small Business loan or the Real Estate and Equipment loan) it also proves to be a plentiful resource.  The SBA helps point entrepreneurs in the right direction, with resources from finding a loan to preparing your application. 

Bank loans are probably the most traditional funding route a business owner can take.  Be advised that this path will take some time and invested effort; historically traditional funding comes with strict stipulations and a lengthy underwriting process.  Still, with a solid resource like the SBA, women business owners can gain knowledge and support when choosing a traditional funding path.

Grab a Grant

Hugely different from a loan, a grant is rewarded as “free” money for a business owner to invest in their plans, dreams and growth.  The catch comes in the form of fitting into a very tight box; most grants are restricted to certain industries like non-profits or medical and science research, etc.

However, being a female entrepreneur provides a certain edge, there are grants out there that are catered to this specific niche.  Keep in mind that again, you’ll have to meet all requirements; for example, with some grants, funds are only awarded based on the money that you can match.

Understand The Alternatives

Straying from the typical path are ever-growing options for exploratory entpreneurs.  Crowdfunding is one unique way to raise funds for your business where multiple people can invest in your growth (and spread out the risk). 

As of now only SEC-accredited investors can make moves, but once the JOBS Act is enabled, the investment scene is open to the public.  In preparing for the JOBS Act to take place, be sure that your business is incorporated and that your accounting files are up-to-date; you might even consider polishing your business plan as well.

For the up and running business, a merchant cash advance provides another funding alternative.  With funds that can be used however you choose (for example, for inventory, equipment, hiring, or marketing) you can make a quick and seamless investment that gives your business a boost.  While historically these funds are pensive, repayment that works with the flow of your business takes pressure off of the entrepreneur. 

Take on a Partner

One out-of-the-box option includes taking on a partner by the simple means of doubling your clientele, effort and ability.  Consider joining forces with a competitor or matching up with a complementary small business.

In addition to sharing financial responsibility, a partner could pack more specific benefits prevalent to female entrepreneurs.  Burnout and the battle of work-life balance are common problems, all of which could be alleviated with a partner’s assistance.


What have been your experiences finding funding?

About the author:
Kelly Gregorio writes about topics that affect small businesses and entrepreneurs while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances.


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