Financing Options For Women Entrepreneurs

WOMIn 2015, we’d all like to believe that women entrepreneurs have equal access to business funding as compared to their male counterparts. But the unfortunate reality is that while 30% of small businesses in the United States are female-owned, these women receive only 4.4% of total small business loan dollars.

Female entrepreneurs receive only 16% of conventional loans and 17% of SBA backed loans, and even when they are approved, female small business owners receive significantly smaller loan amounts than their male peers.

The good news, however, is that the U.S. Small Business Administration and many other nonprofit and for-profit organizations have recognized this disparity and are actively working to improve the financing climate for women entrepreneurs.

If you need funding to start or grow your woman-owned small business or startup, consider these female-friendly investment, loan, and grant opportunities.

Angel Investors and Venture Capital

Within the sphere of financing available specifically to women-owned businesses, venture capitalists and angel investors offer the widest range of options. A variety of angel investment organizations have their sights set on finding the next generation of female business leaders and investing in their success.

The capital investment route isn’t for everyone. Because venture capitalists do expect some level of return on their investment, smaller women owned businesses with limited growth trajectories and profit margins can struggle to access investor funding.

But if you’re a female entrepreneur with your sights set on enterprise level business growth, consider whether one of the angel investment opportunities may be a good fit for your needs.

Read more at INC.