According to the 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, women-owned businesses have grown by an incredible 114%, compared to 44% for all businesses, from 1997-2017.
Because of this growth, more resources exist now than ever before for women entrepreneurs, whether you’re a startup or seasoned business owner.
The only problem is, there’s no universal place you can go to find these resources, whether about business funding, mentorship, or basic advice, so finding them can take a lot of time and energy.
Below are five of the best resources available today for women entrepreneurs:
Microloans are a relatively new funding product that differs from traditional business loans in two primary ways:
- They offer smaller loan amounts
- They’re designed for a specific type of business or industry, one of those being women-owned businesses
Microloans are useful because many types of businesses only need a small injection of capital to get going. Instead of taking out a large loan that will loom over your head, you can take out a microloan and hit the ground running.
There are several organizations who now provide access to microloans specifically for women-owned businesses, include:
- Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative
- Michigan Women’s Foundation
- Elizabeth Street Capital
- And Grameen America
Also, for those with greater funding needs, there are also several useful unsecured business loans for women that provide higher loan amounts and more diverse terms.
2. Venture capital
As opposed to debt financing, where you owe money which you must pay back, venture capital is equity financing, which instead offers equity in your company as a form of payment.
For some businesses, this is a preferred route. If you feel that’s the case, there are several firms now which offer venture capital and angel investor connections specifically for women-owned businesses:
- Golden Seeds
- Women’s Capital Connection
- Women’s Venture Fund
- Belle Capital
3. National Women Business Owners Corporation
The National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) offers women entrepreneurs access to several certification programs, including WBE, EDWOSB, and WOSB certifications that give you access to various types of government contracts.
Depending on your industry, these contracts can be a lucrative source of revenue and well worth looking into.
4. Womensphere Venture Incubator
Womensphere Venture is a startup incubator which helps women entrepreneurs start up their business in specific professional fields.
- And math
WV resources include online courses on various business topics as well as live events where women entrepreneurs can gain knowledge while building valuable connections.
5. SBA Women-Owned Business Program
Most entrepreneurs have heard of the SBA, however, very few know about the resources they have available.
Specifically, the Small Business Administration has the Women-Owned Business Program which makes several resources available strictly to women-owned startups such as SBA grants, special funding programs, and government contracts spanning more than 83 different industries.