Women Who Need a Small Business Loan - Practical Tips

Women entrepreneurs shouldn't become discouraged just because they don't have the cash-on-hand before realizing a dream of owning a small business.

Worry not. You will have to spend some time exploring what's out there. Pay special attention to the simple fact that every case is different. It's not a "one-size-fits all" proposition. But there are institutions that do have loan-options tailored specifically for women.

Start the Process

You could use a money expert as you begin the journey. That's where the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE can benefit you with their free counseling services. Worth noting, while SCORE is free, it depends on how much you want to access their varied services. That could cost you a little for things like live webinars and training workshops.

Non-Profits Can Help, Too

There are other support mechanisms in the marketplace to help women on their plight to start a small business. Let's look at a few which are intended to promote women-owned operations. These associations can likewise amp-up your access to capital either through direct funding or hooking you up with networks of investors and experts.
Women’s Venture Fund. Here's the real plus with the WVF. The group offers small business loans without charging you a pesky closing fee.
Astia.org. This group is not one which issues loans like the WVF. Astia is a start-up incubator for women. It's focus is for those who have a vision of starting small but growing big. With Astia you'll be able to network with a huge “community of over 4000 experts committed to building women leaders and accelerating the funding and growth of the companies they lead. The Astia Advisor Network includes more than 1,200 investors and 450 current and former c-level startup executives.”
Springboard Enterprises. Is your venture more technology-based? Springboard Enterprises boasts that it's, “a highly-vetted expert network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women.” Even though they do not have a loan program, it could be a great resource for tech-types.

A Partial List of Lenders

Even with the SBA, they are not lenders. They will help facilitate by introducing you to a suitable lending institution. Actual money folks you'll need? Below are a few that are women-entrepreneur friendly:

PNC Financial Services.
When you make contact with PNC, ask to speak to one of their 900 specially trained certified women’s business advocates.

Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo has a goal. It is to loan $55-billion to women-owned businesses by 2020.

Key Bank.
Key Bank has the Key4Women program which has the potential of being a "one-stop shop." They will offer you a loan, however it doesn't stop there. Key4Women presents educational and networking opportunities, too.

This is not your traditional bank. Accion is a microfinance organization. They offer a “Woman Entrepreneur Loan,” ranging from a $500-$10,000. This is something for those who are merely looking to expand.

Finally, State Loan Programs

You can Google, Bing or Yahoo the search term “women business development ”. It will take you to a government agency called Business.USA.gov.

Business dreams take capital. You could focus on purchasing lottery tickets to fund your small business, but why not save your luck for better days. Try using what we've suggested above before spending countless hours scratching cards in your car, hoping to hit the jackpot.

Author's Bio: 

Marc Prosser is the publisher of Fit Small Business , a publication that often writes about small business and SBA Loans