Are you one of those modern women looking to go that extra mile and want to define your own career in entrepreneurship? Have you been harboring entrepreneurial ambitions in your mind for quite some time now? Then it’s just the right time for you to join the league of entrepreneurs. We will tell you why.

Nowadays, we can see more and more people coming into the field of entrepreneurship. Start-up ventures are fast becoming popular with every passing day. But, it’s somewhat disheartening to find that not many women are actually coming out to join the elite league of entrepreneurs.

You may find it hard to believe, but it’s true. It is widely accepted in the business spheres that women are bestowed with more careful business acumen. Hence, they are more likely to succeed in business endeavors than their counterparts from the sterner sex. Therefore, the Government, along with various reputed banks and financial institutions are coming up with attractive business loan products to motivate women entrepreneurs. Such Business loans are not only helping women to start their own businesses but are also helping women entrepreneurs to expand their existing businesses. These loans are also helping a large section of women to attain the much talked about ‘economic independence’.

SBA Business loans for women

The Small Business Administration or SBA is a Government organization that is well known for providing quality access to funds for small businesses. Although SBA does not deal in lending directly, it facilitates business loans from community development organizations, micro-lending institutions and other lending partners. 

The SBA business loans for women come up with flexible terms. These loans help small businesses owned by women to reach their set objectives in terms of growth, asset accumulation and cash flow management. With these loans, women entrepreneurs can refinance debt, invest in technical assistance, procure equipment or even can purchase real estate. 

Eligibility criteria for women business owners

A business must fulfill the below-mentioned criteria to become eligible for SBA business loans for women entrepreneurs-

  • It should be a small business
  • Women citizens of the United States should own and control at least 51% of the business
  • The business should be certified as a business owned by women.
  • The business should have women at key positions to make long-term business decisions and manage day-to-day business operations 
  • The women applicant should be certified (self or by third party) on the certify.SBA.gov certification website. Having a profile at SAM.gov is mandatory before she can access the certification website.

Features and benefits of 3 types of SBA loans for women

7(a) loan program for women

  • Under this scheme, a women-owned business can borrow a maximum of $5 million. 
  • The funds can be used for multiple purposes such as expanding an existing business, purchasing new land, repair existing debts, procuring furniture, materials, equipment and so on
  • Offers smaller down payments
  • Longer loan tenures
  • Specially designed business loan schemes for export businesses, to the members of poor and underserved communities and of the military community. 
  • Also suitable for small businesses with cyclical  and short-term capital needs
  • Nominal guarantee fee starting from 3%

Microloan program for women

  • Loans are usually provided via community-based lending associates 
  • Smaller amounts are administered, with a limit up to $50,000
  • Suitable for people with poor credit, low cash reserves and for people from underserved/rural communities.
  • Special schemes are provided to veterans and eco-friendly businesses
  • No guarantee fee is charged

504/CDC business loan program for women

This business loan scheme is earmarked for entities that are looking to modernize or expand their businesses. 

  • The funds can be used to purchase equipment, real estate, buildings, land, modern machinery and other facilities for upgrading the existing ones.
  • Businesses can avail a maximum loan amount up to $ 5.5 million
  • The rate of interest is determined after the sale of debenture backing
  • Monthly servicing fee starts as low as 0.625%
  • Lender share fees starts from 5%

How can women entrepreneurs apply for an SBA business loan?

Women entrepreneurs can make use of the lender match tool on the SBA website while applying for an SBA business loan. In this tool, lending partners would be available to support their financial needs.  The entrepreneurs will need to answer a series of queries before they can be matched with a particular lending partner. For more you can visit Afinoz to get solution for your financial issues.

They should have the following documents and information at their disposal before communicating with any lender- 

The amount of funds required along with their intended use-

They should be able to explain why the money is required and what would be the intended use of the funds. The system will assess the loan program the business owners qualify for and will connect them to the concerned lender that offers such programs.

Business plan: 

The entrepreneurs should be ready with a general plan that depicts how the business would be operated at present and in the future. This will give an idea to the potential lender regarding the type of the business and also to assess the funding needs more precisely.  This will also help identify the opportunities and risks involved therein.

Credit history: 

The credit profile of an entrepreneur is extremely important. Her credit profile makes a direct influence on the eventual lending decisions made by the lender. An impressive credit history will help her a great deal to become eligible for SBA business loans.

Collateral: 

For certain SBA business loans, the business owner may need to provide some collateral. It will give the lender something to recover from, in case there is a default tomorrow.

Industry Experience: 

Mitigating the risk of losing money is a prime concern for any lender. A proper demonstration of industry knowledge and experience from the entrepreneur will give the lender the necessary confidence for lending money to her. 

Financial Projections:

 From the financial projections, the lender would like to assess how the business owner would repay the funds borrowed. Her financial projection will also demonstrate whether the owner can manage a new debt while covering for the existing financial obligations.

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