October is Women’s Small Business Month and there’s no doubt that more women are starting businesses online and offline. According to the National Association of Women’s Business Owners, 11.6 million businesses are led by women and generate $1. 7 trillion annually. See how women are investing and taking the lead in some of the fastest growing industries. Maybe you’ve considered starting a business but lack capital. Getting a bank loan can be tough and nearly impossible for someone with less-than-perfect credit. The good news is, you can find many loan and grant programs and other options available to women in business.
Grants for Women In Business
Grants are the best option for funding your small business because you don’t have to pay them back. However, you will have a lot of competition for this free cash. Some of the grant awards are as little as $500, so if you need a lot of cash, it might not be worth the effortr. You can search various lists for grants that your business might qualify for.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a good resource for business owners, and they offer specialized programs for women. The SBA has loans from $500 to $500,000, but you must meet certain requirements. Your business has to be for-profit, operating in the U.S., and you must have made an investment in the business. These loans are for businesses who have exhausted all other options. Even if you have bad credit, you may qualify.
Consider Financial Technology Companies
Financial technology companies, know as fintechs, provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with another way to access capital. Often, fintechs are willing to loan money to borrowers with bad credit, or extend lines of credit to customers with higher credit scores. On Deck, for example, offers borrower loans, but the interest rates are higher than what you would get at your bank, depending on your credit, and could be as high as 99%. On Deck does have partnerships with banks and recently announced a partnership with PNC bank for a digital line of credit up to $100,000.
Women with credit scores over 650 who have at least $150,000 in annual revenue can receive up to $350,000 from Credibility Capital. The loan is not for startups, but for businesses that have been established for at least 18 months. However, you’re still looking at a pretty high APR of 10% to 25%.
Research Your Options
Don’t struggle on your own to find capital for your dream business. Many organizations not only offer funding sources but other support. The National Business Women’s Council holds events and Twitter chats, and provides advice on its blog. The National Association of Women’s Business Owners also has support programs and local chapters. The organization requires annual dues.
If you have exhausted your efforts with the SBA, fintech, banks, and other resources, don’t give up just yet. You may still qualify for a credit card that you can use to help you with expenses. Your credit should be mid-level to good. And don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to invest in your business. You could pay them back as you begin to earn profits.
Do you have any advice for women wanting to start a small business? Leave a comment below.