Over the last few decades, women business owners have made tremendous inroads to equity in the workplace. In fact, on some important measures, such as revenue growth and job creation, they have surpassed businesses owned by men. There are 9.9 million women-led businesses in the U.S. and they generate $1.5 trillion in total annual receipts, according to SBA data.
SBA offers a number of financing options for women entrepreneurs. They include their 7(a) loan program, which provides short- and long-term working capital and offers competitive interest rates; their 504 loan program, which provides fixed-rate financing for physical assets such as equipment and land; and their express loan program, which offers a quick turnaround time for applications.
To qualify for SBA financing, your business must be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by women who are U.S. citizens and manage daily operations and make long-term decisions for the business. Different agencies verify this information with varying methods, including sworn affidavits or on-site visits.
You can self-certify your business or get certified by a third party certifier approved by the SBA. Getting certified can help your business by providing access to private and government contracting opportunities that recognize this designation, as well as by providing you with support services and resources. One of the most popular third-party certifiers is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Getting WBENC certification can also give you access to SBA women-owned small business set aside contracts. sba women owned business loans