Women business owners face a unique challenge when starting their new ventures. While equality is expected, there is still a glass ceiling that some women entrepreneurs find difficult to penetrate when seeking funding, particularly for a start-up. However, there are numerous resources available to women entrepreneurs designed to help them find the funding they need and successfully start their businesses.
Grants are ideal for women entrepreneurs starting a not-for-profit company but can be difficult to obtain for a for-profit business. However, some grants are available from special interest groups geared toward helping women succeed in business. Look for groups that match the kind of business you want to run and apply for any available grants. Keep in mind that many grant committees only meet once or twice a year and it may take that long to get approved and get your grant.
If your personal or business credit is good, there is money available to start a business. Banks and Microcredits and other Financial Institutions have a special program for women entrepreneurs and provide loan guarantees at a very competitive rate. If your credit is not yet established or poor, loans may not be available. It is best to open small trade line accounts for your new business to help establish credit before seeking a loan.
Many successful women in business are more than happy to help other women interested in starting their own companies. An angel investor is someone who usually remains behind the scenes and contributes the necessary funds for a start-up until the company is more established and eligible for traditional financing. However, angel investors may not be easy to find. Networking and getting the word out about your new business in your community is typically the best way to interest a potential angel investor.
Peer-to-peer lending, while around for centuries, is enjoying a resurgence as traditional lending options become more difficult. Peer-to-peer lending typically has the same terms as a traditional loan but interest rates may be lower than banks. You will need to have a solid business plan for your start-up and good personal credit to apply to these lending networks. Loan amounts can range from very small to several thousand dollars, depending on your unique situation.