4 Resources for Women in Small Business[ Edited ]
June 2016 - last edited June 2016 by Brielle B
4 Resources for Women in Small Business
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is leveling the playing
field for women entrepreneurs by providing resources to help
overcome the challenges they face.
According to the State of Women-Owned Businesses, over the past 17 years, women-owned businesses increased at a rate of 1.5x the national average -- 68% compared to the national average of 47% - yet, they still face unique challenges, especially when trying to break into a male-dominated industry. Some of the challenges women face when starting a business are access to capital, access to market, and lack of mentors.
1. Help With Loans: When it comes to getting access to capital; women are more risk-averse and tend to rely more on their personal savings to bootstrap their business. The SBA offers a variety of loan products and is deeply committed ensuring women have access to capital, connecting them with lenders through the LINC program.
2. Access to Procurement Opportunities: The SBA has a number of initiatives to help women secure better access to procurement opportunities. These include online procurement training; training through its resource partners; matchmaking events, which target both the federal and private procurement arenas; and the 8(a) Business Development Program.
3. Women’s Business Centers: Centers in almost every state offer training and counseling in a number of languages and dialects to help reach underserved markets. Each Women’s Business Center tailors its services to the needs of its community, providing training in finance, management, marketing, and the Internet, as well as offering access to all of the SBA’s financial and procurement assistance programs. The SBA also works with federal agencies to increase contracting opportunities and achieve the government’s 5 percent contracting goal for women-owned small businesses.
4. Mentorship Opportunities: Today, 57% of working age women participate in the labor force, and 74% of women work full-time. Additionally, 70% of working women have children under 18 years old. This is why the SBA has launched InnovateHER, a cross-cutting women’s business challenge to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.
For more details and resources, visit the Office of Women’s Business Ownership.
Originally published March, 2015