Aspiring female entrepreneurs often find ways to put their plans into action. While they might have a sound business plan, taking the first step is what makes them apprehensive. At the same time, getting finances arranged is another grey area. In today’s times when there are relatively high chances of getting a business loan application rejected, getting unsecured business loans is the only option left. However, this has its own hassles and high interest rates. Nevertheless, women-owned small businesses are growing at an increasing pace with continued financial support.
To add to this, data published by Kaufmann states that about 40% of startups in the US are now owned by women. The number of women entrepreneurs is growing at double the rate as that of men. With such staggering findings, one must be curious to know the source of funding on which female entrepreneurs are relying on. To make it clear for aspiring entrepreneurs, here is a comprehensive guide on some of the key funding platforms that are the go-to lenders for aspiring female bosses.
Best Funding Sources for Female Entrepreneurs
Key4women: Key4women is a program started by the Key Bank which aims to address the financing concerns of businesswomen. This is an online community platform that has been catering to the financial needs of businesswomen since 2005. To get funds through the portal, it allows prospective female borrowers to create an online banking account. Apart from this, the portal organizes and advocates networking and educational events, which give a chance for women managers to foster connections with business professionals that in turn can help get the required investment for their ventures. So far, about $6 million has been raised for female entrepreneurs through the platform. To get access to funds, one needs to get enrolled as their member or sign up for a business loan or personal loan accounts.
Women Venture Fund: This is a non-profit organization working towards helping women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to turn their passions into profitable and sustainable businesses. The organization helps provide loans to women managers by understanding their needs. To get a suitable loan amount, the borrower needs to fill out an application form stating the entire business history, existing clients, plan on retaining clients, and business development strategies. Thereafter, Women Venture Fund assists by calculating funding needs through a comprehensive consultation process.
Women Economic Venture Fund: Women Economic Venture Fund is a Santa Barbara-based not-for-profit organization providing seed capital or funds for expanding small businesses that do not otherwise qualify for conventional loans. Besides meeting the financing needs, the Women Venture Fund program offers training, and comprehensive consultations to understand the key financing needs of businesses. For startups, loans in the range of $1,000 to $25,000 are easily provided by doing a check on a new business plan. Higher loan amounts–those in the $5000 to $50,000 range–are provided if the business is already doing well and additional funds are required to expand.
iFundWomen: Another major financing website that celebrates women entrepreneurs is iFundWomen. This online funding platform works on a crowdfunding model. Funding under the model is through a group of investors that can help start a business or can provide working capital loans. This is an effective way of generating funds for running a business, as the chances of getting rejected is less likely and the risk to the lenders gets distributed. Women these days are taking advantage of this category of funding even more. Other crowdfunding platforms such as Women You Should Fund are also helping women realize their needs. NASDAQ has named ifundwomen as one of the top 10 best funding sources for women entrepreneurs.
EnrichHer: EnrichHer is a financial technology platform that helps enrich businesswomen by providing easy financing. The platform has all the regulatory clearances to ensure sufficient financing support to women. It has disrupted the way traditional banking is done and acts as a catalyst in securing funds in an affordable and cost-effective way.
Gone are those times when loan applications took days to get final approvals. Getting business loans for women has now become a cakewalk with the advent of these online financial technology-based platforms. A careful assessment of business needs and a effective business strategy is required to understand which one of these will better fulfill the funding needs.