Many women business owners find the biggest obstacle they face when starting out is acquiring the funding they need to launch their company.
According to Visa’s 2020 State of Female Entrepreneurship report, 66% of women business owners reported that they have difficulty accessing the funding they need to start or grow their business . A 2019 study found that female-led companies are 63% less likely to receive funding from venture capitalists than their male counterparts, and may also have more difficulty obtaining a traditional loan.
Additionally, a recent report on The State of Online Small Business Lending confirmed that female entrepreneurs are less likely to apply for business funding than men, less likely to receive the full funding they do apply for, receive – on average – $35,000 less than men do, and, when approved, tend to receive shorter term loans at higher interest rates.
Fortunately, today there are a range of funding options available especially for women business owners, including grants, crowd-funding, angel investors, and business accelerator programs. You can also turn to financial institutions like Valley Bank who are championing women-owned businesses and helping them find the financing they need to succeed.
Here are some additional sources of funding especially for women business owners that you may wish to explore.
- Female Founders Fund – This fund “invests in the exponential power of exceptional female talent” and has worked with some noteworthy female-owned brands. They average between six to eight investments per year, with investments ranging from $500,000 to $750,000. Check out their FAQ page for answers to your questions as to how to apply, as well as helpful resources on topics such as fundraising and pitching, strategy, leadership and more.
- The Amber Grant Foundation – This foundation awards a $10,000 grant to a female-owned small business every month to help new entrepreneurs who are just starting out. They also issue a yearly $25,000 grant to one of their monthly winners. Application is easy via a short form on their website, and costs just $15 to apply.
- IFundWomen – IFundWomen’s mission is to close the funding gap for women-owned businesses, helping female and female-identified founders of any race or ethnicity seeking capital (specifically through crowdfunding), coaching, networking, and grant opportunities.
- Grantsforwomen.org – This is a database of grants specifically for women with helpful information about private, corporate, and federal grants. Not all grants are specifically for business owners, but they offer funding options in a wide range of industries.
- 37 Angels – This organization is comprised of female angel investors that invest solely in women-owned small businesses. To help even the playing field for women entrepreneurs, this group offers grants up to $150,000.
If you’re a woman who owns her own business, you should also consider joining networking groups that bring together women business leaders. Valley’s Women in Business program connects and empowers professional women by providing enriching networking and educational opportunities. Women in Business collaborates with thought leaders in the community and fosters connections between members by hosting social and educational events that provide opportunities for growth, learning and networking.
At Valley, we’re committed to helping women business owners with the financial services, networking support and resources you need to ease your struggle and help you enjoy the benefits and rewards of entrepreneurship. Register for our Women in Business program today or contact us to learn more.