Although they’ve been systematically and severely unheralded, unrecognized and underrepresented, women have played a pivotal role in business for decades. As you may recall, number two on our list of the 50 most influential property and finance classics is the seminal 1921 work “Your Invisible Power” by Genevieve Behrend, who in many ways laid the groundwork for what is now the widely accepted view that what we visualize in business (and in all aspects of life for that matter) tends to manifest in reality. Indeed, if you’re a fan of Robin Sharma, Rhonda Byrne, T. Harv Eker and many others in that vein, then you owe Ms. Behrend a debt of gratitude!
While there’s still plenty of work to do when it comes to making the business playing field equal in terms of gender (not to mention other demographic aspects), the good news is that across the country, a growing number of women from all walks of life and across all age groups — from Millennials to seniors — are launching small businesses, and making vital contributions to the economy and community. And a big reason for their success is the increasing availability of small business loans for women. Below, we highlight some of the most popular business funding options:
- Working Capital Loans. These are unsecured loans that are typically used to fund expansions, cover unexpected costs, or take care of operating expenses during the startup phase or if things get sluggish.
- Merchant Cash Advances. These are unsecured loans that can be used to cover the same costs noted above, but are suited for businesses that conduct most of their transactions through credit card. On a daily basis, a small percentage of daily credit card sales is allocated to repay the loan.
- Business Line of Credit. Also referred to as a revolving account, this is a good alternative to a lump sum loan. Similar to a credit card, interest is only charged on the amount borrowed, rather than the full amount available.
- Bank Loans. While banks typically offer relatively lower rates compared to the options noted above, all bank loans must be secured by collateral, and borrowers must typically have two (but sometimes more) years of extremely good business and personal credit history.
- SBA Loans. The good news is that SBA loans (which are administered by banks) can be an affordable and helpful loan option, especially since the repayment term in some cases can be stretched out over a several years, therefore lowering the monthly repayment amount. The bad news is that SBA loan applications typically require an excessive amount of time and effort to put together, and the approval process can take more than six months. Hey, it’s the government after all.
- Grants. While grants can be a very attractive option for women entrepreneurs, as can be expected competition is fierce and funds are limited. What’s more, individual grant programs typically have a detailed application process, and preparing a proposal can be a heavy administrative burden (or cost if this is outsourced).
These are just some of the funding options available, but they’re a good place to start for women who are launching a new business, or want to take their existing business to the next level. Genevieve Behrend would be proud!
About the author C. Weber: I am an entrepreneur with 10 plus years of experience in a variety of industries including finance, marketing and online technology. As an expert in advanced SEO, paid advertising, and inbound marketing I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with others and helping businesses reach their full potential.
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