Small Business Loans for Women

In the past, women seeking to start a small business with borrowed funds often had problems obtaining financing – regardless of how solid their business plan or credit was. Traditionally, small business lenders looked at only the numbers – specifically, the assets owned by the prospective borrower. And, let's be frank; men have typically been the ones with more legal ownership of assets. Women often bring a somewhat dissimilar set of assets to the table when looking for a loan. For this reason, small business loans for women have become increasingly popular and successful. These loans, which can be for amounts up to $250,000 or more, usually focus on the strength of the overall business plan and the woman's character, credit history, experience and reliability. The paperwork is as thorough as that of a standard small business loan, but its focus is just a bit different.

The business plan will need to be just as solid as would be necessary for a traditional small business loan and the prospective borrower must have an equally good credit rating. After that point, however, the paperwork may take a slight turn. Instead of asset assessment, these special loans for women will assess the prospective borrower's character, experience, and reliability as the potential head of a business. A strong resume or portfolio containing a good list of both business and personal character references should be included in the loan proposal package. The borrower should also be able to demonstrate both financial and work reliability.

There are also business loans for women who want to start a small home-based business. These loan packages are designed specifically for women with children who want or need to stay at home with their kids but still require an income. Loan amounts can range from $1,000 to $10,000. They, too, require a business plan and other qualifications, though the applications usually aren't as quite demanding as those for larger loans.

Additionally, small business loans to women can often be a good investment for lenders. Women typically bring special skills and management styles to business that can be successful. Furthermore, in some fields such as architecture and construction, businesses owned by women are sought out – not simply because of their minority status to fill a legal requirement but also because women bring another perspective to the job.

It's interesting to note that women are increasingly helping fund other women's business ventures. Those who've paved the way by starting and owning their own business now see other women-owned companies as good investments. There are venture capital groups in existence comprised solely of women for the purpose of investing in only women's businesses.

If you're a woman and have been unsuccessful in obtaining a traditional business loan, seek out small business loans designed specifically for women. With these specialized loans, you can count on your unique perspectives, experiences and assets being considered highly by any lender offering them. Remember, funding for your dream may be right around the corner. But it's up to you to find that 'right' corner.

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