5 Best Resources for Women Small Business Owners
It’s a great time to talk about resources for women-owned small businesses. September 22nd is American Business Women’s Day. October is National Women’s Small Business Month. Both of these events celebrate the work of women in business settings.
Indeed, women are achieving great things in the workplace. But gender inequality still remains. Resources for women-owned small businesses can help to level the playing field. Here are five valuable options available for women running their own small businesses.
Strategic funding opportunities stand out among the most valuable resources for women-owned small businesses. Alternative lenders can offer access to short-term loans that provide funding in just a few days. They’re great when you need cash to solve a problem or to seize an opportunity. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a dedicated division focused on supporting women-owned businesses. The agency offers a lending match tool and loan programs designed for women business owners.
Relationships are often vital to getting professional opportunities. Mentors can help you develop skills and connect you with chances to grow your business. This makes mentors key resources for women-owned businesses. Having a trusted advisor can really help you focus on your strengths, answer key questions, and connect you to growth opportunities. And networking and attending industry events can help you connect with potential mentors.
Grants provide access to funding you can use to grow your company. When it comes to resources for women-owned small businesses, grants are among the best ways to get cash without risk. A few grant options include:
This government site serves as a grants database. You can search through a wide range of grant options to identify ones that might be relevant to your business. It’s a great place to get a strong sense of the grants you could use to support your business.
The Girlboss Foundation
Designed for female entrepreneurs, this biannual grant provides $15,000 awards to recipients. However, applying for the grant requires some work. The foundation doesn’t just check if you’re a fit for their grant. It also gathers information for promotional purposes. Getting the grant gives you more than funding. It can also lead to significant positive exposure.
The National Association for the Self-Employed provides $4,000 grants to help small business owners. The growth grant program has been in place since 2006. Applicants are expected to complete an application process to show how they plan to grow. Applicants need a strong case for how the grant can help them achieve their goals.
Grants are a great way to get financial resources for women-owned small businesses. Although you have to jump through some hoops during the application process, you obtain funds that you don’t have to pay back.
4. Government Programs
Besides grants from federal, state, and local agencies, many government bodies offer resources for women-owned small businesses. The SBA’s federal contracting program for women-owned small businesses makes it easier to compete. And many local governments organize Chambers of Commerce for women-owned businesses. Opportunities to gain resources or build relationships abound.
5. Educational Programs
The U.S. Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs runs an Academy for Women Entrepreneurs to help women build their knowledge and gain expertise. Many academic institutions provide grants or scholarships aimed at female entrepreneurs. In addition, there are also many dedicated industry associations that hold events or provide educational options aimed at female small business owners.
Resources for Women-Owned Small Businesses
Resources for women-owned small businesses are available from a wide range of sources. Whether you need a loan to take advantage of a growth opportunity or a chance to connect with a mentor, you have options. QuickBridge can help you access funding to grow your business. We work to understand our clients’ unique needs in order to offer small business loans that are right-sized.