How Can Female Small Business Owners Get the Right Resources To Succeed?
Starting a business as a woman is difficult; in addition to facing many of the same challenges that affect their male peers, female entrepreneurs also have to navigate economic, social and political systems rooted in old-fashioned ideas of gender. Fortunately, the proper support not only helps women individually succeed in business, but takes the necessary step of addressing systemic inequality.
Female Entrepreneurs Help Drive the Economy
Although women-led businesses aren’t common among Fortune 500 companies, they play an important role in the economy. In fact, they contribute to the national economy to the tune of $1.4 trillion dollars. The number of women-led companies is over 9.9 million, which means that even though they’re not often highlighted in mainstream media, they’re a powerful sector that must be considered.
Local and National Resources Aimed at Female Entrepreneurs Are Becoming More Readily Available
So where can female entrepreneurs find resources to combat the challenges they face? Fortunately, there are many options. The Small Business Administration, a federal agency with national reach, partners with local organizations to address a particular area’s needs. Prominent SBA partners include the following:
- Women’s Business Development Council
- Women and Technology
- Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
- Southwestern College Foundation
- Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
- Northeast Entrepreneur Fund, Inc.
- Economic and Community Development Institute, Inc.
- Business Outreach Center Network, Inc.
Small Business Administration Programs Can Assist Female-Led Companies
The SBA also has its own Women’s Business Centers in most states, which offer invaluable training in a variety of topics:
- Private and government contract procurement
- Financial management
- Enterprise launches and promotion
Female entrepreneurs can also benefit from SBA loans, which are specifically tailored to the needs of startups and local shops. While the SBA doesn’t offer direct lending, it does facilitate loans through traditional institutions such as banks and credit unions. As a result, small business owners can more easily access working capital.
Early Financial Support Increases Likelihood of Success
Studies show that a large percentage of small businesses fail within the first year, often due to a lack of financial resources. SBA loans allow owners to invest in their enterprises without compromising their financial stability, thereby improving their chances of success. Since the majority of women-led companies are small businesses, these loans have a sizable impact on female entrepreneurs.