While female entrepreneurs make up a large portion of the small business population, they’re often at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing financing. In fact, the latest research from the Boston Consulting Group suggests that female entrepreneurs receive a mere 2 percent of venture capitalist funding.

Fortunately, there are many loans for women business owners that offer better terms than traditional small business financing options. These programs often have lower interest rates and are more flexible in their eligibility requirements than larger banks, credit unions, and other mainstream lenders. Additionally, these loans typically have smaller maximum loan amounts and can be easier to secure.

One such program is offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), through its Office of Women’s Business Ownership. This program offers free and low-cost training, resources, and access to local lenders and community financing groups that provide loans to female entrepreneurs. This type of program is often less rigid than other types of SBA financing, but it still requires a solid business plan and personal guarantees (meaning that the borrower will be responsible for the debt in case of default).

Other programs include the Key4Women term loan from KeyBank and the Woman’s Economic Ventures, which both offer startup and expansion loans to female entrepreneurs. The SBA also has a list of national financial institutions that offer special programs to women entrepreneurs, which is a great place to start when researching available options. Also consider getting certified as a WOSB — this can be beneficial when it comes to seeking public sector work and government “set asides,” or contracts that the federal government specifically earmarks for small businesses like yours. loans for women business owners

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