Small Business Loans and Resources for Women

Women who own and run small businesses in the United States can obtain financing through several small business loans designed specifically for women.

According to, the number of women-owned businesses has increased dramatically in the last decade and several local, regional, national and federal organizations offer grants and loans for women who want to build and manage their own business.

Whether you’re opening your own store or want to buy an existing business, you may qualify for a loan to pay for your initial expenses and cover some of your operating costs as you grow.

Applying for Small Business Loans for Women

Small business loans for women typically have certain restrictions, requirements and limitations and many are designed specifically for minority women business owners. Various loans are available for women who want to start a new business, expand an existing business, or launch their own home-based business.

If you are applying for a small business loan or grant to launch a new business, you’ll need to calculate all of your startup costs, fees for incorporation, initial marketing and advertising costs, and recurring expenses such as salaries and payroll taxes.

You can meet with a mentor or accountant to develop a financial plan and budget, and include this information in your business plan. In most cases, you will need to submit this information as part of your loan or grant application.

Types of Small Business Loans for Women

Women business owners can apply for the following loans and grants:

  • ¬†
  • The Women’s Funding Network
  • Small Business Administration Office of Women’s Business Ownership
  • Count-Me-In
  • American Association of University Women
  • Financial Women International
  • Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program

The SBIC Program is unique because it provides funding for companies licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBIC Program has provided financing to more than 100,000 small U.S. companies since 1958 and continues to support thousands of small businesses every year.

It’s important to note that many state organizations offer community loan programs and specialized funding programs specifically for women and minorities. Local banks, credit unions and private investors may also offer loans and grants for women business owners.

State-sponsored programs include business assistance and loans through the Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance.

Other Resources for Women Business Owners

Women business owners who need more than just financial assistance also have access to educational resources, mentors and training programs through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offices in their state.

The SBA sponsors a network of Women’s Business Centers that help women with all aspects of running their business. Women can register for workshops, meet with mentors, attend speaking events and have important questions answered by professionals by registering with their local center. The SBA can also provide recommendations on loans and grants available for the small business owner.