The Small Business Administration has numerous programs aimed at specific purposes. The overall purpose of the federal agency is to offer funding to small businesses. In addition to that, the SBA focuses on target groups to be of specific help. For instance, the SBA has special loan programs for veterans and the immediate family of people serving in and retiring from the military. There are SBA programs for women entrepreneurs as well. A typical SBA loan for women is not the same as normal SBA loans, whether it is 7a or CDC, a microloan or a specialty loan that would be available for nonmilitary and male business owners. The same loans are available for women but there are certain added advantages as well.
- Small Business Administration has several partners or alliances and there are support networks to facilitate loans for women. Some resources of immense help are SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership and SBA’s Women’s Business Centers that has more than a hundred centers across the nation to help women get started with their businesses and also to assist in the growth of the same businesses. Then there is the SBA’s Women-Owned Federal Contracting Program that helps businesses owned and run by women to get federal contracts.
- The Women’s Business Centers or WBCs are spread all across the country and they are funded by the SBA. The centers have the liberty to offer grants to women entrepreneurs to the tune of $150,000 in a year. This is not to an individual woman entrepreneur but a cap for a center for multiple women business owners in a given region. This has nothing to do with the loan. The grants are a financial backing in addition to the loans being sanctioned. The same centers also sanction microloans within the ambit of SBA.
- A typical SBA loan for women is relatively easier to get. The rates of interest are often lower but it would depend on many factors. Economically disadvantaged women, minorities and specially challenged women get much more relaxed rates of interests. With some loans, the upfront fees could be waived off, the terms could be relaxed and there can be many such unique benefits.
An SBA loan for women is always a better option but there are many such financial programs, both at state and federal levels as well as from private nonprofit organizations.