According to the 2012 Census report, women own 36% of all privately held businesses. They account for an economic impact of $3 trillion due to jobs they create and maintain. That's 16 percent of all U.S. jobs! Yet, one of the biggest issues for women-owned businesses is lack of access to capital.
Women-Owned Businesses Lack Access to Capital
According to a report issued by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, "women account for only 16 percent of conventional small business loans and 17 percent of SBA loans even though they represent 30 percent of all small companies. Of conventional small business loans, women only account for 4.4 percent of total dollar value of loans from all sources. In other words, just $1 of every $23 in conventional small business loans goes to a woman-owned business."
And that's not the only issue women have with access to funds. Women receive just 7 percent of venture funds, and the percent of female venture capitalists has actually declined from previous years. That decline means less women are in the position to support women entrepreneurs by investing in their growth.
Why Aren't Women Business-Owners Accessing Capital?
There are a few reasons why women aren't accessing capital. The National Women's Business Council report on Access to Capital by High-Growth Women-Owned Businesses shows that women lack the qualities typically associated with innovation and high growth entrepreneurship. That includes self-confidence and a willingness to assume risks that may accompany failure.
A study by Women Entrepreneurs in New York City shows that male business-owners don't seem to struggle as much with lack of confidence and unwillingness to take risks. The study says, "Though men also cite funding as a significant challenge, they are twice as likely to use traditional banks to fund and launch their businesses with as much as double the capital."
According to that same WENYC study, 90% of women business owners say they use their personal savings as the main source of capital. Besides not wanting to take a risk, they say it's due to a lack of knowledge about alternative funding sources as well as banks' limited interest in lending to low-capital industries (where many women entrepreneurs are concentrated). Other studies show that women lag men in the area of self-efficacy around their own success. That means women just don't believe in they have the skills necessary to create a successful business.
Access to Capital Starts with YOU!
Before you start banging on doors searching for venture capitalists and bankers to give you money, you need to do a couple of things first.
- Get your own financial house in order. Financial Advisor, Justin Krane, did a great webinar on eWomen Success Institute, which you can access here.
- Know you're worth it! Unless you can accept that you are capable of creating a successful business, money won't find you and you won't find the money. Watch this video with one of our esteemed Celebrity Science clients, Dr. Samantha Madhosingh, to stop self-sabotaging your success and start owning it!
Show Me the Money!
Once you've got your financial house in order and you're confident in your abilities to kick some business-butt, you're ready to knock on some doors. Here are rocks you can look under to get you started:
The Small Business Administration - The SBA has been charged with setting aside 5% of their loan capital for women-owned businesses. Believe it or not, they can't get rid it!
Alternative Financing - This link describes the various places you can access funding other than banks.
Astia - Founded in Silicon Valley in 1999 as a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and promoting best-in-class women high-growth entrepreneurs.
Angels - I don't mean the kind with wings an halos. This link takes you to an article by medium.com that lists several angel investors waiting for the next best you.
- Sandra Yancey, Founder & CEO of eWomenNetwork
No One Makes it Alone
As the Founder & CEO of eWomenNetwork, Sandra Yancey says, nobody makes it alone. There are women entrepreneurs who say one of the problems they face is finding a place to network with other women entrepreneurs who are struggling with the same issues they have. eWomenNetwork has 118 chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Each chapter has monthly meetings where women are waiting for you. Click here to find a chapter near you.
It's also a great idea to find a Femtor or Mentor who knows the ropes and might have connections to capital funds. Read this previous article for more on how to find the perfect Femtor or Mentor.
Now get out there and make it happen!
Author of Game-Changing Content, Phyllis Smith Content Manager, eWomenNetwork