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Business Loans for Women

Table of Contents

  • How Women-Owned Businesses Can Use Business Loans
  • Best Small Business Loans for Women
  • Additional Resources for Small Business Loans for Women
  • How to Apply For Small Business Loans for Women

Women entrepreneurs in America now own 40% of small businesses. While this number is already a record high, more and more women continue growing their businesses at double the rate of male-owned businesses.

Unfortunately, while women continue to prove their businesses are just as workable and profitable, less than one-third of all female entrepreneurs applying for small business loans receive approval. Comparatively, 50% of all other applicants were able to get a loan.

According to a 2014 study by the National Women’s Business Council, women only get about 6% of the money, on average, loaned to male-owned businesses. Clearly, it’s difficult for female entrepreneurs to get the funds they deserve.

While there is not a specific small business loan for women, there are plenty of grants and other mentorship programs and resources that are available exclusively to female business owners.

In this guide, we’ll break down the best small business loan options for women, where they can be found, and what you’ll need to qualify and apply.

How Women-Owned Businesses Can Use Business Loans

In every company, no matter the size, there comes a time when you can use additional working capital.

If your business is in need of capital to fund your startup costs, funds to grow your business, or you have been denied a traditional bank loan, a small business loan could be beneficial for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the different ways your business can use these loans.

Inventory financing

A small business loan can help you invest in your inventory, providing you with the peace of mind knowing you have exactly what your customers are looking for. Whether you need to buy for the busy season or are preparing for a big contract win, buying in bulk with an inventory loan gives you the chance to negotiate with your vendors for less, providing significant cost savings to your business.

Expanding your business

Developing new business opportunities to grow your company is important for everyone. Whether you’re looking to increase your revenue by adding to your product line, serving a new target audience, or investing in another location, business loans offer you the chance to grow.

Upgrading equipment

Getting a small business loan can allow you to upgrade your outdated, broken, or ineffective equipment. Help your business run as efficiently as possible by leasing or buying the equipment you need to succeed.

Adding new employees

Having knowledgeable, well-trained employees gives you the chance to focus on what’s most important – serving your customers and growing your business. With a small business loan for women, you can add the help you need without the wait.

Best Small Business Loans for Women

While there may not be a specific small business loan designed exclusively for women-run businesses, there are a variety of accessible loan options.

Let’s take a look at some of the loans available to women-run businesses.

SBA Loans

Government-guaranteed long-term loans from the Small Business Administration. Terms range between 5 – 25 years.

  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $5,000,000
  • Loan Term: 5 – 25 years
  • Interest Rate: Starting at 6%
  • Speed of Funding: Fast as 30 days

Online Loans

When women need working capital as fast as possible, applying for a loan online is the best and most efficient way to secure their funding. These loans are useful for women with either poor or strong credit and can even provide financing as soon as the same day.

  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $500,000
  • Loan Term: 3 months – 5 years
  • Interest Rate: Starting at 9%
  • Speed of Funding: Fast as same day

Business Lines of Credit

A business line of credit allows the borrower to take up to a maximum credit limit and only pay interest on the capital you borrowed. Businesses are able to use this loan as they need it, withdrawing funds in any increment up until they’ve reached their available credit limit.

  • Loan Amount: $5,000 – $500,000
  • Loan Term: 6 months – 3 years
  • Interest Rate: Starting at 8%
  • Speed of Funding: Fast as 1 day


When you’re just starting out, having access to a few thousand dollars can help you purchase the inventory, supplies, and other business essentials. In these scenarios, microloans are the perfect funding solution for women looking for small business loans.

Let’s take a look at a few of the microloans available to female entrepreneurs:


This nonprofit lender makes up to $50,000 available to women-run businesses. Applicable to businesses able to exhibit strong cash flow with no recent liens or bankruptcies.

SBA Microloan Program

Perfect for startups or businesses in need of just a small amount of capital. Up to $50,000 available.

Grameen America

A very unique program that provides a $1,500 microloan to participants following a week-long training.

Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program

A loan program backed by Bank of America that connects women entrepreneurs with local microlenders. Designed for women with a satisfactory credit rating and at least two years in business.


A crowd-funding, global community that provides loans up to $10,000 with 0% interest. Useful for women operating farms, restaurants, and other artisanal businesses.

Opportunity Fund

Eligible businesses can secure up to $30,000. To secure a microloan here, businesses need to have been in operation for at least one year.

Short-term Business Loan

Short-term business loans are designed to help you take advantage of new business opportunities or bridge the gaps in your cash flow. This allows your business to avoid a long-term commitment that can consume your working capital years after your need for the funds.

  • Loan Amount: $3,000 – $500,000
  • Loan Term: 3 – 18 months
  • Interest Rate: Starting at 10%
  • Speed of Funding: Fast as same day

Working Capital Loan

Working capital can be used to invest in or support the operations of the business. This loan type helps your business fund your daily expenses without sacrificing growth-focused projects.

  • Loan Amount: $3,000 – $5,000,000
  • Loan Term: 3 months – 25 years
  • Interest Rate: Starting at 7%
  • Speed of Funding: Fast as same day

Additional Resources for Small Business Loans for Women

Small Business Grants for Women

A business grant is working capital that you are not required to pay back. There are many different types of grants available to female entrepreneurs.

While grants are often labeled as ‘free money’, when compared to small business for women, they have more demanding qualifications and limit how you can use your funds. Still, they’re quite valuable to business owners with high credit scores and more than one year in business.

Let’s take a look at some of them:

Federal Grants

State-Level Grants

Private Grants

Independent Investors for Women-Owned Businesses

How to Apply For Small Business Loans for Women

Apply With a Bank

To work with a bank to secure a business loan, small businesses go through a many-step process that can take up to 6 months to complete. The business owner will possibly be required to meet with a loan officer and submit a physical application. In some circumstances, owners will be asked to put together a full proposal to demonstrate how they will use their business loan for women.

Apply With an Online Lender

The other option available for securing a small business loan for women is by applying with an online lender.

With Fast Capital 360, for example, business owners are able to complete their application in only minutes, while only having to share basic details about both their business and themselves. Fast Capital 360 is capable of approving your company for small business within hours, even funding as soon as the same day, in certain cases.

Let’s take a look at the documents you’ll need to complete your application, regardless of if you apply with us or another lender.

Documents Needed to Apply for a Small Business Loan for Women

Whether you’re applying with a traditional bank or an online lender, each company will have their own set of requirements. However, we do know that all lenders will ask for the following:

  • Driver’s License
  • Bank Statements
  • Personal & Business Tax Returns

The lower the cost of the loan and the longer the term, the more paperwork will be involved. This is because the lender is attempting to assure themselves of the risk they’re taking on.

  • Profit & Loss Statements
  • Business Debt Schedule
  • Balance Sheets
  • Voided Business Check

Questions About Women’s Business Loans?

Fast Capital 360 loves helping women-owned small businesses reach their goals. If you’re interested in securing funding for your business but still have questions about the best choice for you, our helpful Business Advisors are here for you. They’re available to answer any questions you may have about how qualifying for a business loan can benefit your business and can even share the best ways to get the most from your loan.

To get in touch, call (800) 735-6107 or click here to chat directly with one of our advisors.