Shield Funding offers small business loans for women that currently own and operate their own business. Our small business loan amounts range from just a few thousand dollars all the way up to one million dollars, and we do not require collateral. Our premier and premier plus funding programs are for women with satisfactory credit, and our starter and standard programs are small business loans for women with bad credit. Below you will find the important details about our funding programs.
At Shield Funding we are so confident in the alternative lending options we offer that we also provide a large variety of small business loan resources available for women if for some reason you feel that our small business loan options are not the best fit for your business. We want you to be aware of all of your funding options so you can make an educated financial decision, one that helps your company grow and become successful.
Why Choose Shield Funding’s Small Business Loans
We are here for our customers when banks and traditional lending sources make it hard for women business owners to receive funding. Whether you are struggling with poor credit or just do not meet the requirements for traditional lending sources we have a small business loan that can work for you. Get qualified now!
You will be working directly with us so you do not have to worry about dozens of lenders inundating you on a daily basis once you submit an online form. What is even better is that we can process your application, get an approval, and you can receive the funds in your bank account in as fast as 24-48 hours. There are also no restrictions on how you disburse the money we provide for your small business. Many female business owners that we have worked with have utilized the funds to pay off unwanted debt, improve or expand their existing locations, purchase inventory and equipment, or even launch a large marketing campaign. Those are just some of the ways our small business loans can make a big difference in the success of female-owned companies.
What Other Lending Programs are Available for Women
Did you know that women own more than 11.3 million of the businesses in the United States and those businesses account for 1.6 trillion in revenue? And yet, according to a report by the U.S. Senate, it’s still more difficult for women to get a small business loan than it is for men. This makes it even more important to be better prepared and know all of the financing options available to you. Thankfully, there are several women specific lending programs available whether you have good credit or bad credit, or whether you are just starting out or you are operating an existing business.
It is important to point out that if alternative lending is not the option for you then you are going to require a lot more documentation and have to be prepared for a vigorous application process with any of the lending options below. We have listed several resources as well as many of the financing opportunities available for women to help you start the process. Please keep in mind that we cannot list every option available so some of the funding sources may be specific to a particular region, however, even if they are not in your community they may be helpful in identifying a similar program in your area.
Common Documents Required to Apply for Traditional Lending Sources
There are several things you should have in place before you apply for traditional types of financing. Many lenders require:
Resume…Create a resume that makes you a good business owner and worthy of funding.
Business Plan…Your business plan should look professional and be well thought out and informative.
Financial Statements…If you are operating your business you are going to require recent financial statements.
Legal Documents…Many lenders will also require important legal documents such as leases, licenses, and important ownership documentation.
There is a starter online checklist to help guide you in preparing your documents. Be sure to check each particular lender you are considering to see if they require additional (sometimes less) documentation. if you want assistance in the process, Women Accessing Capital can be a great resource for webinars, podcasts, and training sessions to help prepare you to access capital. The more prepared you are with your paperwork the more likely you are going to get approved for some type of funding.
Helpful Information Before Applying for Traditional Loan Options
Get free business counseling. Before applying for any financing, it’s always smart to seek out business counseling. There are several free, helpful resources for women in business including the Small Business Administration (SBA) which also provides help through your local Women’s Business Center. With the help of the SBA, you can fine-tune your business plan to make sure it appeals to lenders. Another great online resource for women to access business tips and resources is Lades Who Launch, a website dedicated to helping female business owners and entrepreneurs succeed in business. If you are a female veteran, V-WISE is a place where you can find valuable resources to assist you with small business management and entrepreneurship. The resources at V-Wise include training, business planning, economics and finance, marketing & social media, business law, access to capital, networking opportunities and much more. Business counseling will go a long way in helping you run a successful business and eventually acquiring the funding you need and it is definitely a resume booster. Another great option for business counseling is SCORE, a non-profit business mentoring service that is free along with some premium options offered at a very low cost. They will help put you in touch with many funding options, grants, and other resources for women. If you like networking or just want to find articles and resources about small business loans for women, grants for women, and a variety of business resources you can check out a great online community dedicated to small businesses called Women Owned. Lastly, a great network for women business owners and entrepreneurs can be found at National Association of Women Business Owners. NAWBO is a national membership program with local chapters that offer business tools and resources for women.
Start operating before you apply for financing. What many people don’t realize is that most funding opportunities are reserved exclusively for existing businesses. This means you need to start working, earn some money, acquire a small customer base, and prove you can run a business before you actually apply for a small business loan. Once you have been in operation for at least a few months, or prove that you can run a successful business, you will have a much better chance of receiving funding.
Know All Your Loan Options. Once you are prepared to apply for a small business loan the following resources are just some of the options available to you.
More Than 50 Small Business Loans & Funding Options
Alternative Lending for Women
Before laying out many of the traditional options available it is important to point out the easiest and most flexible source available for small business loans for women. Alternative lenders like Shield Funding are a great resource when traditional financing is not an available option. Alternative lending firms have many advantages including they don’t require good credit, they will typically lend up to $1,000,000 without asking for collateral, and application processes are quick. If you are in business and do not have meet the requirements many of the traditional lenders below will ask for this can be a great way to access small business loans for women.
State Loan Programs for Women
State Loan Financing Programs are available in each state. Each state establishes various economic programs to help women in business. All you have to do is type in your zip code and answer a few basic questions and this government resource will produce a variety of local resources for financing. Each state also has SBA resources with some listed below, but here is a 45 minute business financing course from the SBA to help prepare you for many of the SBA backed sources you will find below.
Grants for Women
There are two main types of grants, those offered by the government and those offered by individuals or private organizations. Government grants can be a great resource to fund an existing project if you fall within a certain industry or type of organization. You will also need to meet very stringent compliance and reporting requirements. Government grants are made with tax dollars so it is important to point out that they are generally not available for starting or expanding a business, and they are notoriously difficult to come by. They are made available to non-profits and non-commercial entities such as education, scientific research, technology development or medicine, or if your entity contributes to the community in specific areas. If you feel you might be able to meet the requirements from the government here are some excellent resources.
Below we have listed some of the main online resources to help you look for a government grant.
Main Grant Directory is one of the largest grant resources and a website to search for most of the Government Grants available.
SBIR & STTR are The Small Business Innovation Research Program and The Small Business Technology Transfer where you can find grant programs offered for technological innovations & R&D that have the potential for commercialization.
Grants for Women is a comprehensive directory with details about organizations and the grants they offer.
Grantwatch is a website where you can search for grants geographically as well as the type of funding source for those grants.
InnovateHer Challenge lists a wide variety of grants awarded to Women offering innovative products or services that help improve the lives of women.
Some individuals and organizations offer small business grants. Many of the private grants are small dollar amounts and very rare, but can be a good option for growing or expanding a business and many do not disqualify small business owners with bad credit. Here are some resources to get started.
Smart Women Grants offers a $3,000 grant to each of 6 different categories or business types.
Amber Grant is a program that offers $500 or $1000 grants for women entrepreneurs.
Eileen Fisher Grant A program where $10,000 grants can be awarded to a business where the majority stake in the company is owned by a woman and the company is already operating and has the potential to create social or environmental change.
GWEE The Walmart Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative offers a variety of programs to assist women in business through purchasing their products or providing financial grants.
AAUW provides career development grants to assist women reentering the workforce or trying to pursue academics beyond the bachelors level.
Open Meadows Foundation is a program that offers $2,000 grants for projects that directly benefit girls or women. It has a strong focus on political change or assisting in building community power.
The Halstead Grant is a program that offers up to a $7,500 grants as well as $1,000 worth of jewelry supplies for emerging jewelry designers or artists.
Google Ad Grants is a program offered by Google where eligible non-profits can receive up to $10,000 a month in free advertising.
Small Business Loans for Women Provided by Private Organizations or Banks
Some organizations and banks offer small business loans for women in one form or another. Many of the options listed below were created for women, however, as many as we can list there is quite possibly a lot more out there. If you see a program below that was established for a particular region then try to find a similar program in your region based on the program features or keywords and phrases discussed. Also, many local community banks offer business loans for women but generally speaking women are eligible for business loans in any bank. The local banks below are meant to show you that these programs do exist and probably available somewhere close to you.
Tory Burch Foundation is for women who operate a business for at least two years, have a satisfactory credit rating, and their business model is sustainable. These particular small business loans are made through Community Development Financial Institutions.
Women’s Venture Fund is an organization dedicated to helping women succeed as entrepreneurs providing funding and additional business resources.
Wevonline is another organization dedicated to assisting women in business providing small business loans as well as additional business resources. Startups can receive as much as $25,000 and expanding businesses can receive up to $50,000.
WWBI The Wisconsin’s Women Business Initiative provides small business loans up to $250,000 to startups or existing businesses that operate or expect to operate in the state of Wisconsin.
Key4Women from Key Bank offers loans to businesses of all sizes and provides custom financial solutions, educational and networking opportunities to women owned companies in 14 states.
PNC Bank offers financial products and services, as well as educational and advisory services to women in business.
Union Bank has a Business Diversity Lending program – which was created to assist women owned companies to more easily qualify for the financing required to build their business.
10,000 Women is an initiative launched by Goldman Sachs that provides female entrepreneurs with business management resources, education, networking and mentoring, and ways to access to capital.
Local First Bank is a local bank in North Carolina that offers a variety of small business loan options to female entrepreneurs.
Live Oak Bank is another North Carolina bank that offers small business loans to women operating businesses that receive federal government contracts.
American National Bank is a Wisconsin bank that offers start up small business loans as well as business loans for women operating existing businesses. Loans range up to multi million dollar business loans and American National is a certified preferred lender with the SBA.
Economic Development Corporation Eerie NY loans are offered to women owned existing businesses or startups that are operating for less than two years and are located in distressed areas in the Eerie region. Small business loans range from $25,000 to $500,000.
Northeastern University Business Loans are offered to women owned businesses in Boston that are operating for less than two years. Business loans range from $1,000 to $1,000,000 at below market interest rates.
WORC loans are offered to women owned or minority businesses in the Philadelphia area. Both startups and existing businesses are eligible and loans range from $500 to $35,000.
My Entrepreneur Works offers small business loans to startups or existing businesses in the Philadelphia region. They also offer training and a variety of business tools to help women succeed in business.
My Entrepreneur Works JP Morgan Chase & Liftfund recently announced an initiative to increase access to small business loans for women in the Southern United States. Small business loans range from $500 to $1,000,000. The website also offers a variety of resources to assist women in growing their business when you click on Learn.
Community Advantage Loans are loans and resources offered through an SBA pilot program. The SBA provides access to credit, management, and technical assistance to small businesses in underserved communities.
Maryland Capital offers small business loans for women in Maryland ranging up to $250,000 with varying interest rates between 7% and 12%. They help both startups and existing businesses with financing as well as MBE certification, business plans, social networking and many other strategies to help female entrepreneurs get their business off the ground.
BOC Network is a NY organization that provides access to small business loans for women in New York ranging up to $50,000. They also provide assistance with business plan development and many other business development resources.
Economic Development Agencies
Each state and many of the local governments have this type of resource that is dedicated to help new and established businesses grow and become successful.
SBA Resource is a platform where you can search state by state for your local Economic Development Agency.
Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs are financial institutions that were established to provide affordable loans to low income or disadvantaged communities. Below you will find some sample CDFIs as well as some of the main resources to find local CDFIs in your area.
Craft3 offers small business loans for women that range from $25,000 to $5,000,000. Interest rates on the loans range from 7% to 12% with a repayment time range from 3 to 7 years. There are some additional legal and origination fees to consider so be sure to understand all of the terms before applying. Craft3 is a nonprofit CDFI assisting individuals in Pacific Northwest communities.
ACE Women’s Business Center is another CDFI that provides small business loans. Bad credit scores as low as 550 can get approved and loans range up to $50,000. They also offer business advisory services and the website features online courses for business training with DreamBuilder.
AEO Works is a network of community lenders with the mission to serve entrepreneurs and small business owners that do not qualify for traditional financing. The initiatives offered are meant to provide access to small business loans for underserved entrepreneurs in local communities through CDFIs.
CDFI.ORG is the central resource to find a list of CDFI’s in your local communitity.
Angel investors or venture funding can be a great option for small businesses in the early stages for start up capital or secondary funding. Venture Capitalists are extremely picky and have a very stringent vetting process but if you have a great idea or business model it may be wise to consider. The SBA offers a great resource to learn what venture capital and angel investing is all about.
Astia provides capital, networking opportunities and business guidance to female entrepreneurs around the world in the various stages of business.
Golden Seeds provides funding to women led companies where a female owns a fair amount of the company and that woman has power and influence in the company. There are some strict requirements as to company type, revenue, and margins, but if you are looking for this type of funding Golden Seed can be a good option for women.
37 Angels is a group of women investors that provide access to up to $150,000 in capital. They understand women and entrepreneurship and it can be a good fit for a woman owned business looking for funding.
Plum Alley is a place where investors and influencers are brought together to advance women owned and gender diverse companies. They take a hands on approach to walk you through the entire business funding process and get you capital for your business.
Topstone Angels is a female founded group that encourages women startups to apply for venture capital and they invest across multiple industries.
BBG Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund that focuses on mobile and internet startups with at least one female founder.
Belle Capital is an Angel Fund that focuses on investing in the technology sector. They provide funding to companies that are founded by women or have women executives or are willing to recruit women at the executive level.
Springboard is an expert network of innovators, influencers, and investors looking to accelerate the access to growth capital for women entrepreneurs.
Phenomenelle Angels Fund invests in early stage women owned companies in the Midwest and Wisconsin. They utilize a network of successful female entrepreneurs to advise, assist in recruiting, help with marketing and partnerships, and they also assist with additional financing.
The Harriet Fund invests in early stage women owned companies with investors from the community as well as by a woman owned venture fund. Through their accelerator program they provide coaching and mentoring to the startups they invest in.
Female Founders Fund invests in early stage women owned tech companies and provide networking options with leading female CEO’s and executives.
SheEO World provides a network of woman to assist entrepreneurs as well as providing low or no interest loans with money pooled by women activators or investors. Companies that are selected require $50,000 in revenue.
Crowdfunding is a process where an individual or borrower attempts to get small amounts of money from a large pool of people. Crowdfunding is often done in a donation style of receiving funding where contributors do not expect to be paid back. Many borrowers or individuals who establish a crowdfunding campaign offer incentives such as products or services at a discount and even some crowdfunding platforms today allow investors in a type of angel funding or venture capital equity framework. Most of the crowdfunding options are done via the internet and for detailed information on Crowdfunding for women check out this report from the National Women’s Business Council.
IFundWomen is a crowdfunding website dedicated to women entrepreneurs. Funding is provided for startups and small businesses and 20% of the fees received by the website for a funded deal get reinvested into another deal on the website.
KIVA is a crowdunding platform that has part of the site dedicated to small business loans for women owned businesses.
Microloans for Women
Microloans are typically a small sum of money in the form of a loan. Although some microloans can range up to $100,000, most are capped at $35,000 with the average being about $13,000 according to a recent report.
Accion is a nonprofit that offers microloans up to $50,00 to lower income entrepreneurs including women. They also offer articles and videos as well as other business resources to assist entrepreneurs on business matters.
SBA Microloan Program provides loans up to $50,000 to assist small business owners and certain types of nonprofits to startup or expand. The funding can be used for things like inventory, furniture, machinery or equipment, or working capital.
NY Revolving Loan Trust Fund Program The NY Minority and Women Revolving Loan Trust Fund Program provides microloans up to $50,000 to assist minority and women owned small businesses. Additionally they assist applicants through the application process and provide business plan assistance, mentorship, and other other business services.
MIWF The Michigan Women’s MicroLoan Fund Program provides microloans up to $50,000 to assist small businesses where a woman owns at least 51%. The company must be legally established and based in the state of Michigan.
At Shield Funding we believe in assisting women in business and want you to know all of your options for small business loans. We also want you to know that if you are considering borrowing for your small business learn about your borrower’s rights. If you have any questions please give us a call as we would be happy to help answer any of your questions about financing your business.