Women-owned businesses, especially those owned by Black women, are increasing significantly in the U.S. today and have gained a foothold in the economy.
However, they’re still facing challenges, one of which is securing small business loans. However, the Biden administration is working to give female entrepreneurs the help they need.
Last week, Small Business Administration (SBA) leader Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the availability of $1.5 million for 10 new grant opportunities for established Minority Serving Institutions aspiring to host a Women’s Business Center (WBC) to provide local outcome-oriented business services to female entrepreneurs.
Eligible applicants for the grants include HBCUs, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions (NHSIs), and Alaska Native Serving Institutions (ANSIs) and nonprofit organizations.
“Our office looks forward to supporting initiatives to ensure that multicultural women and the academic institutions that support them across the nation, have access to resources and support to advance entrepreneurial opportunities and preparation,” Natalie Madeira Cofield, assistant administrator of the SBA told Forbes.
Women-owned businesses also face issues when it comes to seed funding to start a business, but have a better track record of success, long-term, than startups led by men. The Boston Consulting Group reports women-owned businesses who pitched ideas seeking early-stage capital received at least $1 million less than male business owners. However, the report added women-owned companies brought in more revenue in the long run, gaining 10% more in revenue over a five-year period.
According to Forbes, in 2019, 50% of businesses were operated by women of color, however, between 2014 and 2019 the average revenue for businesses led by women of color decreased by about $2,000. The average revenue for businesses led by non-minority women during that same time rose by more than $20,000.
The WBCs provide a range of business resources including one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, and mentoring to women.
Since last March, two dozen WBCs have opened, including three affiliated with HBCUs and two in Puerto Rico. Currently, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) funds and supports the largest network of WBCs in the U.S. with 140 centers in 49 states.
The application acceptance period will run through March 14, 2022.