More than 11.6 million businesses in the United States are owned by women, however for some reason, financing options for women business owners seem few and far between. Here we discuss simple tips to find the best business loan for women because when applying for loans, women are less likely to be approved compared to men.

When it comes time for women business owners to obtain the financing they need, it’s important to fully research all the financing options that may be available. As well as understand the minimum qualification required for each type of loan.

Beyond loans, there are also grants and other resources designed to ‘level the playing field’ and help women entrepreneurs succeed.

Simple Tips To Find The Best Business Loans For Women

Small Business Loans for Women [Steps to Apply]

  1. Do you research, and check your eligibility before you begin the application process. Is your business fit to apply at a traditional bank, or would an alternative lender be more favorable to your business needs and current situation?
  2. Gather necessary documentation. Most lenders will require similar documentation such as business bank statements, tax returns, and drivers license.
  3. Choose a program that fits your business needs
  4. Complete the application

Where to find Business Grants for Women

Besides small business loans for women, there are a variety of women’s small business grants available. Grants don’t usually have to be repaid, and there are many designed specifically for women.

That’s a good thing if you’re a first-time business owner or in the early stages of growth. These benefits do, however, make the competition for these grants stiff.

How to Find Grants

Federal Grants

When looking for grants, its best to leave no stone unturned. First, you would want to search on a federal grant level. is an excellent website to start that process. Check out the blog on what precisely a grant is and some of the basic terminology used. You can also search for federal grants online there.

State Grants

Next, you want to search on the state level. The online location of these grants will vary from state to state. You’ll want to search “{your state} small business grants for women”. Hopefully, you will be pointed to the grant location in your state- usually a government website.

Other Organizations

There are also grants available from non-profits, private organizations, and industry-specific organizations. There are many grants available in this way designed specifically for women and minority women small business owners. But, be prepared to do your homework and wait for the necessary processing.

Minority Women Funding Options

There isn’t one particular type of small business loans designed for minority business owners. Business loans specifically for minorities, can come from multiple loan providers, including the SBA, micro-lenders, or non-profit organizations.

Generally, small business loans for minority women can fall into four basic categories:

  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
  • Bank or credit union small business loans
  • Business loans from online lenders (like ROK Financial)
  • and, Micro Loans

Deciding which one to pursue depends on several things, including your business’s financial profile, your credit rating, your financing needs, and your overall business goals.

Start-Up Business Loan Options for Women

SBA Loans, Micro Loans

The Small Business Administration offers multiple loans within their selection. The SBA Micro Loan program lends small amounts of money, up to $50,000, for start-ups and small businesses. The average microloan is $13,000. The drawback of a microloan can be the micro part. The dollar amounts are relatively small.

Friends and Family

A no-interest loan can often be obtained from family members or friends interested in helping you or just for an investment. The drawback is if the loan defaults, then the relationship could go south.

 Credit Cards

Many small business owners use credit cards to fund their start-ups. Credit cards can be very pricey as a personal credit score often determines interest rates.

Crowd Funding

Crowdfunding is becoming a more and more popular way to raise money for small businesses thanks to Kickstarter’s popularity. You can solicit funds through online campaigns. Instead of paying back your donors, you give them gifts.

Crowdfunding is advantageous for the entrepreneur who has a product and wants to bring it to the market. But, the site will take its cut of the investment as well.


As discussed above, Grants can be an excellent option for small business funding for women. Many are mainly designed small business loans for women that don’t require repayment.

Many loans are tailored for small business loans for women and small business loans for minority women.

How to Become a Certified Woman Business

Becoming a Certified Woman Business allows women to pursue specific public sector work or “set-asides.” Set-asides are contracts with the federal government earmarked for small businesses, including women and minority small business owners.

You can self-certify or get certified through SBA approved third parties. Organizations that are authorized to empower women-owned businesses include the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the National Women Business Owners Corporation, and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Registering through a third-party organization does cost money, usually less than $500. Self-certification is free but requires a process of online registration.

One is not necessarily better than the other. But, the first step is to make sure that your small business meets the guidelines:

  1. Meeting the SBA’s size standards for a small business
  2. A 51% ownership by women
  3. Women in charge of daily operations
  4. A woman in the highest office position

The paperwork can be lengthy, so it is a good idea to have your ducks in a row when applying. Any paperwork missing can cause delays in getting a certification.

Apply Now


Taking advantage of unique benefits for your business could be the difference when surviving the current business climate. If you are a woman-owned or a woman-owned minority business, let ROK Financial help you navigate the business loan process. Simply complete our 1 minute application to get the process started today.