October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and there are over 13 million women owned businesses in the U.S. As a result, organizations like the SBA provide resources to help women owned businesses access capital, training, SBA loans and more.

On this edition of the SBA Update, we’re joined by Leslie Zinn, CEO of Arden’s Garden, and Allen Thomas, SBA Regional Administrator.

Zinn developed a deep-seated fascination for health and nutrition at a young age since she was raised drinking various nutritional concoctions as Arden’s daughter. She continues to create and cultivate the business, cementing Arden’s Garden’s position as the finest juice company in the Southeast. 

Women Owned Businesses Access to Capital with SBA Loans
Women Owned Businesses Access to Capital with SBA Loans

Key Takeaways:

1. In the 1970s and 1980s, SBA was used as a vessel to assist Zinn’s mother in navigating how to sell her cold press smoothies and juices. 

2. Thomas noted, “With the post-pandemic era, we saw a trend of women exploding the entrepreneurial landscape.” 

3. SBA assists women entrepreneurs daily by helping them with training and resources for free. “SBA’s goal is, every new business idea, we want banks competing for your products, so we have 136 women’s business centers across the country, so for free, you can set up an appointment, walk in, and we find you partners to launch your business,” says Thomas. 

4. The federal government gives out $368 billion in contracts annually; currently, 28% of that goes to small businesses, and 5% is specifically designated for women-owned SMBs.

5. SBA had over five million more women lending last year than in the previous three years. 

5. Thomas said, “If you’re an entrepreneur, come see us at SBA. If you’re in it for the long run, understand cycles will come and go, but good products and good ideas will follow through.”

“Believe in yourself and go for it. Don’t listen to the imposter syndrome that’s going on in your head.” – Leslie Zinn

Video courtesy of ASBN America’s Small Business Network