Women-owned businesses continue to play a larger role in the American economy. However, women face many more obstacles than men do when launching their businesses. Many female-owned companies have greater difficulty innovating, creating jobs, and growing partly because it is harder to secure small business loans. The Biden Administration has made helping female-owned businesses and those owned by minorities in particular.
Stats on Female-Owned Businesses
To be considered a female-owned business, it must be a minimum of 51% owned and controlled by women. They have become more prominent over the last 10 years. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of businesses owned by women increased to 21%. During the same five years, businesses in general increased by only nine percent. If you look back over the last twenty years, you’ll find that women entrepreneurs increased by over 110%. In 2019, about half of women-owned businesses were owned and operated by women of color. The average revenue for non-minority women rose from $198,500 to $218,800. But in the same five-year time span (2014 to 2019) women of color’s average revenue fell from $67,800 to $65,800.
Help from the SBA and Biden Administration
This year, the SBA and the Biden administration prioritized helping Black-owned businesses also owned by women. Isabella Casillas Guzman, the administrator of the SBA announced 10 new grant opportunities valued at $1.5 million for already established Minority Serving Institutions that aspire to host a WBC (Women’s Business Center) intent on helping women entrepreneurs working with outcome-oriented local businesses.
In February, Black History Month, the SBA reaffirmed its commitment to providing funding opportunities to purposefully help small businesses increase equity. Administrator Guzman has prioritized these efforts. The Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO), part of the SBA, the WBC is helping entrepreneurs grow through discovering and navigating new opportunities. The Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law helped create many of these opportunities. One example is expanding clean-energy supply chains and helping businesses be able to compete.
The Women’s Business Center provides support and helps connect women entrepreneurs with many resources within the SBA. These valuable resources include professional networks, skills training to increase resilience and business growth, granting access to capital, and more.
Purpose of the SBA’s New Funding
The SBA plans on purposing new funding toward up to 10 private, non-profit organizations. The goal is to provide entrepreneurial development services specifically to women. The SBA’s emphasis will be on economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs located outside the present WBC geographical regions.
So far, the SBA’s efforts have helped open 24 new centers. Some of the latest WBCs include two in Puerto Rico and three affiliated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Currently, the OWBO supports and funds the largest WBC in the history of the SBA. It presently has 140 centers across 49 states and Puerto Rico. The WBC network provides training, technical assistance, networking, workshops, and one-on-one counseling. They also provide mentoring to women entrepreneurs on a variety of essential business topics such as business startups, marketing, procurement, and financial management.
How You Can Apply for SBA Funding
Eligible applicants must be affiliated with a Minority-Serving Institution. They must also be non-profit, private, and have a 501(c) tax-exempt status from the IRS. The application acceptance period ends on March 14, 2022.
Women business owners who presented ideas to obtain early-stage capital, on average received $1 million less than their male counterparts. Even though men-owned businesses received more money, women gained 10% more revenue in the same 5-year period.