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Resources to Help Your Woman-Owned Business Succeed

By kmurray, SBA Community Moderator

According to the U.S. Census 2007 Survey of Business Owners , women owned 7.8 million businesses, representing almost 30 percent of all companies in the country. It’s also worth mentioning that the growth of women-owned firms has outpaced the growth of other types, having increased by just about 44 percent between 1997 and 2007.

So, what can you do to join the ranks of these successful women business owners? Are you exploring your options for capital? If you’re looking for help to finance your business venture, check out these resources.

SBA Loan Programs and Online Loan Search Tool

Although no government loan programs exist exclusively for for women business owners, the SBA is one of the largest loan guarantors in the country and offers a variety of loan programs to small businesses.

Keep in mind that the SBA doesn’t lend the money directly; it provides a guarantee to banks and lenders for the money they lend to small businesses owners. This protects the lenders’ interests by promising to pay a portion (the percentage varies by the type of loan) if the business owner defaults on the loan, so the lender is more likely to take the risk if it wouldn’t have without the guarantee.

Did you know? SBA loans are three to five times more likely to go to women than non-SBA loans. SBA’s leading loan programs include 7(a) and 504, but women-owned businesses often need small-scale financing, so SBA microloans are another option to consider. In fiscal year 2011, a little more than half of all microloans went to businesses owned in whole, or in the majority, by women. 

Online Resources from

With Business USA’s financing search tool, you can find out about loan programs based on your business profile and needs. The Loans and Grants section of is also great to explore to learn more about the loans and grants that may be available to you.

You can also check out the online courses, videos and chat sessions available in SBA’s Learning Center that are tailored to helping small business owners understand financial options, loans, processes, etc.

Women’s Business Centers

Overseen by SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) can guide women through the process of finding and applying for an SBA loan. They also offer regular training seminars on financing topics. You’ll find that some WBCs also provide access to alternative capital financing programs. And with 110 offices across the country, you’re bound to find one nearby. WBCs are a great resource if you’re looking for other types of counseling and training as well, so check out a location near you to get the help you need to start or grow your business.

Did you know? SBA data has shown that businesses that receive assistance from WBCs have significantly better survival rates than those that don’t receive similar support.

Other Financing Options

Have you considered options like crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending? These avenues for funding allow you to make your business case to others – usually online – with the hope that someone will make an investment. Given the tough times entrepreneurs are also facing with the current economic climate, methods like crowdfunding have become a popular and alternative method of raising finance for a business.

Additional Resources

  • SBA Local Offices: Another in-community go-to resource for business counseling, training and loan information. These offices oversee the delivery of SBA’s programs, including loans, nationwide. You can also locate your office on Twitter and Facebook here.
  • Women-Owned Businesses: Learn about the wide range of federal programs available to help women owned small businesses start up, grow and succeed.
  • National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): A membership organization that provides resources and networking opportunities for women in business.
  • National Women’s Business Council: Advisory panel to the President and Congress on economic issues important to women business owners.



Top 10 Tips for Female Entrepreneurs

By: Annie Xu (Published on 05.24.2013)


With many women still struggling to find a role in male-dominated boardrooms, a growing number are branching out and setting up their own companies.

In the US alone, women-owned enterprises are starting up at a rate of around 550 a day, and this trend is being mirrored across the globe, with figures from the Enterprise Research Centre showing that businesses led by women add around £130 billion to the UK economy.

Unfortunately, it is often the case that women have to work harder to prove themselves in business…

If you are considering taking up the reins and becoming your own boss here are ten top tips for female entrepreneurs.

#1 – Get planning

If you’ve had an amazing idea swirling around in your mind for a while now, the first step to making it a reality is committing it to paper and writing a business plan.

Unfortunately, it is often the case that women have to work harder to prove themselves in business, but a thorough plan which outlines your business’s mission, highlights what sets it apart from existing companies and includes a detailed financial forecast will ensure people take you seriously and prove invaluable in obtaining investment.

#2 – Choose an area you are passionate about

When you start your own business you have to live and breathe it for at least the first year while you get things up and running, and the chances are you will always spend more time on it than you would a typical 9-5 job. With this in mind, you should choose something you are passionate about and won’t get bored of quickly.

If you are passionate about your products and services this will also come across when dealing with potential investors and clients, making them more likely to want to work with you or buy from you.

#3 – Make your business work for you

There aren’t any hard and fast rules about what a business looks like, so make sure your company fits in with the rest of your life. Take time as part of the planning process to consider how much time you are willing to devote to your company, whether you are willing to travel extensively on a regular basis and whether you’d like to be able to work flexibly.

Some people dream of global domination, while others would prefer a smaller operation which brings them a healthy income. Remember that as your life changes, your business can develop and grow too.

#4 – Find your USP

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses starting up every day, and the reality is that not all of them will still be up and running in a year’s time. To give yours the best chance of succeeding you need to identify your Unique Selling Point which makes you stand out from the crowd and make sure you are promoting it to investors and customers alike.

#5 – Get a mentor

Starting up a new business is daunting and the chances are you will have lots of questions, especially in the early days. And who better to answer them than someone who has been in the same situation themselves?

There are a number of women-helping-women organizations across the globe which can pair you with a mentor, or you can simply ask someone you already know, although it’s best if they’re not a friend.

Make sure your mentor knows you don’t just want a ‘yes woman’ who’ll love all your ideas. A good mentor should be able to challenge you and hold all your suggestions up to scrutiny.

#6 – Surround yourself with a good team

It can be tempting to want to take on everything yourself when you set up a business, after all it’s your baby. However, it’s important to surround yourself with a good team so you can delegate and take advantage of other people’s strengths.

It’s always worth hunting for the right employees rather than trying to fill roles quickly and investing in top talent will pay for itself in the long run. The root of many business failures is not making the right hiring decisions.

#7 – Have confidence

The idea of leaving a stable job to start your own business or investing your life savings in a start-up is undeniably daunting, so to run a successful business you need to have lots of confidence; in your product and yourself.

Some women can be reserved about promoting their talents, but you’ll need to be your own biggest champion when pitching to potential investors and clients. There’s no place for false modesty when you are trying to build a business.

#8 – Network

Networking is one of the best ways to market your company so it’s important to attend events both targeted at your industry and businesses in your local area.

These events are not just about drumming up business, they are about making connections with like-minded individuals who can offer you advice or potentially link up with you for future projects and raising your profile as a respected businessperson.

Remember, in business it’s often not what you know but who you know that’s important and you never know when that person you bonded with at an event could come in useful.

#9 – Be social

Social media is any start-up business’s best friend, so if you are not signed up to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest yet, do so as soon as possible.

Social media can help with a number of the challenges facing small businesses, including recruitment, making business contacts, connecting with customers and spreading the word about your products and services. And the best bit? It’s free to sign up to most social media sites, meaning you can save your cash for other things.

#10 – Keep moving forward

As a business owner you should always be planning for the future and thinking about the ways in which your business can grow and diversify. In such a competitive economy, if you take your eye off the ball there’ll always be another start-up hoping to take your place in the market.

Think about where you want your business to be in five or ten years and put a plan in place to make sure you achieve your goals.

Annie Xu is the US general manager of, the leading global e-commerce platform for small businesses around the world.



USHCC Submits Testimony to Senate Small Business Committee on Impact of Latina Entrepreneurs

May 16, 2013 17:35 | Source: United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) President & CEO Javier Palomarez submitted written testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship as part of the hearing, "Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Minority Women." The testimony, to be logged in the official Congressional Record, focuses on the growing influence and economic contributions of Latina entrepreneurs.

"The growth of Hispanic-owned business is one of the most remarkable stories of entrepreneurship in the history of our country, and the growth of Hispanic women-owned businesses is especially noteworthy," Palomarez stated in his testimony. "According to a 2012 analysis by the National Women's Business Council, there are 787,914 Hispanic women-owned businesses in the United States. This reflects a tremendous 45.7% increase in number since 2002 and a 133.3% increase since 1997."
The USHCC also applauded Senator Mary Landrieu, Chair of the Committee, for bringing attention to the importance of minority women-owned firms to the country's small business community and their tremendous impact on the larger American economy.
"As a business owner and job creator, I am pleased to see the issue of minority women entrepreneurship take center stage in Congress. By affording the USHCC the opportunity to submit testimony, Senator Landrieu has shown she understands the remarkable strides being made by the Hispanic business community and that she is prioritizing the future growth for this valuable group that is greatly contributing to our nation's economy," said Founder and CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources and USHCC Chairman Emeritus, Nina Vaca.
"We look forward to working with the committee in the future on common-sense bills that relieve regulatory burdens on minority businesses and facilitate economic growth," added Palomarez.
The initial hearing featured testimonies by strong allies to America's Hispanic business community including Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; Alejandra Castillo, National Deputy Director of the National Business Development Agency; and Eva Longoria, founder of the Eva Longoria Foundation.
About the USHCC

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of over 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses across the United States that together contribute in excess of $465 billion to the American economy each year. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Follow us on Twitter @USHCC.

Valentina Pereda

USHCC Communications Manager



SBA's Resource Portal for Women Business Owners

... includes online guides, tools, and training that walk you through the steps of starting growing, and financing your business. (Link to SBA's Resource Portal)



Women in Technology: Geek is the New Chic
By Alicia Abella

Recently, I attended an '80s party and was reminded of the music and the fashion of that time.

It made me think of the brightly colored leg warmers I wore in those days - and still have in my closet - just in case they come back into fashion. I was also reminded of the revolution that was occurring in garages and universities across the country back then. The Internet was being born, right along with many of the technologies that we take for granted today.

And the creators were geeks - hobbyists, computer enthusiasts and visionaries. I joined them, realizing that they were creating a wave that I would be riding for a very long time. But no one could ever have imagined the ranks that geeks would reach. Once shunned for their eccentricity, their technology acumen suddenly propelled them into stardom, wealth and renown. How did this happen? It's simple, really. The geeks had - and still have - the ability to create innovations that can revolutionize the world.

This was part of a broader message that I delivered to a group of women at Columbia University's Women in Business Conference in New York City Feb. 1. Attendees were mostly women in the MBA program or those transitioning into business from other professions there to discover how they could capitalize on the tech revolution.

This newfound interest in tech careers can be attributed to the proliferation of technology in our daily lives. One thing that has changed from the '80s is the ubiquitous nature of technology. It's no longer just for hobbyists and it doesn't just reside in the bowels of laboratory buildings. It's everywhere around us and is being used by 7-year-olds and 77-year-olds, by men and women alike. I recently gave a smartphone to my mother and she loves it. She now sends me texts, reads the newspaper and snaps photos on a whim - she's 75.

This proliferation and experience with the technology opens the door for women to participate in the innovation process in ways they may not have considered in the past. Whether a hacker or a fashionista, women can offer insights into how the technology can be designed, priced, marketed and sold, especially when you consider that 50 percent of the population using it are women. I told these women that it's not too late to go into tech or too late to learn how to code. I reminded them that in a world run by computers and networks, the person who exhibits proficiency in such systems wields a significant amount of influence.

I often speak to young women and encourage them to study math and science. I give them examples of how important geeks are to us and how brave they are. Geeks - both women and men - are rebels with a cause. It's an admirable feat to go against social norms and establishments to stand up for your passion and values, and that's exactly what tech geeks do. We've all reaped the benefits of their hard work. I'm happy to see that geeks are coming out of the shadows and are recognized for being the people behind the innovations that we can't live without. And I hope that this newfound admiration for geeks will encourage more men and women to join the ranks of geekhood.

Regardless of how mainstream and popular technology has become, we need to continue to support the “classic geek” who continues to push boundaries behind the scenes. They're the ones laying the technological foundation for tomorrow in garages, universities and research institutions across the country. We need them to continue to think differently and invent the future so that society can continue to benefit from their creative spirit.

One day, just maybe, calling someone a geek will be the utmost compliment you can pay them. I, for one, already wear the geek label with pride. And I'm honored to work for a diverse technology leader like AT&T, where my “geekiness” is celebrated and appreciated.

Alicia Abella, Executive Director of the Innovative Services Research Department, is based in Florham Park, NJ.

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2012 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories

Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories supply data on small businesses in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The publication also provides national-level data and limited data on the U.S. territories.

What do the profiles say about small business health? Despite continuing challenges, the profiles show that the U.S. economy was relatively strong in 2011. At the national level, the unemployment rate was down 0.7 percent between 2010 and 2011, and 48 states reported a decrease as well.  Of these states, 10 had rates equal to the national level. 

The usefulness of the profiles is the great detail it provides about small businesses at the state level. Small business borrowing activity, as well as self-employment by various demographics, are presented. Also covered are the number of firms, small business income, banking, business turnover, industry composition, and employment gains and losses by size of business.

Each profile is available in Adobe PDF format, and an Excel spreadsheet containing all of the profile data is also available. For further information contact Victoria Williams, Economist, at (202) 205-6533 or


To see profiles by state see


Kauffman Study Identifies
Keys to Success for High-Growth Women Entrepreneurs

Are successful, high-growth women entrepreneurs different from successful men entrepreneurs? Yes and no, according to a new Kauffman Foundation study that finds women are under-represented among business founders, particularly in high-tech and other high-growth fields. The researchers say understanding gender similarities and differences among successful entrepreneurs can aid efforts to encourage female entrepreneurs and foster high-growth business creation and economic growth.

Go here  to read the study's insights into the differences and similarities between the backgrounds, education, and motivations of men and women high-growth entrepreneurs, and their beliefs about key success factors.

Kelly Rohrs, 212-819-4852,
Barbara Pruitt, 816-932-1288,, Kauffman Foundation



The United States Postal Service is pleased to announce the launch of a new Supplier Registration application.  At the USPS, we highly value our relationship with Latino businesses and in keeping with our commitment to provide access to business opportunities. Prospective minority businesses can find the information they need to do business with us at where they can learn more about ‘What We Buy & Who Buys What’.


All suppliers interested in doing business with the Postal Service must register their company in the Supplier Registration System.  To learn more about Supplier Registration, visit the web page The USPS Supplier Registration page has important steps that must be followed before a company can register.


The USPS publicizes business opportunities in various media, including but not limited to, local and national newspapers, trade journals, and the government-wide point-of-entry accessible at

.  Suppliers should search FedBizOpps to learn about the Postal Service and Federal Government solicitations and awards, as well as, Notices of Intent to post solicitations in our eSourcing system.

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