I am woman, I am fearless: Why you should consider starting your own business as a female
According to the 2020 American Express "State of Women-Owned Businesses" report, there are currently nearly 9 million women working for nearly 42 percent of all companies in the United States. Women of color own 5.4 million of those businesses, which collectively employ 2.1 million people and bring in $361 billion in annual revenue. And they are increasing.
“And one day she discovered that she was fierce, and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.” ― Mark Anthony, The Beautiful Truth
Women in business have had a difficult couple of years (in 2020, there was a "she-cession"), and female business owners were no exception. Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 had a significant impact; according to the National Women's Business Council (NWBC), the number of small businesses owned by women decreased by 25% in the early stages of the pandemic. Thankfully, it appears that downturn is behind us. According to pre-pandemic statistics, women-owned businesses (particularly startups) "may be bigger than we think," according to The Enterprising Investor, who also asserts that "The future is female." The most recent data we have on female business owners comes from the NWBC Report, which shows that they control 42% of all U.S. businesses, or 13 million businesses, employ 9.4 million people, and generate $1.9 trillion in revenue. The combined revenues of all female business owners, including those with no employees, exceeded $229 billion.
As you can notice, in today's business world, women are becoming an increasingly powerful force. They are starting their own businesses, starting solopreneurships, and taking over large corporations to advance their companies. Why shouldn't they, too? There are many benefits available today to support this pattern and keep women in their entrepreneurial spirit.
To start, the U.S. government regularly encourages women in business by designating special contracts and job categories for women-owned companies. A company only needs to have at least 51% female ownership and female leadership positions to be considered.
What criteria must an organization or small business be in order to be eligible for the Small Business Association's benefits?
Abide by the contract's and the business code's size requirements
Be 51% or more owned by women who are U.S. citizens
Have women in regular management positions.
Put women in positions where they can decide long-term.
Have a woman serve as the organization's highest officer and work full-time during regular hours.
You could be both a WOSB and an Economically Disadvantaged WSOB, which has the same prerequisites as above along with:
Having a personal net worth less than $750,000, excluding your home and any businesses you own, as well as
Reinvested income or income used to pay business taxes IRA or retirement funds
Transfers of property made within the first two years or on behalf of a particular family member
Less than $350,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) on average over the previous three years.
Assets with a fair market value of under $6 million
Tax Benefits for Women-Owned Businesses
Tax advantages that apply to women-owned businesses are those that a woman entrepreneur can get when running a small business. A WBE certification is required if you are a female business owner who wants to participate in initiatives that track the transactions made by women. For female business owners, numerous local, state, and federal government agencies have programs. A female business owner must show proof of her capital investment and how it relates to her ownership of the company. Last but not least, the woman business owners must demonstrate they have a field of expertise that is independent of outside funding or resources.
Women-owned business loans
To create a loan application and increase your chances of success, use the Prequalification Pilot Loan Program. The Small Business Development Company and the Women's Business Development Center are two examples of intermediaries who may be able to assist you with the loan application procedure.
The Prequalification Pilot Loan Program uses intermediaries to help potential borrowers create loan applications and secure loans for women-owned businesses. The SBA will review your loan package after you submit it, and you should hear back in about three business days. If the SBA issues you a letter of prequalification, your loan application is accepted. The decision of the SBA to lend to you will be stated in the letter. You could borrow up to $250,000 from the SBA with a guarantee of 85% for loans up to $150,000 or 75% for loans above that amount. When you work with an intermediary, they will assist you in finding lenders who are more willing to offer you a loan.
A woman-owned business may also be eligible for grants or contracts from the federal, state, county, or city governments, as well as funding from private sources, in addition to loans. Any woman-owned business that satisfies the DBE's requirements could be eligible for the DBE certificate
Funding for women
Grants are a great way for female business owners to get money because they don't have to be repaid, unlike small business loans for women. Grants, however, face fierce competition.
Make sure to do your research before submitting an application for a grant for women. Make sure to thoroughly review the eligibility requirements and submit your application by the deadline. Consider the following grant programs if you are a woman business owner:
$10,000 Amber Grants are given out on a monthly basis by WomensNet. Additionally, one of the 12 monthly winners will get a $25,000 Amber Grant.
Cartier Women's Initiative Award: This international grant fellowship program chooses three fellows for each global region; each winner receives a grant of $100,000, with grants of $60,000 and $30,000 going to the second and third-place finishers, respectively.
The Halstead Grant is an award given to an emerging silver-focused jewelry designer. $1,000 in merchandise and $7,500 in startup funding are awarded to the winner. Application deadline is August 1, 2022.
The Tory Burch Fellows Program was established by design entrepreneur Tory Burch. Each Fellow in the program is awarded a $5,000 grant, access to a closed online peer network, and a trip to the Tory Burch headquarters for five days of networking and workshops.
There are also numerous local grants available for women, including:
Grants from The Women's Fund of Central Ohio
Grants from The Boston Women's Fund
Grants from The Chicago Foundation for Women
A database of opportunities for women in various industries is provided by GrantsforWomen.org. There are some grants available for for-profit businesses, but the majority of them are for nonprofit organizations. Grants.gov serves as a central clearinghouse for data on federal grant programs.