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Small business loans for women

Everything female entrepreneurs need to know in 2024

This means female founders are incredible assets to economic development and prime candidates for business financing.

Finding the best business loan for your female-led venture can be hard, but it’s worth the effort. Below is a breakdown of several small business loan options and resources to help women entrepreneurs looking for financing.


Types of small business loans for women

There are a variety of small business loans tailored specifically for women, each with unique benefits meant to empower female entrepreneurs. Explore several options below.

SBA loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides various loan programs tailored to female entrepreneurs. These loans are available through banks, online lenders, and financial institutions.

The benefit? 

With options ranging from Standard 7(a) to SBA Express, SBA loans offer flexible funding solutions that help reduce risk, offer competitive terms, and provide distinct advantages for women-owned businesses.

Traditional bank loans

Traditional bank loans—offered by private lenders such as banks, credit unions, and online platforms—give female owners a wide range of options to explore. These loans might have varying terms, including collateral, interest rates, loan duration, and secured or unsecured formats, presenting opportunities tailored to women in business.

The benefit? 

By offering diverse options and customizable terms, traditional bank loans empower female entrepreneurs to access the capital they require to start, expand, or sustain their businesses. Traditional bank loans offer flexibility that helps foster financial independence and promote gender equality within the business landscape.

Online loans

Online loans allow business owners to borrow money over the Internet. This type of lending often has quicker application processes, faster approval times, and more flexible eligibility criteria than most traditional bank loans. Online loans can come in various forms, including personal, payday, installment, and peer-to-peer loans.

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The benefit?

Online loans are handled exclusively through designated websites or apps, meaning busy business owners can complete the loan application, submit the necessary documentation, and receive their funding electronically without having to leave the house.


Nonprofit organizations often extend microloans to local businesses to support women, minorities, and veterans. These loans supply businesses looking for smaller amounts of funding and are helpful to those unable to qualify for traditional bank or online loans.

The benefit?

Microloans can provide accessible funding options for underrepresented entrepreneurs, fostering economic inclusion and enabling business growth within marginalized communities.


Grants are non-repayable funds various organizations offer to entrepreneurs that often aim to promote gender equality and economic growth. Grant funding can be used for startup costs and expansion initiatives, but competition can be fierce, and applicants often need to submit detailed proposals for consideration.

The benefit?

Grants provide invaluable financial support without the burden of repayment, enabling female entrepreneurs to pursue their business goals and aspirations with greater freedom and flexibility.  Initiatives like GrantsForWomen.org, the Amber Grant for Women, and the StartHER grant offer additional avenues for funding and support tailored specifically to women-owned businesses.

Loan marketplaces

Loan marketplaces like 1West present numerous loan options online, letting borrowers conveniently compare rates, terms, and eligibility requirements in one place. A business owner can submit a single application through the marketplace, and the platform matches them with potential lenders based on their financial profile.

The benefit?

Loan marketplaces empower female entrepreneurs by presenting several options in one place—presenting quick, easy, and comprehensive options to explore.

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Resources for women entrepreneurs

Explore several valuable resources tailored to women entrepreneurs as you navigate your business financing journey.

Women’s Business Center

The Women’s Business Center is an SBA-funded initiative with branches across the U.S. These centers provide seminars, workshops, and resources centered around helping women start and grow their businesses.

Minority Business Development Agency

The Minority Business Development Agency helps female and minority business owners find growth and success through access to capital, business development assistance, networking, and advocacy efforts to promote gender diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship.

Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract program

The SBA-run Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract program offers opportunities for women-owned businesses to secure government contracts. The program aims to give females in the business space greater access to federal contracts and economic empowerment.

Online learning platforms

Initiatives like Ascent and DreamBuilder provide informative videos, discussion guides, success stories, and more that female founders can turn to.

Industry associations

Organizations like the National Association of Women Business Owners and the National Women’s Business Council offer training, networking, and advocacy opportunities across the United States.

You can explore a wide range of business loan options for female entrepreneurs at 1West and find funding in as little as 24 hours. 

Just follow three quick steps to get started:

  1. Enter your business details

We’ll take a look at your business details, financial history, and personal information to make sure you qualify.

  1. See your offers

Compare offers from our network of 50+ approved lenders. We can guide you to make sure you pick the best one for you.

  1. Accept and get funding
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Decide which loan option is best for your business. Accept and receive funding in minutes, not months. 

If you have any questions along the way, we’re here to help.

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