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Advantages of being a female-owned business

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According to the Women’s Business Enterprise Council, women are increasingly becoming business owners. By percentage, Australia leads the ‘Anglosphere’ with 32% of businesses (700,000) being owned by women, while it is 25% in the U.S. (12.6 million businesses), and 17% in the U.K. (1.5 million businesses). Not only do these establishments employ more than 9 million people, but they also generate nearly $2 trillion in the US alone. What’s more, they are in every sector.

A study by movingcompanyreviews.com discovered that even many moving companies are women-owned. Even more interesting is that five decades ago women owned less than half-a-million businesses in the U.S. What is behind this phenomenal growth? Are there any particular advantages to being a female-owned business? Yes, there are, and here are three of them.

#1: Access to Government Contracts

Through the Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. government awards 5 percent of all contracts to female-owned businesses. That may seem like a small figure on paper, but considering how many government departments and contracts there are, the final sum totals to billions of dollars. For instance, in 2015, female-owned businesses received 5 percent of the $90 billion allocated to the SBA, or about $4.5 billion.

In 2019, the contracts of the Departments of Defense and Energy falling under this program add up to $11.2 billion each. Furthermore, four more departments have contracts totaling to more than $3 billion each while the Department of Justice has plans to dish out $1.5 billion. Besides these seven, nearly 80 departments have planned allocations ranging from a few thousand to more than $800 million. And women get 5 percent of all this money.

#2: Access to Government-Backed Loans

Although the SBA does not issue loans, it backs several loans for female-owned businesses. This means that, in case you default, the agency pays a portion of the money to the lender. As you’d expect, this makes lenders more willing to finance any business falling under this program. And once you qualify for a loan, you pay low-interest rates of 4 to 9.5 percent over a long repayment period of 7 or more years.

And to cater to different business interests, you have a choice of more than one SBA-backed loan. For instance, the SBA 7a comes with a $5 million guarantee and 25-year repayment period. In contrast, the Microloan is capped at $50,000 while the CDC/504 comes with fixed rates. And in case of a disaster, you have the low-interest Disaster Loan.

#3: Access to Business Grants

Besides SBA-backed loans, female-owned businesses are also eligible for many types of grants. However, grants come without lengthy documentation, lender fees, interest rates, or even collateral associated with loans. And the reason behind this is simple: Grants are not expected to be returned. However, they come with stipulations which you must abide with to qualify.

One of the best-known grants issued to female-owned businesses is InnovateHer, which ranges from $10,000 to $40,000. It is offered by the SBA to businesses targeting women and families. Other grants include those offered by state governments, private companies like FedEx and Huggies, and charitable foundations like the Torch Burch Foundation.

Conclusion

Why have female entrepreneurs have increased from less than 500,000 to more than 9 million in only a few decades? Besides the profit, a female-owned business comes with many benefits. Among them are the many contracts, loans, and grants set aside for women.

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