According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 30 percent of the firms in Pima County are owned by women.
A variety of resources are available to help business owners — men and women alike — and some are aimed at women entrepreneurs:
The Small Business Administration doesn’t lend the money, it provides a guarantee to lenders for the money they lend to small-businesses owners. SBA does not discriminate against any group, but SBA loans are three to five times more likely to go to women than non-SBA loans. Explore loan programs based on your business needs using SBA.gov’s links to “Loans and Grants Search Tool” or “Small Business Loans and Grants.”
The Microbusiness Advancement Center of Southern Arizona provides training and counseling that help women business owners. They guide women through the process of finding and applying for an SBA loan. Businesses that receive assistance have significantly better survival rates than those that don’t receive similar support. Call 620-1241.
The Southern Arizona Chapter of SCORE offers free courses on “Financing Options for Small Businesses” led by the lending relations specialist Craig Jordan, of the Arizona District Office of the SBA. Go to www.southernarizona.score.org for workshop dates and locations.
The SBA Microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit child care centers start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000. Microloans can be used for working capital, inventory or supplies, furniture or fixtures or machinery or equipment, but cannot be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate. The Participating Microloan Intermediary Lender serving Pima County is Prestamos CDFI LLC; for more information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce uses their platform of influence, innovation and opportunity for their members to grow successful businesses and careers. Check out their network on “Access to Capital” at uswcc.org.
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