In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of women starting and growing successful business ventures across different sectors of the economy. Several factors give women an edge over men when it comes to accessing financial support, markets, and an enabling environment to run a business.
A woman-owned business is a venture wholly owned by a woman or where women control over 50 percent of the shares. There are many great examples of women-owned businesses within a whole multitude of industries. Women-owned businesses can be certified to gain recognition both by institutions around the world and local government institutions. Here are some reasons why women-owned firms have an advantage.
Access to Grants and Loans
Different states across the US have loans and grants specifically created to help women-owned enterprises. The loan program that a women-owned organization can access depends on the state where the business was initially registered. For example, in California, women can access Women’s Economic Ventures Small Business Fund. In Wisconsin, women have access to Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Small Business Loans. Several other community-based organizations offer financial assistance to women-owned businesses.
The Federal government has a goal of awarding over five percent of its business to women-owned businesses. To this end, it has set up several programs to assist women-owned ventures to win contracts in many of its agencies. The contracts help the enterprises to have a steady flow of revenue for growth. For example, the Small Business Administration has the Business Development Program that offers economic assistance to businesses that are in the startup phase. The program has interest in woman-owned businesses from minority communities. There is also the Small Disadvantaged Business Program that advocates for contractors to subcontract to women-owned businesses and small businesses owned by the minorities. Other SBA programs include ChallengeHER, InnovateHER, and The Women’s Business Centers.
Woman-Owned Certification Benefits
Once a business has been certified as woman-owned, it gains access to contracts and financial assistance from a wide variety of organizations. The certification also protects the business from any unfair treatment in the awarding of the contracts. Besides, businesses that have been certified by The National Women’s Business Owners Corporation do not have to go through the lengthy permit and certification process that ordinary businesses go through.
Women-owned businesses have better access to credit facilities, government contracts, and preferential treatment by many contractors that subcontract part of their work. They can also form networks with each other and feel more at home and safe in their workplace. This provides them with an advantage compared with many of the men-owned businesses of the same level.