The United States government and state agencies do not provide grants for women- owned businesses; however, some states do offer loan programs for women who either wish to establish their own businesses or want to grow their businesses. The loans are intended to support small businesses to develop and to flourish. Some of the lending plans require an application, a processing or a loan fee.
California: Women’s Economic Ventures Small Business Loan Fund
The loan is available for men, women and minorities. The program lends $1,000 to $25,000 to start-up businesses and $5,000 to $50,000 to expanding businesses. Applicants must: hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, reside in Santa Barbara or Ventura County, and demonstrate business experience or complete the organization’s self-training business. The application fee is either $35 or $50, and the loan fee of 2% is required at the time of closing.
Women’s Economic Ventures
333 S. Salinas Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Illinois: Minority, Women and Disabled Participation Loan Program
The loan is eligible for women, minority or disabled-owned businesses operating in Illinois. It is targeted for small business with fewer than 500 employees, and the loan may amount to $50,000 or 50% of the total cost to run the company. The lending amount can be used for creating capital, purchasing equipment and renovating office premises.
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
620 E. Adams
Springfield, IL, 62701
Massachusetts BDC Capital Community Loans
The program lends money to women-owned, minority-owned, and non-profit companies that are located in the New England area. The loan terms are for the following: business development, equipment purchases, real estate acquirements or construction, debt refinancing, and mergers and acquisitions.
500 Edgewater Drive
Wakefield, MA 01880
New Jersey: Urban Plus
The Urban Plus program provides financing up to $3 million for New Jersey-based businesses: Atlantic City, Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, New Brunswick and Paterson. Women and minority-owned businesses with fixed-asset collateral are encouraged to apply.
New Jersey Economic Development
36 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
New York: Micro loans for Minority and Women Owned Business
The Community Development Financial Institutions lend financial support to either women-owned or minority-owned businesses that often do not qualify for traditional bank loans. They also advise or suggest business development plans and target companies located in the state of New York: New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Albany, Belmont, Dunkirk, Ithaca, Saranac and Syracuse.
Empire State Development
Divison of Minority and Women’s Business Development
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-6706