There are a number of different benefits to woman-owned businesses in regards to winning clients and employees. Woman-owned businesses are eligible for specific grants and low-collateral loans to help get the business started or taken to the next level if the business owners apply and qualify.
A number of programs can help woman-owned businesses win federal contracts, which will result in a steady amount of work to help get the business going and thriving. The Small Business Administration's 8(a) Business Development Program awards millions of dollars each year to small-business owners who are trying to get their businesses off the ground. The program especially looks at minority-owned and woman-owned businesses as candidates to receive economic assistance. The Small Disadvantaged Business Program encourages prime contractors to subcontract to minority- and woman-owned businesses.
Grants and Loans
Different states also have grant and loan programs for woman-owned businesses, varying on which state the business is originally set up in. In California, there is the Women's Economic Ventures Small Business Loan Fund. In Illinois, there is the Minority, Women and Disabled Participation Loan Program. in Wisconsin, there is the Women's Business Initiative Corporation Small Business Loans. There are programs like this in just about every state, so check with your local government to find out what it takes to apply and what types of woman-owned businesses the state is seeking for inclusion n its program.
Certification as Woman-Owned
Certifying your business as woman-owned helps you to be recognized by more than 700 international corporations and state and local government agencies. Being known helps you apply for the aforementioned loans and contracts and protects you from what may be regarded as unfair treatment. The Women's Business Enterprise National Council has 14 regional affiliates and offers certification for woman-owned business. The National Women's Business Owners Corporation also certifies woman-owned businesses so they don't have to go through the many state and federal certifications associated with owning a small business. These organizations are good for different types of businesses. Make sure your woman-owned business is a member of the appropriate organization.
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