How the Gender Gap Affects Small Business Loan Approvals

If you’re looking to get a small business loan, there are many factors that come into play. Your credit history, your business’ cash flow and numerous other things will be looked at by lenders. However, there’s another factor that seems to be coming into play: gender. According to recent reports, female small business owners are much less likely to get loans and government contracts than their male peers.

According to a recent CBS News report, summarizing findings from the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, female business owners account for less than 5 percent of all the capital lent to small companies. This comes despite the fact that women own 30 percent of small companies – six times as much as the share of funding they receive. Additionally, women receive only 7 percent of all capital funded by venture firms.

Furthermore, small businesses owned by women only receive 16% all traditional small business loans – it was also found female applications are more likely to be rejected, or have more stringent terms, than men.

Committee Chair Maria Cantwell, of Washington, also spoke about the issue in an interview with the Associated Press. She noted that “the numbers are jarring,” and that female entrepreneurs need access to more capital so that they can have the same opportunity to succeed as do men who start their own business. Her statements hammer the issue home: the amount of women passed over for small business financing support is downright shocking.

Thoughts from our female – or male – readers on the issue? We’re interested in any feedback about what small business owner’s opinion on the above is.