Getting financial aid to kick-start a business enterprise is often a challenge for an entrepreneur, be it a man or a woman. However, unfortunately things usually get more difficult for a woman. The reasons for this disparity are multifaceted- social, cultural, economic- nevertheless, in contemporary times, women are rising above the hurdles and venturing into the domain of entrepreneurship. The fact that the number of women entrepreneurs has risen over the years has been made possible, partially by their passion, talent, and dedication, as well as their ability to obtain essential business support including access to capital. Officially speaking, things have never looked brighter for female entrepreneurs. In fact, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners 2017 data, more than 11 million U.S. firms are now owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales. The story is quite similar in India although things are still at a nascent level. However, these figures are only a partial representation of the actual scenario. Women-owned firms are still a minority, and the hurdles that women entrepreneurs have to confront are not only too many in number but also often very different from those experienced by their male counterparts.
Women entrepreneurs should understand how the use of business credit may be beneficial to their operations. Be it bridging gaps in cash flow or pursuing growth opportunities, business credit can provide the requisite funds to a business for a number of purposes. As women-run businesses continue to play a vital role in our economy, more and more financial bodies are coming forward to lend their assistance, in the form of business loan for women to make them thrive. However, before applying, you should determine if your organisation is prepared for a business loan.
When it comes to getting business loan for women, women should keep the following points in mind:
1. Network within your business community- you can start by joining small business support groups. It will enable you to learn from the experience of others, as well as establish a connect with the business development centre in your area. People in these organizations often work with lenders and are willing to put in a good word or two for a loan applicant they know.
2. Research- these days, it has become notoriously difficult to get bank loans for small businesses. However, if you make up your mind to brave all odds and try for one, it is advisable to do some initial research into the requirements of that bank loan and also the types of businesses they typically fund. For example, if your business idea is centred on a high-end boutique, and they specialize in financing high-tech start-ups, there is no point in pursuing. Thus, some research at a fundamental level will save you time and energy.
3. Be prepared- your application process will be expedited if you have your tax returns, profit and loss statements, and other financial documents organized and accessible. Besides, being prepared with these also vouches for your credit-worthiness. It is also a good idea to get a copy of your credit report before you apply. Make sure you get rid of any inaccuracy that might work against you.
4. Explore your options- these days business owners, both men and women, get more rejections than approvals from traditional lenders like banks. This has led to the rising popularity of alternative online lenders to get the required financing, quickly and without much hassle.
Bajaj Finserv is one of those few NBFCs that offer MSME and SME loans for small and medium businesses. The applicants can not only enjoy low business loan interest rate, but also fast processing within 24 hours and minimal documentation. The maximum loan amount that one can avail for the growth and expansion of business is Rs. 30 lakhs.