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Small Business Loans for Women: Top Small Business Loans for Women in 2023

Small Business Loans For Women

Are you a female entrepreneur with a dream to start or expand your small business? Well, you’re in the right place! In 2023, the landscape for small business loans for women is more promising than ever. This article is your ultimate guide to securing the financing you need to turn your business aspirations into reality. Whether you’re a startup founder or an established business owner looking to grow, we’ve got you covered with valuable information, expert insights, and actionable tips. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of small business loans for women!

Table of Contents

The Rise of Women-Owned Businesses

  • In recent years, women-owned businesses have been on the rise, contributing significantly to the economy.
  • Women entrepreneurs are breaking barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and making their mark across various industries.

Why Specialized Small Business Loans for Women?

  • Women entrepreneurs face unique challenges, and specialized loans cater to their specific needs.
  • These loans offer tailored support, competitive interest rates, and flexible repayment options.
  • They empower women to overcome financial hurdles and thrive in the business world.

Top Small Business Loans for Women in 2023

Are you eager to discover the best small business loans for women this year? Look no further! Here are some top options to consider:

1. Best for SBA Loans: Funding Circle SBA Loan

  • APR: 7.50%
  • Loan Amounts: $50,000–$500,000
  • Loan Terms: Up to 10 years

Pros & Cons


  • Low credit score minimum
  • Low interest rates
  • Long repayment terms available


  • Only available for established businesses
  • High revenue minimums
  • May require collateral

Why We Chose It:

Traditional business loan lenders typically require a good to excellent personal credit score, often hovering around 670 or higher. However, Funding Circle’s Small Business Administration (SBA) loans break the mold, enabling entrepreneurs to qualify for a loan with a credit score as low as 630. Through Funding Circle, you can secure funding of up to $500,000, coupled with a generous repayment period of up to 10 years—outlasting many competitors in the business lending arena. It’s worth noting that this loan is exclusively available to businesses with at least two years of operation under their belt and a minimum annual revenue of $400,000.


  • Your business must be operational for at least two years.
  • Minimum annual revenue of $400,000.
  • Absence of current federal tax lien.
  • Personal credit score of 630 or higher.

Please be aware that loans ranging from $25,000 to $350,000 may necessitate a lien on financed assets, including business assets. Loans exceeding $350,000 might require collateral involving your business assets or, if insufficient, personal assets like your residence or other property.

2. Best for Low Loan Amounts: Fora Financial

  • Fee: 15 to 40 cents per dollar
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000–$1.4 million
  • Loan Terms: Up to 15 months
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Pros & Cons


  • Quick loan disbursements
  • No usage restrictions
  • No collateral required


  • Short repayment terms
  • Confusing rate structure
  • Processing fees apply

Why We Chose It:

Mainstream business lenders often cater to well-established businesses with substantial loan minimums, frequently exceeding $50,000. However, Fora Financial breaks the mold by offering a loan minimum as low as $5,000, ensuring that you can borrow only what you need. Fora Financial boasts lenient requirements, with no collateral demanded; a credit score of 500 or higher and a monthly revenue of at least $12,000 are the key qualifiers. Do note, though, that the repayment terms are relatively short, capped at 15 months, and the rate structure may appear somewhat intricate, ranging from 15 to 40 cents per dollar borrowed, with an additional 2.5% or higher processing fee.


  • Credit score of 500 or higher.
  • Minimum monthly revenue of $12,000.
  • Business operation for at least six months.
  • Absence of open bankruptcies.

3.Best Line of Credit: Amex Business Line of Credit

  • Fee: 2.0%–27.0%
  • Loan Amounts: $2,000–$250,000
  • Loan Terms: 6–18 months

Pros & Cons



  • Limited to $250,000 or less
  • Potentially high APR
  • Few term options

Why We Chose It:

If your business requires a flexible line of credit, the American Express Business Line of Credit empowers you to access up to $250,000 as a revolving line of credit. Over the term, which spans 6, 12, or 18 months, you can repeatedly tap into this credit line to meet your business’s financial needs. The application process is remarkably swift, with approval often granted within minutes. Notably, American Express sets a relatively low personal credit score requirement at just 640, which is lower than many other lenders’ prerequisites. Be mindful that the fees may vary depending on the chosen term, with longer terms incurring higher costs.


  • Business operation for at least one year.
  • Personal credit score of 640 or higher.
  • Minimum monthly revenue of $3,000.

As a female business owner, you may find additional support by collaborating with your local Women’s Business Center. These centers offer valuable resources, including free or low-cost training, and can connect you with local lenders and community financing groups. You can conveniently locate a Women’s Business Center near you using the locator tool provided.

4. Best for Young Businesses: Lendio

  • APR: 6.0%–36.0%
  • Loan Amounts: $500–$2 million
  • Loan Terms: 2–25 years

Pros & Cons


  • Works with 75 partner lenders
  • Multiple financing options
  • Long repayment terms


  • Higher credit score requirements
  • Terms and rates vary by lender
  • High APRs may apply

Why We Chose It:

Lendio distinguishes itself by offering a diverse array of financing options, including loans tailored for startups. Unlike many other lenders that mandate businesses to have been operational for a year or more to qualify, Lendio’s minimum requirement is a mere three months of business operation. With Lendio, you can secure funding of up to $750,000 for young businesses, and up to $2 million for more established ventures. Additionally, depending on your chosen loan type, you could benefit from repayment terms extending up to an impressive 25 years. It’s essential to note that Lendio doesn’t directly provide loans; instead, it acts as a conduit, connecting borrowers with a network of lending partners. Consequently, loan terms, rates, and eligibility criteria may vary among these lenders. Generally, a credit score of 680 and a monthly revenue of $6,000 are the typical prerequisites for startup loans.


  • Credit score of 680 or higher.
  • Minimum monthly revenue of $6,000.
  • Business operation for at least three months.

5. Best for Instant Funding: OnDeck Line of Credit

  • APR: As low as 29.9%
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000–$250,000
  • Loan Terms: Up to 24 months

Pros & Cons


  • Same-day funding available
  • Loyalty discounts
  • Low minimum credit score required


  • Very high APRs
  • Short repayment terms
  • Not available in all states

Why We Chose It:

Traditional business loan applications can be a protracted process, often taking weeks to provide the much-needed capital for your business. OnDeck, however, stands out by offering the potential for same-day disbursement of your loan. If you’re approved and accept the loan by 10:30 a.m. ET on a business day, you could receive the funds on the very same day. Even if you apply later, your funds will typically be deposited within two or three business days. OnDeck also offers a line of credit with instant funding. If approved, you can access your line of credit within minutes. It’s important to be aware that OnDeck’s rates and fees may be relatively high compared to other lenders. While rates for term loans commence at 29.9%, the average APR for term loans over a recent half-year period stood at 62.1%. Additionally, there’s an origination fee that can go as high as 4%, along with a $20 monthly maintenance fee for lines of credit.

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  • Business operation for at least one year.
  • Credit score of 625 or higher.
  • Minimum annual revenue of at least $100,000.
  • Possession of a business bank account.
  • Residency in Nevada, North Dakota, or South Dakota disqualifies eligibility.

6. Best for Low APR Line of Credit: Bluevine

  • APR: As low as 6.2%
  • Loan Amounts: Up to $250,000
  • Loan Terms: 6-12 months

Pros & Cons


  • Low APRs available
  • Low credit score requirements
  • Quick access to cash


  • Short terms
  • High revenue requirements
  • Not available in all states

Why We Chose It:

While many business loans and lines of credit come with APRs well into the double digits, Bluevine sets itself apart by offering lines of credit with rates as low as 6.2%. Furthermore, Bluevine maintains lenient credit score requirements, with a minimum score of just 625—significantly lower than other lenders’ prerequisites. Beyond competitive APRs and accessible credit, Bluevine offers rapid access to your funds, with approval often leading to money in your account within minutes. It’s crucial to be aware, though, that Bluevine imposes a maximum term of only 12 months. Additionally, while the credit score requirement is forgiving, the revenue threshold is substantially higher, necessitating a minimum of $40,000 in monthly revenue to qualify.


  • Business operation for at least 24 months.
  • Minimum monthly revenue of $40,000.
  • Credit score of 625 or higher.
  • Ineligibility applies to residents of Nevada, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Final Verdict

For women business owners in search of the ideal financing solution to propel their businesses forward, an array of options awaits. With an SBA loan from Funding Circle, you can access up to a staggering $500,000, coupled with a generous repayment period of up to 10 years. On the other hand, if you’re a newer business, Lendio offers an opportunity to qualify for a loan with just three months of operation.

Meanwhile, Bluevine extends lines of credit with impressively low rates. Before delving into loans or lines of credit, consider reaching out to your local SBA office or chamber of commerce. They often have valuable information on grant programs or low-interest loans specifically designed to support women business owners in your area. Another viable financing avenue for small business owners is leveraging a business credit card, which provides a flexible revolving line of credit while offering perks like airline miles or cashback on purchases.

Compare the Best Small Business Loans for Women

LoanFeeLoan AmountsLoan Terms
Funding CircleBest for SBA Loans7.50%$50,000–$500,000
Fora FinancialBest for Low Loan Amounts15 to 40 cents per dollar$5,000–$1.4 million
American ExpressBest Line of Credit2.0%–27.0%$2,000–$250,000
LendioBest for Young Businesses6.0%–36.0%$500–$2 million
OnDeckBest for Instant FundingAs low as 29.9%$5,000–$250,000
BluevineBest for Low APR Line of CreditAs low as 6.2%Up to $250,000

The Application Process

How to Secure a Small Business Loan? Ready to take the plunge? Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for a small business loan:

  1. Prepare Your Business Plan: A well-thought-out business plan is essential. It should outline your business goals, financial projections, and how you plan to use the funds.
  2. Check Your Credit Score: Your credit score plays a crucial role in loan approval. Ensure it’s in good shape before applying.
  3. Research Lenders: Explore different lenders and their offerings. Compare interest rates, terms, and eligibility requirements.
  4. Gather Documentation: Prepare all necessary documents, including financial statements, tax returns, and legal documents.
  5. Submit Your Application: Complete the application process, providing accurate and detailed information.
  6. Wait for Approval: The approval process may take some time. Be patient and prepared to answer any additional questions.
  7. Review the Terms: Once approved, carefully review the loan terms, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and any fees.
  8. Receive Funds: After accepting the loan, the funds will be disbursed to your business account.

Tips for Success

Navigating the Entrepreneurial Journey

Embarking on your entrepreneurial journey is exciting, but it also comes with its share of challenges. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Network: Build a strong network of mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and business associations. Networking can open doors to funding opportunities and valuable advice.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated on industry trends and best practices. Invest in your skills and knowledge to adapt and thrive in a competitive market.
  • Financial Management: Manage your finances wisely. Keep track of expenses, revenue, and cash flow to ensure the sustainability of your business.
  • Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from organizations and programs specifically designed to empower women in business. These resources can provide guidance and funding opportunities.
  • Mentorship: Consider finding a mentor who can provide guidance and insights based on their own entrepreneurial experiences.
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Guide to Choosing the Best Small Business Loans for Women

Types of Small Business Loans for Women

When it comes to business financing, there are three primary types to consider:

  • SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration offers various loan programs, including the Women-Owned Small Business Program, which supports women-owned businesses through government-backed loans.
  • Microloans: These are small loans, typically under $50,000, ideal for startups and small businesses looking for modest funding.
  • Business Lines of Credit: A line of credit provides flexibility, allowing you to borrow funds as needed and pay interest only on the amount you use.
  • Grants: While not exactly loans, grants are financial awards that don’t need to be repaid. There are several grants specifically aimed at women-owned businesses.
  • Online Lenders: Numerous online lenders offer quick and accessible loans with competitive terms.

It’s essential to assess your business’s unique needs and financial situation to determine the most suitable financing option.

Business Financing Challenges for Women

Despite the significant strides made by women in the business world, female entrepreneurs still encounter hurdles when seeking financing. Several factors contribute to these challenges:

  1. Similarity bias: Lenders and investors often favor individuals who resemble them in terms of gender, race, education, and background, which can disadvantage women entrepreneurs.
  2. Lack of understanding: The venture capital landscape remains largely male-dominated, with female investors representing a small percentage. This disparity can result in a lack of understanding and appreciation for women-focused businesses.
  3. Networking limitations: Women business owners may have fewer personal and professional connections in the industry, making it more challenging to secure investors and financing.

Alternative Financing Options for Women

If you’re a woman business owner seeking financing, consider these alternative options:

  1. SBA government loans: Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, often available through banks and credit unions, benefit from federal government backing, making them more accessible and less stringent in their requirements.
  2. Grants: Numerous grants are specifically designated for women entrepreneurs. Explore opportunities on platforms like and the Access to Capital Directory for Women Entrepreneurs.
  3. Invoice factoring: As mentioned earlier, invoice factoring allows you to receive immediate payment for your outstanding invoices, although it comes with a fee.

FAQs: Your Burning Questions Answered

Let’s address some common questions about small business loans for women:

Are there any grants for women-owned businesses?

Yes, there are grants specifically designed for women entrepreneurs. Organizations and government agencies offer grants to support women in business.

Do I need a good credit score to qualify for these loans?

While a good credit score can be advantageous, some loans for women-owned businesses offer flexible eligibility criteria.

What documents do I need to apply for a small business loan?

Typical requirements include a business plan, financial statements, and personal identification. Each lender may have specific documentation needs.

Are there mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs?

Absolutely! Many organizations and mentorship programs provide guidance and support to women looking to start or grow their businesses.

How do I choose the right loan for my business?

Consider factors like interest rates, repayment terms, and the lender’s reputation. It’s essential to choose a loan that aligns with your business goals.

Can I apply for multiple small business loans simultaneously?

Yes, you can apply for multiple loans, but it’s essential to manage your applications wisely and not overextend your finances.

Are there networking events for women in business?

Yes, there are numerous networking events and conferences tailored to women entrepreneurs. These events can help you build valuable connections.

Are small business loans for women only available to new entrepreneurs?

No, small business loans for women are available to both new and existing entrepreneurs. Whether you’re starting a brand-new venture or looking to expand an established business, you can explore these funding options.

What if I have bad credit? Can I still qualify for a small business loan for women?

While a good credit score can improve your chances of loan approval, there are options available for women with bad credit. You may need to explore alternative lenders or consider options like microloans or grants.

How can I find grants and competitions for women-owned businesses?

To find grants and competitions for women-owned businesses, you can search online databases, join business networks and associations for women entrepreneurs, and keep an eye on announcements from government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

What should I do if my loan application is denied?

If your loan application is denied, don’t lose hope. Take the opportunity to review your financial situation, improve your credit score, and explore other financing options. You can also seek feedback from the lender to understand why your application was rejected.


In 2023, small business loans for women are more accessible and tailored to the unique needs of female entrepreneurs than ever before. Whether you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey or seeking funds to expand your existing business, there are options available to empower you. Remember, your dream of running a successful business is within reach, and these loans can be the key to unlocking your potential. Explore the recommendations from trusted sources, consider your business goals, and take the first step toward securing the financing you need. Small business loans for women are not just financial tools; they are instruments of empowerment, allowing you to chart your path to success in the business world. So, don’t hesitate—take action today and turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality!