Despite the fact that more and more women are becoming small business owners, this does not mean that everything is equal across the board. A recent report published by ABC News shows that women may struggle if the time comes to apply for a bank loan.
This may be disturbing on many levels, but it is not a problem that has just moved to the forefront. Women small business owners have been facing bias for many years. Even though many changes have been made, the struggle continues.
According to Biz2Credit.com, only 15 to 20 percent of bank loan applications submitted by women are approved. What are the reasons for this?
Banks have never loved the idea of lending to small businesses, with this more true today due to new government regulations following the economic crash of 2008.
Women owned small businesses are often times "young," which make them appear riskier to banks.
Women do not appear as creditworthy as their male counterparts. Biz2Credit.com noted that in 2013, the average credit score of women was 20 points below men.
Do women make a poor impression? There is never a good time to stereotype a particular group of people, but one commercial loan officer was quoted in the ABC article as saying:
"They don't take the time to prepare paperwork. They don't have the proper documents, financial statements."
Of course, that statement could hold true among both women and men.
If a woman small business owner is as qualified as a man, she should have the same chance of securing a bank loan. Unfortunately, it appears that this is not always the case.
Those who want to better their chance of success should do the following:
Shop around by speaking with several lenders
Be prepared to provide the loan officer with all required information (while also going above and beyond)