Business Loans

SBA Expands Microloan Program to Help Women and Minorities

Jan 12, 2018 • 2 min read
Minority women in business meeting
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      A bill just passed in the House that promises to expand the Small Business Administration’s microloan program, enabling women- and minority-owned businesses to obtain much-needed funding. The bill is being championed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who spoke about its significance during a conference held in Rochester on Monday:

      “Lending organizations aren’t making enough loans. And they’re not reaching enough entrepreneurs to actually reflect the population of incredibly diverse communities like the ones here in Rochester. And they’re not reaching enough women entrepreneurs.”

      Women start firms with about half the capital men do, according to a 2014 study by the National Women’s Business Council, and women-owned firms get about 6% of the outside equity that male-owned firms do on average. On top of that, women receive less than 5% of conventional small business loans, even though they make up nearly 40% of all small businesses in the country.

      Minority-owned American businesses are growing at a staggering rate. In 2012, minority entrepreneurs owned over 8 million – about 29% – of businesses nationwide. This was a huge increase over the 5.8 million owned in 2007. Yet, many minorities struggle to secure funding due to lower credit scores and fewer collateral assets. The US Department of Commerce found that minority-owned businesses see loan denial rates that are three times the national average.

      To remedy these inequalities, the Microloan bill will raise the total limit on outstanding loans from intermediary lenders, which would allow for more loans to be made. As well, the act will also expand opportunities for hands-on training assistance.

      Senator Gillibrand stated that the bill is all about “rewarding work, not rewarding bank profits. Because if we really want to fix our economy, then we need to start rewarding work again. And one of the best ways to do that is making sure that every hard working entrepreneur who wants to start a business, has the chance to do it.”

      This legislation is an opportunity for women and minorities alike to overcome disadvantages and fuel their businesses.

      About the author
      Andrew Mosteller

      Andrew Mosteller is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Lendio News. His upbringing in an entrepreneurial family nurtured a passion for small business at a young age. Andrew's father, an equity fund manager, taught him the ins and outs of investment financing. Now, Andrew spends his time writing copy for business owners, helping them expand and advertise their unique brands. He's also studying Strategic Communications at the University of Utah. When Andrew's fingers aren't glued to the keyboard, he spends his time reading, podcasting, composing music, and bombing down the ski slopes.

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