By Georgina McCreadie on Thursday 8 January 2015
Lending Club has announced a partnership with the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC).
The aim to help female business owners access affordable credit. At www.WomensBusinessLoans.org female business owners can apply online in minutes, instantly review offers for loans through Lending Club, and receive funding within a few days.
"Partnering with the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce allows us to provide a better solution to women business owners seeking affordable credit who are not being offered a quick and convenient solution from traditional lenders today. We're excited to expand our offerings and be a driving force in supporting the women-owned small business economy."
Women-owned businesses face many challenges when trying to gain access to capital, and this partnership aims to address this problem. According to the USWCC, in 2013 women owned nearly 30% of all US firms and yet accounted for only 13% of the dollars loaned with backing from the Small Business Administration.
Margot Dorfman, the organization's CEO, said:
"The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce is excited to step into the small business lending arena to help break the log jam of failed opportunity. Too many women-owned firms have failed to realize their full potential due to lending models that simply don't work well for small business owners. We are thrilled to partner with Lending Club to provide women with better access to capital."
A company that is also working to help women entrepreneurs is Ventureneer. It recently launched an equity crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to educate female business owners about the opportunity that equity crowdfunding holds. The campaign aims to raise about $7,500 with additional funding provided by Dell and Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, a leading law firm specializing in alternative financing.
Geri Stengel, President and Founder of Ventureneer, explained:
“The vast majority of angels -- 80% -- are men who mostly back all male executive teams, according to the Center for Venture Research. Investing in women-led companies via equity crowdfunding is a way to diversify an investor's portfolio."
According to the Kaffman Foundation, which researches and advocates entrepreneurship, women-owned businesses represent 30% of all firms, but only 16% of firms that have employees and 10% of high-growth firms.
"Without education and the critical infusion of capital, women will continue to raise companies with lower sales, profits, and fewer jobs."
Both these initiatives should help to boost the number of businesswomen that utilize the alternative finance sector.