Updated on

Best Small Business Loans for Women

Securing business loans can be challenging for women due to limited collateral, shorter credit histories, and gender bias. These barriers result in smaller loans, or higher interest rates. However, many lenders are ready to enhance women's access to business loans. Below, you’ll find our picks.

Small Business Loans for Women
Michelle Lambright Black
Credit Expert and Financial Writer

Reviewed by: Dahna Chandler, Business Finance Journalist

Fact Checked by: Dr. JeFreda R. Brown, Financial Expert

Finimpact Affiliate Disclosure

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may affect which companies we write about and where the company appears on a page. However, any analyses, or reviews expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been approved or endorsed by any partner.

The country's 12.3 million women business owners employ more than 4 million and add about $1.8 trillion to the U.S. economy. While the future looks bright for all women, women entrepreneurs face difficulties when it comes to getting the best small business loans and lines of credit. There is still an enormous gender gap in the small business loan distribution and how this inequality has justified the creation of specific options for women entrepreneurs.

Women also typically don’t ask for as much financing as men do. When lenders approve their financing, they usually receive $5,000 less than their male counterparts.

Top 8 Small Business Loans for Women

Top 8 Small Business Loans for Women

Finimpact was founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test hundreds of financial services each year using thoughtful rating methodology that bring out key differences between competing services. And, to assure complete independence, we even borrow funds to evaluate the financial services ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side analysis and comparison.


Best Small Business Loans for Women - Full Overview

Best Overall
Lendzi logo

Lendzi - Best for Businesses With High Revenue

Factor Rate
Starting at 1.10
Loan Amounts
Up to $4 million
Min. Annual Revenue
Key Features
  • Borrow up to $$4 million in working capital
  • Min. credit score: at least 500
  • Min. time in business: 6 months
  • Equipment financing up to $2 million
  • Business line of credit up to $250,000
  • See your options without hurting your credit
  • Flexible terms: 3 to 15 months
  • Excellent customer reviews on independent review sites
  • Get funding in as little as 24 hours
Pros & Cons
  • Multiple lending options
  • Fast funding times
  • Poor credit accepted
  • Excellent customer service
  • Competitive rates on most products
  • High rates on certain products
  • Annual income requirement may be high
  • Application process requires multiple phone calls

Lendzi was founded in 2020 and is both a direct lender and a lending marketplace, giving women access to 75+ lenders, loans, and products for your small business. Whether you have high revenue, have been denied by other lenders, need a large loan amount, desire a low interest rate, or are looking for a specific type of loan, Lendzi could provide you with the funding you need.


Main Features

Lendzi offers short- and long-term loans, equipment financing loans, merchant cash advances, business lines of credit, working capital loans, and SBA loans. Most loans range from $5,000 to $400,000, with the exception of equipment financing loans which max out at $2 million and SBA loans which can be as large as $5 million. Rates are competitive and start at 3.49% for equipment financing loans. Lendzi’s online application will not impact your credit score. After you apply, qualified representative will contact you via phone to discuss your business and lending options in detail. To increase your chances at getting approved for a loan, Lendzi recommends a business history of at least six months and $180,000 in annual revenue. Credit score doesn’t matter as much, but the higher your score, the better the interest rate you’ll receive.

Lendzi has a proven track record of helping small businesses succeed by getting them the funding they need. The company currently has more than 2,000 5-star reviews on trusted websites like Google, TrustPilot, and Better Business Bureau. Whether you need a small loan to help cover operative expenses or you’re looking to purchase a new warehouse, Lendzi is here to help.
SMB Compass

SMB Compass - Best for Fast Funding

Interest Rates
Starting at 7.99%
Loan Amounts
$10K - $10 million
Min. Monthly Revenue
Key Features
  • Loans up to $10 million
  • Min. credit score: can go as low as 550 for certain loans
  • Min. time in business: 1+ years in business, no startups
  • Funding times: 5 to 7 days for term loans and 24 - 48 hours for line of credit
  • Flexible terms: 2 – 10 years for term loans
  • Interest Rates: starting at 8.99% for term loans
  • Applying does not impact credit score
  • Nine loan products to choose from
Pros & Cons
  • Low, competitive rates
  • Large loan amounts
  • Loan terms up to 25 years
  • Excellent customer service
  • Poor credit not accepted
  • Not available in all states
  • Must be in business at least one year
  • High revenue requirements

SMB Compass understands it can be hard to get traditional financing through a bank. Whether your small business needs a business line of credit, an equipment financing loan, or an asset-based loan, SMB Compass can work with you to find the type of business loan you need. SMB Compass is geared toward borrowers with decent credit, at least one year of business history, and a monthly revenue of $20,000 or more. If this sounds like you, consider contacting SMB Compass today to learn more.


Main Features

SMB Compass offers nine different types of small business loans to women. Their mission is to make loans more accessible to small business borrowers by providing cost-effective and flexible lending solutions. SMB Compass business loans range from $10,000 to $10 million with terms up to 25 years. Rates start at 7.99% for qualified borrowers. The lender has currently provided more than 1,200 U.S. businesses with more than $250 million in financing. To apply, simply fill out their easy online application. It takes just a few minutes and will not impact your credit score. If approved, funding can be dispersed within 24 hours.

SMB Compass is on a mission to get small businesses the funding they need, especially those owned by women. Whether you need a small, short-term loan to cover working capital expenses or you need a large loan to purchase equipment, SMB Compass can help. Customer service is excellent, rates are competitive, and funding times are quick. Apply today without having your credit score impacted and see what types of loans you qualify for!
Backd business loans

Backd - Best for Cheapest Interest Rates

Factor Rate
Starting at 1.10
Loan Amounts
Up to $2,000,000
Min. Annual Revenue
Key Features
  • Borrow up to $2 million
  • Min. Credit Score: 640
  • Min. Time in Business: 2 years
  • Industry best factor rate for MCA - as low as 1.10
  • APR for the Line of credit product starts at 35%
  • Flexible repayment terms up to 16 months
  • Get funding in as little as 24 hours
  • Check your rate with a soft credit pull
Pros & Cons
  • Fast online application
  • Flexible loan terms
  • Large loan amounts
  • Not available to startups
  • Undisclosed rates and fees
  • Not available to all industries

Backd offers small business loans to women up to $2 million, making them ideal for those that need large amounts of funding. Founded in 2018, Backd tailors loans to each unique business’ needs by offering quick lending decisions, fast funding times, and flexible repayment periods. Their online application takes just a few minutes to fill out, and you’ll receive a lending decision within just a few minutes. If approved, funds can be in your account within 24-48 hours.


Main Features

Backd has two products for women entrepreneurs - working capital loans and business lines of credit. Working capital loans range from $10,000 to $2 million with terms up to 16 months. Payments are flexible with payments made daily, weekly, or semi-monthly. No collateral is required to receive this type of loan. Backd also offers a business line of credit, which acts similarly to a credit card. You can withdraw funds as you please, pay them back, and use them again. Amounts range from $10,000 to $750,000 with unlimited terms. To qualify for either option, you need to be in business for two years, have $200,000 or more in annual revenue, 640+ FICO score, operate in the U.S., and have a business bank account.

Backd is great for women-owned businesses in need of flexible funding and a large amount of capital. The online application takes just a few minutes to fill out and a decision is made almost instantly. If other lenders have turned you down, Backd is worth giving a shot.

National Funding - Best For Expertise in Women-Owned Businesses

Factor Rate
Starting at 1.10
Loan Amounts
Up to $500,000
Min. Annual Revenue
Key Features
  • Min. Time in Business: 6 months
  • Min. Credit Score 600
  • Borrow up to $500,000 in working capital
  • Equipment financing up to $150,000
  • Factor rate From 1.10
  • Fast funding
  • Early payment discounts
  • Equipment financing repayment 2-5 years
  • Working capital repayment 4 months - 2 years
Pros & Cons
  • Easy application: Apply online within minutes
  • Solid reputation: 20 years in business providing over $4.5 billion in funding
  • Women-owned business experts: Funding for businesses women most likely own
  • High annual revenue requirement: Must earn at least $250,000 per year
  • No mobile app: Can’t manage loans on mobile devices without a browser
  • High rates and fees: Equipment loans come with higher rates and fees

With their high approval rates, personalized repayment options, and expertise in women-owned businesses, National Funding might be an ideal lender for women business owners. They offer short-term business loans, and equipment loans through a fast, easy, no-obligation application process. For small business loans, you can get funding as soon as one day after approval, but equipment loans take longer. While you won’t require collateral, you must personally guarantee the funds. You may prequalify online but you won’t won’t learn all the terms and conditions of their loan products without a complete application.


Main Features

The maximum equipment loan with National Funding is $150,000 with repayment terms of two to five years. The origination fees are 2% plus a one-time fee of between 17% - 36% of the loan total loan amount and you’ll pay back your loan on a monthly basis. To qualify for an equipment loan, you’ll need a credit score of at least 600, at least six months in business, and $250,000 or more in annual revenue. The minimum credit score for other lending products is 600, and maximums, rates and terms depend on the product and your credit. They offer fast, easy, no fee applications for all products, but funding and origination fees depend on the product.

If you earn sufficient revenue and would like to get funding a National Funding loan products are worth considering. These experts in financing for women-owned businesses may put you on your desired business growth path.

Bluevine - Best Loans for Womens to Start a Business

Interest rates
Starting at 6.2%
Loan Amounts
Up to $250,000
Min. Annual Revenue
Key Features
  • Funding up to $250,000
  • Min. credit score: 625
  • Min. time in business: 6 months
  • Interest rates starting at 6.2%
  • Loan Repayment 6-12 months terms
  • Quick and simple application
Pros & Cons
  • Cash available in less than 24 hours, once approved
  • Transparent interest rates and fees
  • Only requires a fair FICO® score
  • Borrowing restricted to corporations and LLCs
  • Not available in NV, ND, or SD
  • Requires a personal guarantee

Bluevine is an online lender that offers revolving lines of credit for newer businesses. This company has less rigorous borrowing requirements than other lenders. That may make it ideal for women business owners with fair personal FICO® scores, limited monthly revenue, and shorter time in business. Bluevine also offers invoice factoring through FundThrough to businesses that don’t qualify for lines of credit. If yours is a corporation or LLC in good standing located in an eligible U.S. state, you may want to consider applying.


Main Features

Bluevine has many financing options that might be ideal for your women-owned business owners, with credit scores as low as 625 and no bankruptcies in the past year. You can apply in minutes without any impact on your credit score. You must be in business at least three months, have three months of bank statements, be incorporated or organized as an LLC, and have monthly revenue of $10,000 to apply. Lines of credit up to to $250,000 are available with repayment terms are 26 weeks or 12 months, depending on your qualifications, and rates start at 4.8%. Get a decision in five minutes and funding in 24 hours of approval.

With a fast application process and quick decisions and funding available, Bluevine offers convenient borrowing solutions if you need fast cash. You can apply with a fair credit score, but the APR and fees are high, so factor this into your decision with this lender.
biz2credit review

Biz2Credit - Best for Commercial Real Estate

Interest rates
Starting at 7.99%
Loan Amounts
$25,000 to $500,000
Min. Annual Revenue
Key Features
  • Working capital up to $2 million
  • Term loans up to $500,000
  • Term loan interest rate starts at 7.99%
  • Loan Repayment 12-36 months terms
  • Variable APR depending on the applicant
  • Funding in 72 hours
  • Soft credit pull
Pros & Cons
  • Compare multiple funding options
  • Funding may be available within 72 hours
  • Borrow up to $6 million with commercial real estate loans
  • Free online tools to analyze your business
  • Funding minimum of $25,000
  • Fees not clear for working capital loans
  • Extra fees may apply with certain funding options and services
  • No instant credit decisions (24+ hour wait)

Biz2Credit is a business funding platform that matches small business owners with working capital, term loans, and commercial real estate, and provides guidance for entrepreneur borrowers, including those seeking small business loans for women. The platform offers loans to businesses of multiple types, and provides a funding specialist to guide you through the process. Interest rates and fees vary depending upon credit worthiness, loan type, and other factors. But there are no hidden fees.  


Main Features

Term loans require a minimum personal credit score of 660 or above. But working capital loans require a minimum of credit score of 575. With term loans, businesses can borrow between $25,000 and $500,000, starting at 7.99% with terms up to 36 months. Funding can be as quickly as 72 hours after approval and payments may be weekly, bi-monthly and monthly. Businesses can borrow from $25,000 to $2 million in working capital that get paid back from business receipts, so fees vary and payments can be daily, weekly, or bimonthly. Commercial real estate loans starting at $250,000 up to $6 million with rates starting at 10%. These take 30 days to get approved, repayment is monthly on a 12-36 month term.

Biz2Credit offers loan products for multiple business purposes with easy applications, fast funding and guidance from a funding specialist throughout the process. While they make it simple to apply for funding that meets your needs here, it’s wise to compare their offerings with other lenders to make sure you’re getting the best offer.
fora financial logo reviewed on

Fora Financial - Best for Flexible Terms

Factor Rate
Loan Amounts
Min. Monthly Revenue
Key Features
  • Min. time in business: 6 months
  • Min. credit score: 550+
  • Borrow up to $1.4 million
  • Factor rate from 1.15 to 1.40
  • Ideal for plenty of industries
  • Approval not solely credit based
  • Early payoff discounts
Pros & Cons
  • Flexible payments
  • Can loan up to $750,000
  • Quick payoff discount
  • Gross monthly sales revenue must be $12,000 or more
  • Business must have operated six months prior to application

Fora Financial, a direct lender of working capital, offers small business loans across hundreds of industries with no collateral required and no restrictions on use. You can get a free, no obligation quote with no credit effect, and approval can be as fast as 24 hours after formally applying. Flexible terms can make Fora Financial loans more manageable for businesses of all sizes, and you can get multiple rounds of financing from the lender. You might also qualify for funding if you have poor credit. 


Main Features

Pre-qualify for a no obligation Fora Financial loan with a soft inquiry, and get approval in 24-hours after completing their one-page application and submitting a few bank statements. The lender offers unrestricted use, small business loans and merchant cash advances from $5,000 to $750,000 with 15-month terms. You must be in business for at least six months with monthly gross sales of $12,000 or more or $5,000 a month in credit card sales. Once approved, the funds are deposited into your business bank account within 72 hours. 

Fora Financial makes applying for a short-term loan easy and the requirements are not as strict as with big banks and other lenders. You can get funding in as little as 72-hours once approved and there are no restrictions on the use of funds, but check to see if you must provide a personal guarantee.

Main Features of the Best Small-Business Loans for Women

SMB Compass4.1
National Funding4.1
Fora Financial4
  • Min. Credit Score - 500
  • Min. Time in Business - 6 months
  • Min. Annual Revenue - $180,000
  • Loan Amount - Up to $400,000
  • Interest Rate - Factor rates starting at 1.1

How To Choose the Best Small Business Loans for Women

With so many business loans available, choosing the best small business loan for women can be tricky and time-consuming. Luckily, our team of experts did the work for you. They reviewed the best practices for choosing a small business loan, and used the following factors to rank the lenders on this page.

  • Application process: Identify lenders with transparent application processes. Find lenders that provide all the features of their lending process like rates, fees, and terms, with no surprises in the process.
  • Qualification details: Know your personal credit scores, business credit scores, annual revenue, and other details so you can find loans that are best for your company. Know if you’ll be required to provide a personal guarantee to get funding.
  • Variety of loan options: Business financing comes in many options like Small Business Administration loans, unsecured and secured business loans, lines of credit, startup loans, merchant cash advances, and more. Research to narrow down your preferred financing methods.
  • Interest rates and fees: Compare multiple offers to find the best deal. If you need to use nontraditional financing, understand the cost of borrowing may be higher.
  • Customer support: Determine the lender’s customer support options, like email, phone, chat or other methods. Know their hours of operation to determine if they’re available during the times you need them.
  • Online user reviews: Use online review platforms like Trustpilot to research the lender’s customer service rankings (including average response time), their trustworthiness or transparency, and their customer support throughout the application and repayment processes.Look for patterns that show the strengths and weaknesses of lenders you’re considering.


How Do Women-Owned Businesses Apply for Loans?

Here are three steps to help you apply for a small business loan for women.

  • Review eligibility requirements. Be sure to research a lender’s qualification criteria before completing an application. For example, some lenders might only accept applications from businesses that are majority or 51% or more woman-owned. With certain SBA lenders, meanwhile, you might also need to be certified through the Small Business Administration as a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB).
  • Gather the necessary documentation. Most lenders want to see 2-3 years of of your personal and business tax returns, bank statements, business financials and documents, proper identification, business plan (for SBA loans), and more.
  • Choose your preferred loan and apply. Once you’re sure you can qualify for and afford the financing you need, perhaps calculate the cost of borrowing. Interest rates and fees can vary widely among lenders. So, don’t be afraid to shop around.


Small Business Grants for Women

Access to capital through lenders is helpful, but you have to repay those funds. Grants offer the chance to grow your business without going into debt. The process may be time consuming, and the funds take much longer to get than from loan, but they don’t require a credit check to apply. However, business grants are taxable income to your business, unless the law states otherwise, and the granting organizations will send documentation to the IRS confirming you received the funds from them. Check to determine whether you must pay federal or state taxes on these grants.

Government Grants

The U.S. government, regions, and states offer grants for women-owned small businesses. To qualify, you must satisfy a number of requirements, like agreeing to collaborate with the federal government or another enterprise, having the correct number of employees (i.e., less than 500), and other qualifications depending on the grant source. For more details, on federally-funded grants, visit at and use the search feature to find grants for women. Also, visit for opportunities to win cash prizes for competing in federal government agency-run creative, scientific and technical business challenges.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC): Part of the Small Business Administration, SBDCs often are associated with local universities or a state’s economic development agency. Tasked with providing small businesses and entrepreneurs support, SBDCs can direct you to grant resources in your area.

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP): This SBA program provides funds to state governments to help small businesses expand internationally. Grant opportunities vary by state but can offer grant funds for multiple global marketing activities.

Also search for Women’s Business Development Centers online, which most states have, and for “small business grants” and your state name. States like California, Florida, New York, and Texas offer multiple small business grant programs, but they’re available in other states, too.

Corporate and Foundation Grants

Like state and local grants, corporate and foundation grants abound. Here are several sources of these grants.

Cartier Women's Initiative Grants

The Cartier Women's Initiative is an international entrepreneurship program that promotes change by empowering women entrepreneurs. The program offers seven regional grants with a top grant award of $100,000 for seven laureates and $30,000 for 14 finalists. It aims to fund strong, sustainable social and environmental impact.

Amber Grant

The Amber Grant is a private foundation that awards a grant of $10,000 or more every month. The foundation awards an extra $25,000 grant to one of the 12 winners at the end of the year.

To apply you must:

  • Pay a $15 application fee.
  • Disclose the name and nature of your business.
  • Share what you plan to do with the grant.

To recognize the diversity of women-owned businesses, the organization expanded its grant-giving to include “Marketing Grants” and “Business Category Grants.” Their site also provides resources for finding other grants.

The Girlboss Foundation Grant

The Girlboss Foundation offers two $15,000 grants to women business owners. Grants are available for women entrepreneurs involved in the following creative fields:

  • Music
  • Arts
  • Design
  • Fashion

To be eligible for a grant, you must demonstrate that you have an innovative and creative woman-owned business with financial need.

FedEx Small Business Grant

FedEx offers grants to small businesses within the United States that meet the following criteria:

  • Active businesses with a FedEx shipping account and a shipping need
  • No more than 99 employees.
  • At least six months in business

The 2021 grant contest offered a first-place award of $50,000, a second-place award of $30,000, and third-place awards of $15,000. Winners also get a credit to use on FedEx Office print services.

Comcast RISE

The Comcast RISE Small Business Program is a contest that eligible women-owned business owners enter to win grants. In March of 2021, 500 businesses won a combined $5 million in grants, and another $6 million was awarded that November.

Eligible grant recipients may use funds for:

  • Media consultation and campaigns
  • Technology upgrades

To apply, complete an online application and optional video to explain why your business should be considered.


Additional Resources and Organizations for Women Business Owners

In addition to online lenders and grants, here are some other sources of loan funds to consider.

Local Banks and Credit Unions

Many lenders have moved online, but if you prefer a face-to-face connection, local community banks and credit unions might be better fit you.

Equipment Financing

If you need funding to purchase or lease equipment, the seller or manufacturer might offer financing options to help you cover the cost of your purchase. Keep in mind the equipment usually acts as the collateral for the loan.

Investors and Venture Capitalists

If you have a business or idea with the potential to scale, you might consider taking on investors or venture capitalists. However, be prepared to share some equity in your business, and to invite input from your new business partners in the future. Women also face obstacles here. They received just 2.3% of venture capital funding in 2020.


Crowdfunding is a bit like GoFundMe, except for business. You can use a number of online platforms to raise money for your business, with a series of small donations or equity-based investments. So, know whether participants in your crowdfunding campaigns are giving outright donations or require something in return for their funds. Also carefully review the rules for using their platforms to avoid challenges to your fundraising campaigns.


Bottom Line

If you’re looking for choices besides debt financing, consider these grants and small business loans for women. You won’t get funded as fast and may have to compete with others to get financed this way, but if you have time to wait and really want to avoid debt, this may be the way to go.

Analyzing and thoroughly reviewing financial services loans is considerable work, but our team of financial experts that is made up of Accounting and Finance Professors, Doctors of Business Administration (DBA), Certified Financial Education Instructors (CFEI), Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) and a Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Award-Winning Business and Personal Finance Journalists is more than up for the task.     

To find the best small business loans for women, we compared loan options and lenders to find companies with excellent ratings and user reviews on websites like Trustpilot. We also looked for lenders who offer high loan amounts and flexible repayment options, as well as the ability to apply and set up loan funding online.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What types of small business loans for women are there?

Women have many options when it comes to small business loans — including programs that may be available to them only. Women can apply for traditional business loans, SBA loans, equipment loans, term loans, microloans, lines of credit and other debt funding.

How do I qualify for a business loan for women?

To qualify for a business loan, you typically need good business and personal credit. Requirements differ among lenders, and depend on the type of financing you’re seeking. Some lenders require borrowers to be in business for a specified period of time and to generate a minimum annual revenue, for example. It’s always smart to research a loan’s specific qualification criteria in advance.

What are the loan amounts for business loans for women?

Business loan amounts vary greatly for women and any other business borrower. You can receive as little as $1,000 for a small business loan. If you are looking to purchase land and build, some lenders reviewed here will approve $6 million or more in financing. It’s wise to figure out how much you need to borrow and how much you can afford to repay when you’re researching your business financing options.

Are there small business loans for women with bad credit?
Some lenders don’t require a minimum credit score for loan approval. Online and alternative lenders might be more willing to approve credit applications for those who have lower credit scores. However, bad credit financing options tend to cost more, so be sure you can afford the expense before borrowing money.
Are there small business loans for minority women?
Many lenders offer business loans for which minority women may qualify. Some online lenders offer financing options aimed at improving access to capital for minority small business owners. Even those with limited or damaged credit history may be eligible for certain types of small business loans for minorities. But, make sure you research funding for minority women online and carefully evaluate each option before you accept any loan offers. That way, you’ll avoid loans that may have suboptimal terms and rates.
Michelle Lambright Black

Written by: Michelle Lambright Black

Credit Expert and Financial Writer

Michelle Lambright Black is a credit expert with over 19 years of experience, a freelance writer, and a certified credit expert witness.

More about me
Dahna M. Chandler award-winning business and finance journalist

Reviewed by: Dahna Chandler

Award-Winning Business Finance Journalist and Brand Storyteller

Dahna M. Chandler is an award-winning business and finance journalist with 25 years of experience writing for major media outlets and top blogs. Because of her love for all things digital and entrepreneurship, she’s worked as a freelance online journalist and blogger her entire career.

More about me
Dr. JeFreda R. Brown

Fact Checked by: Dr. JeFreda R. Brown

DBA, CFEI and a highly respected expert in personal and business finance

Dr. JeFreda R. Brown is more than a financial consultant: she’s an avid teacher and subject matter expert who helps people—individuals and groups in a business setting—master the skills they need to achieve lasting financial wellbeing. As Founder and CEO of Xaris Financial Enterprises, it is her passion and life goal...

More about me

Related Loan Picks

Show More