Survey Finds Women Owned Businesses Struggle Getting Financing

Women who own businesses struggle more with getting financing than small company owners in general, according to a survey by researchers at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Corp.

Thirty-seven percent of the 364 women-owned businesses surveyed in October said they had sought financing during the previous three months, compared to 29 percent of all the nearly 1,600 small businesses surveyed. Just over a quarter of the women-owned businesses got bank loans, compared to 37 percent of all small companies.

The survey indicates 39 percent of women owners turned to savings and other personal assets to finance their companies, for many, a move likely linked to the difficulty they had in borrowing. Fewer small businesses in general, 33 percent, turned to personal assets for financing.

Many women owners turned to alternative lending sources to obtain financing. Sixty percent used personal credit cards, two-thirds borrowed from business credit cards and 54 percent took out personal loans.

The survey findings are in line with other reports that have showed many women-owned companies having a hard time getting financing. But the Pepperdine-Dun & Bradstreet survey did show positive trends – nearly three-quarters of women-owned companies need financing because they're planning to expand. For small businesses overall, 70 percent needed financing to grow.

President Barack Obama signed into law on Dec. 16 a bill that creates an advocate for small businesses within the Securities and Exchange Commission. The law creates the Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation, which is tasked with helping small businesses in resolving problems they're having within the SEC. The office's responsibilities also include identifying problems in SEC regulations that affect small companies, and identifying problems that companies have in obtaining financing.

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