Unfortunately, women entrepreneurs do not have access to capital and the same resources as male-led businesses. For example, startups created by women receive much less funding than men from investors. A big reason for this is that there can be biases these women have to face when they meet with venture capitalists.
Women also face challenges, such as:
- Many industries are not women-friendly
- They lack social and institutional support
- And with fewer women business owners, they can’t access professional networks
But there are a lot of benefits for the local economy if we support female entrepreneurs. They make significant contributions to economic growth and reducing poverty by creating new jobs.
There are several ways we can support women entrepreneurs and their businesses.
New initiatives, loans, and grants support women entrepreneurs and help them get the funding they need. This funding comes from different levels of government, traditional lenders and organizations like Community Futures.
For example, women were able to access low-interest loans through the Women’s Economic Recovery - Capital Growth Initiative. The Alberta government funded this initiative by providing $6 million in grant funding for loans specifically designed for women.
Purchase from shops owned by women
This is something that all of us can do to support businesses owned by women. Simply going to their shop to buy their products or making an online purchase can make a big difference in their business. In addition, choosing to make your purchases to support women can inspire others around you to do the same.
Promote their business
Whether you are sharing one of their posts on social media or referring their business to your friends and family, you are helping to get their business in front of more people and helping it grow. And it’s so easy to do!
Mentor other women entrepreneurs
There is a lot of power that comes from women supporting other women. Often it is easier for women just starting their business to connect with other women as they better understand their journey. So, share your expertise and experiences with other women.
Women now have more opportunities to expand or start their businesses, and in turn, help diversify Alberta’s economy and create more job opportunities.
We at Community Futures Central Alberta know that starting and running a successful business takes more than funding. We can help you access a range of resources customized to your business, such as creating business plans and connecting you with other local business owners to build your network.
If you would like to speak to us about any of our other business loan and business support services, you can contact us directly.