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Top 5 Business Loans for Women 2018

Business Loans for Women

Introduction

Are you a female looking for a loan to help launch your business, or expand?

Then you’re in the right place.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about applying for a loan as a businesswoman, as well as the grants available to help you succeed.

Let’s take a closer look and find out more.

What’s in this guide?

Top 5 loan providers

1. Boost Capital

Boost capital

Type: Alternative Finance Provider

Loan amount: £3,000 – £500,000

Typical APR: 1.5% – 2.5% monthly APR

Loan term: 4 to 18 months

Boost Capital is a highly recommended alternative finance provider in the UK, with many customers giving this lender five stars on trusted websites such as Trustpilot.

They offer fast funding, with minimal paperwork, approval in 24 hours and access to your funds in around two days.

Representative: Borrow £10,000 for 12 months at 47.9% representative APR. Interest rate of 36.74% p.a. (fixed). Total amount payable is £12,100.

Company rating on Trustpilot: 5 / 5

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2. Capify

Capify

Type: Alternative Finance Provider

Loan amount: £3,500 – £500,000

Typical APR: 67.89% APR

Loan term: 6 to 10 months

Capify is another highly rated lender, who has been around since 2008 and they have helped thousands of business owners to grow and sustain their business.

Focused on small to medium enterprises, they aim to give you a decision within 60 seconds and solutions tailored to your business.

Representative: Borrow £24,000 for 12 months at 67.89% representative APR. Total amount payable is £29,472.

Company rating on Trustpilot: 5 / 5

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3. Funding Circle

Funding circle

Type: Peer-to-Peer Lender

Loan amount: £5,000 – £500,000

Typical APR: Rates start from 4.5% per year AER

Loan term: 6 months to 5 years

Funding Circle is one of the peer-to-peer lenders that have been sprouting up around the UK in the last few years.

With a peer-to-peer platform, the lenders are regular citizens that want to help their savings grow by investing in UK businesses.

For businesses, this means low AER and only a couple of extra fees.

Representative: Borrow £20,000 for 12 months with fixed monthly payments of £1,752 a month, with a completion fee of 2.5% and interest of around £526. Total amount payable is £21,026.

Company rating on Trustpilot: 5 / 5

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4. Shawbrook Bank

Shawbrook bank

Type: Bank

Loan amount: £250,000 to £25 million

Typical APR: 0% to 19.9% APR

Loan term: Bespoke repayments

Shawbrook Bank offers their business customers a range of services tailored to their companies, like asset finance, working capital solutions, the point of sale finance and structured finance, as well as commercial mortgages too.

This means that for startup businesses you could finance for the road ahead with equipment and salaries, or even established companies can benefit from more substantial amounts to help you fund expansions.

Company rating on Trustpilot: 5 / 5

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5. Government Startup Loan

Start up loans

Type: Government Loan

Loan amount: £500 – £25,000

Interest: Fixed 6% interest p.a.

Loan term: 1 year to 5 years

Government loans are loans that are funded by government-backed organisations, who usually offer either regional or national businesses different loans depending on their location.

With this loan, in particular, it is aimed at startups less than 24 months old who could benefit from not only finance but mentoring, to help your business grow and thrive.

Representative: Borrow £20,000 for 12 months with fixed monthly payments of £1,721.33 a month, with interest of around £655.94. Total amount payable is £20,655.94.

Company rating on Trustpilot: 5 / 5

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The top five business loan providers take into consideration their customer reputation, the amount you can borrow and the typical APR or interest rates, to ensure that you’ll be getting the best deals for you and your company.

FAQ

What is a business loan?

It’s when you ask a lender, like a bank or peer-to-peer platform, to loan you funds so you can pay for things like new equipment or pay your workers salaries.

In return, you will pay back this money over a set period of time such as a few months for short-term loans, and years for longer-length terms.

A business loan can come from many different places, so as a business owner you should always try and consider as many possible solutions as possible to find the best deal.

Check out the ExpertSure guides to find out more about your finances.

What are the options available for women?

Historically, women have struggled to break into the business world, and even in 2018 businesses that are male-dominated are four times more likely to get funding than a team that has even one woman in a place of authority.

To try and fix this, many groups and lenders have started to create grants and loans that are specifically targeted towards female entrepreneurs and groups where there is at least one female co-founder.

There is also a focus in the technology sector to bring more women into places of authority and seniority, as although only 3% of the world’s CEO’s are women, there are even less in the tech sector.

So, what exactly is on offer for women? Let’s take a look.

Business loans

While there aren’t many business loans that are specifically for businesswomen, many companies have pages that are dedicated to showing support for women in business.

And, encouragement that they do not fall within the stereotype of making it harder for women to get loans.

Liberis, for instance, offers business women their business cash advance loans, which doesn’t include any hidden fees with one clear, upfront cost and you keep all of your cash income.

Grants

Grants refer to money that, unlike a loan, you don’t have to pay back.

An example is the Global Fund for Women, which is for business women outside of the US that could help you with travel, expenses, operating your business in the pursuit of helping marginalised groups in your local community.

Cartier’s Woman’s Initiative is another grant scheme that is run by the French jewellery company Cartier and has an aim to try and support women and their startup businesses.

This grant could see winners walking away with around £76,000 in funds and business mentoring.

Awards

Another option for women in business is to make full use of the awards available.

For instance, in the UK there are the ‘NatWest everywoman awards’ which is a series of six awards that women in business can be nominated for every year.

The awards are as follows:

Artemis: This is an award that is dedicated to the most inspirational business woman that has been running a company for between 18 months and three years.

Demeter: The Demeter award is for the most inspirational business woman that has been running a company for between three to five years.

Athena: This award is dedicated to the most inspirational business woman that has been running their company for between six to nine years.

Hera: Hera is for the most inspirational businesswoman who has been running a company that has been trading for ten years or more.

Gaia: This is for businesswoman whose business combines social enterprise with a sustainable model.

Aphrodite: An award sponsored by the Daily Mail, this is for a businesswoman who has successfully lead a business while raising a child or children who are under 12 years of age.

Nominees for any of these awards could have the opportunity to be nominated for further awards, so this can open many doors for business women as well as the honour of being a business role model to all women globally.

Everywoman has many possibilities for women, including talent, nurturing schemes and memberships to network with other influential women in business, which could be a great asset for any company that values their female leaders.

What do women need to succeed at applying for a grant or loan?

For grants, this is typically what you’ll need to have or be:

  • A concept that is original or you have a solid business plan
  • You usually have to be a for-profit company, but there are also grants for social enterprises
  • Sometimes grants are specifically geared towards startups, but there are also grants available for women in business as we have mentioned above
  • Your company will very likely need to be revenue generating
  • For grants that are for female entrepreneurs, you need to be at least 18 years old or over

When it comes to loans, this is what you’ll need to show your investor:

Business Information

Accounts

First of all, you need to provide detailed reports for your business.

This is where being honest is very important, as your lender could reject your application due to being given misleading information.

There are many accountancy firms and individuals that could help you to understand your finances, get everything in order and ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward regarding your loan application.

Revenue

Revenue projections need to be a realistic revenue forecast for the business.

You could create a few scenario examples to show your potential lender the likelihood of different outcomes.

This will give them more assurance that you have prepared for different situations.

You need to include your cash flow, after it’s been affected by outside costs like your loan.

Business plan

You should ensure that you are making a credible case for the loan you want to take out.

Plus, the market and your plans to reach that market.

So this may include your intentions with your company, like breaking into a new market or investing in new equipment for a specific reason to expand your business.

Valuation

You will need to provide evidence concerning the value of the business you are creating, or that you are running.

Sometimes, businesses will be valued between three and eight times their profit, depending on the value of the company regarding projected income, financial history and any major changes going forward.

You should seek out some kind of financial advisor to help you to accurately valuate your business if you are unsure, as it could affect your application.

About you

C.V

You should provide a resume with your personal work history is usually required when trying to find financing for launching or sustaining a business.

This should be short and precise, to give just enough information to make your lender confident enough that they are taking a reduced risk by lending to you.

Asset statement

You need to make a list of your assets, which could include anything from your home to any cars you might have.

Bank statements

You will typically have to provide bank statements for the last six to 12 months.

Also, proof of your identification and whereabouts you live, which can be proven with something like your passport and any utility bills.

Lender comparison

CompanyTrustpilot ScoreLoan AmountLoan TermTypical APR
Liberis★★★£2,500 to £300,000Only pay when you earnNo APR
Boost Capital★★★★★£3,000 – £500,0004 to 18 months1.5% – 2.5%
Capify★★★★★£3,500 – £500,0006 to 10 months67.89%
Shawbrook Bank★★★★★£250,000 to £25 millionBespoke0% to 19.9%

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many options for women in business. You can benefit from not only loans but also grants and loans that sometimes come with free mentorship. Plus, networking to help your company thrive.

Finally, take a look at the ExpertSure guides to find out more about finances. Or, you could check out the form at the top of the page to discover business loans available today.

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