State’s women-owned firms missing out on SBA loans, federal contracts

Washington women own almost 29 percent of all small businesses in the state, but they face a larger gender gap than women nationwide in access to business loans and government contracts.

Nationally, women account for 30 percent of small businesses, yet last year they received only 13 percent of the total dollar value of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, according to a report last month by the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, chaired by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

State data published by the committee Wednesday show female business owners in Washington make up nearly 29 percent of small business, but last year they received an even smaller share: 11 percent of the total dollar value of SBA loans.

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