Women Struggle To Get Small Business Loans

Women-owned businesses are among the fastest growing in the country — especially in South Dakota. However, a new congressional report found women only get four percent of all small business loans.

And it's not just business loans. Twenty years ago, the federal government set a goal of giving women-owned businesses five percent of government contracts; it's never met that goal. And women lose out on some $4 billion a year because of it.

"So we'd like to help open those doors--provide the necessary referrals to our SBA partners who might be able to help with that," Director Helen Merriman said.

The only women's business center in South Dakota, The Center for Enterprise Opportunity, is trying to help women get government contracts and loans.

"Most businesses fail in that first three to seven years without a lot of planning. Everybody's passionate about what they want to do. But that passion needs to be converted into really a strategic plan," Merriman said.

Read the full article here

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