A Message From Our President - September | NAWBO

Greetings, NAWBO Chicago!

I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful end-of-Summer weather and that you were able to make time for yourself and family before we find ourselves running at the usual hectic pace of school and work schedules and then winter and all the holidays.

The theme this month is, appropriately enough, On The Money. (The money theme never really goes away, does it?)

For many, heading into Q4 is a time to review previous quarters and assess current conditions to make micro and macro financial projections for the upcoming year. Is now the time to find a new HQ or expand operations? Or hire more staff? Or upgrade equipment? If so, how much is needed and where will it come from? Is enough revenue coming in to cover the new expenses?

Money is always the bottom-line factor. Where do we find it? How do we get it? How do we spend it? How do we save it?

Access to capital has historically been a roadblock for female entrepreneurs, with a recent report showing that nearly half of all women business owners have never applied for a business loan or line of credit to start or grow their businesses, mainly because they don’t know where to begin.

And it can be traumatizing. When I was desperate for seed capital, my loan applications were repeatedly declined simply because I wasn’t a man trying to launch a business. (It’s hard to imagine that up until the 1980s, standard lending policy required a female entrepreneur to include a male cosigner or the loan would be refused regardless of the success of the business or the ability to repay the loan.) After so much rejection and failure, I was forced to take out a second mortgage to get the funding – risking everything and jeopardizing my home if the business didn’t succeed.

Thankfully, times have changed – at least to the point that a woman no longer needs a male family member of legal age to apply for a loan on her behalf. (And NAWBO gets a lot of the credit for getting that legislation passed!)

Yet, Bank of America’s Women Business Owner Spotlight indicates that 42 percent of women have never applied for a business loan or line of credit, with 60 percent saying they do not have the same access to capital as their male counterparts, and nearly a quarter believe women will never have equal access.

And this is just one of the many ways that NAWBO helps WBOs. A major focus of the 2022 Advocacy Agenda is accessing capital through increased financial literacy education. Take advantage of your membership and NAWBO’s partners and programming to increase knowledge and improve your business acumen.

One upcoming opportunity is the SomerCor webinar, Don’t Take No For An Answer: Accessing Capital For Your Business, on September 14 from 8:30 – 9:30 am. Hear from experts from SomerCor, BMO Harris Bank and the WBDC on how to grow your business using different financing options.

Get to that point where money no longer has control over your decisions. Share your story with peers so they may benefit. Lean on each other. We’re stronger together!

 

Edie Comminos

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