The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created five years ago to focus on fairness when it comes to mortgages, student loans, and other products sold directly to consumers…
What it doesn’t address is the sexism involved when women attempt to get a loan to launch a small business.
It seems logical, since 30 percent of U.S. businesses were owned by women in 2015. However, for every dollar of small business loans they received, $23 dollars more went to men. That doesn’t make sense! If so many women are running so many businesses – and successfully – why did so few qualify for loans?
Our economy directly affects this funding gap. According to American Express Open, women-owned businesses employ one million people and generate 1.6 trillion a year in revenue. If women can’t get access to capital then those benefits will be capped.
Two reasons why some women might not qualify for business loans:
- Business proposals not strong enough
- Credit scores not high enough
However, gender has an impact on access to loans and the size of the credit line a bank will grant. Not surprisingly, so does the race. Sexism and racism are very much real issues within the business world.
It’s discrimination in small business lending. Unfortunately, this indicates that funding has less to do with a great business plan and more to do with who you are, and probably what you look like. Women aren’t just at a disadvantage when it comes to bank lending, but also in venture capital. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
Crowdfunding is not an end-all-be-all solution, however, a study of Kickstarter projects (from 2009-2012) found that almost 70 percent of those posted by women were funded. In addition, 65 percent of technology projects posted by women were funded, compared to 30 percent for men.
It’s been almost 30 years since Ronald Reagan signed the Women’s Business Ownership Act, making it illegal for states to pass laws requiring women to have a man cosign a business loan. Can you believe that even existed??
It’s time to ensure that women can take complete advantage of the opportunities that legislation should have created. Which presidential candidate do you think will support it?