Women entrepreneurs are carving out a name for themselves in the global business community. However, India ranked among the countries with the lowest percentage of women-owned businesses. This statistic comes from the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, a survey that was conducted in 54 countries among which India ranked only at 49th place.
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The survey reaffirmed the plight of women entrepreneurs in India, pointing out that lack of technological knowledge, lack of education, cultural bias and stringent government regulations meant that women have a very tough time taking hold of entrepreneurial opportunities in the country. If women do manage to overcome these challenges, there is always the perennial problem of securing financing for the business.
Despite the increase in efforts made by the Indian government to promote women entrepreneurs through schemes giving financial aid, 8 out of 10 women entrepreneurs are still self-financing their business.
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1. Start Networking
Meeting the right people can instantly make things easy for you. Getting yourself and your business known in the community can prove to be a big advantage. To secure credit and grow the business, it is important to make an impression. Just like the chances of getting a job are better through a placement agency, chances of getting a loan is amplified through networking.
Joining local business-support groups and attending business events, gatherings, etc. goes a long way. An aspiring business person can get to know a lot of influential people in the business community through such events. Lenders often work with organisations, and people in these organisations, in touch with the business owner, can put in a good word for them, raising the chances of getting finance.
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2. Prepare Beforehand
A high credit score expedites your chances of getting business loans for women. You need to watch for those red flags, and monitor your credit score regularly. It is important to avoid loan defaults, negative consumer feedback, and the opening of several credit accounts.
Ensure that your profit and loss statement, tax returns and other important financial documents are up-to-date and organised. Taking out small loans through institutions which report to the credit bureau helps in building up your credit score. Furthermore, getting a copy of the credit score can be helpful in tracking your creditworthiness.
Organising and maintaining all the important financial documents in the name of the company will help you immensely at the time when you will need a loan.
3. Do Due Research
Doing some background research before applying for a small business loan can make things easier for women entrepreneurs. It is no use applying for a loan to a lender that only funds high-end businesses and multinational companies. A quick research on the lender’s loan requirements can save women business owners a lot of time and energy.
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