Gregg Bishop, the commissioner of the city’s Small Business Services division, announced on Wednesday that the WE NYC program is now offering credit to women entrepreneurs through the WE Fund Credit application to close the gap in access to capital.
“Women entrepreneurs face gendered barriers to financing that prevent them from starting and growing businesses that support our local economy and uplift our communities,” said Bishop. “With WE Fund Credit, we’re breaking down these barriers by offering affordable credit options to women entrepreneurs across the five boroughs.”
There are over 360,000 women entrepreneurs throughout New York City, according to an SBS spokeswoman. There is no borough breakdown of these entrepreneurs.
In 2015, WE NYC, a research-based program for women entrepreneurs, released a study titled Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs in New York City that discovered that approximately 70 percent of women cited the lack of access to capital as a detriment to starting and growing their firms.
Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) supports the new credit program.
“Despite the incredible growth, female entrepreneurs are still far from reaching gender parity,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “Access to capital is a major issue which can present a significant barrier as female entrepreneurs continue to play catch-up to their male counterparts.”
The program was developed in partnership with the city’s Economic Development Corporation, Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses, Squarespace and Fundation, according to SBS.
Applicants for the program must have been a firm for one year, have a FICO score of 620 and have at least $50,000 in revenue to receive $10,000 or up to $100,000 in business credit from Fundation, according to WE NYC.
Fundation is a credit solutions provider that focuses on small businesses nationwide, according to the LLC.
10,000 Small Businesses is the education, capital and support service wing of the investment-banking firm Goldman Sachs, which is providing a $300,000 grant for outreach and technical assistance. Together, with the EDC and Squarespace, a platform for creating websites, the firm has also invested $1 million in a loan loss reserve fund.
“No one should be denied the chance to further their success in business due to their gender,” said Anna Stallings, senior marketing manager at Squarespace. “Our mission at Squarespace is to empower anyone with a creative idea to succeed. WE Fund Credit is leveling the playing field for women-identifying entrepreneurs to build businesses that shape our local communities, provide jobs, and contribute to our hometown economy.”
Hours after the SBS notice, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it is taking comments from small firms about a proposed rule change that would allow such businesses to access capital to expand into international markets for its Export Loan Programs.
Feedback from for the program will help SBA to modernize its services for small businesses and possibly help it to ensure that such firms will receive financing for international sales, according to SBA.
“Small business exporters are taking advantage of the world market and selling billions of dollars of goods overseas every year,” said SBA New York District Director Beth Goldberg. “That’s why the SBA New York District Office encourages public comment on these proposed rule changes, so our agency can offer even better products to small businesses in the future.”