In 2018, ACE disbursed $4.7 million in lending capital to women business owners, a 24% increase over the prior year. We also assisted over 1,000 women through our Women’s Business Center one-on-one coaching, workshop & webinars and networking events.
Women need increased access to capital and greater financial acumen. While women own 30% of small businesses, they receive less than 5% of total dollars in conventional small business loans. Women often earn less than men, possess less wealth, less collateral, and less credit, all of which make capital harder to obtain. ACE supports women’s entrepreneurship with equitable access to the capital they need, coaching and instruction to develop their business skills and knowledge, and mentoring and networking opportunities.
Supporting women’s entrepreneurship through increasing access to capital is important not only to these small business owners and their families, but to our communities and our nation at large. There are an estimated 502,300 women-owned businesses across Georgia, an increase of 245% since 1997. Women-owned businesses currently employ 273,000 workers.
While the growth of women-owned businesses and the resulting job creation is exciting, women business owners still face greater obstacles in obtaining financing for their businesses than similarly situated men do. This is particularly true for low-to-moderate income women. If women can’t get access to capital, then those economic and jobs benefits will be unnecessarily constrained. ACE is making capital available to these women. Moreover, ACE’s wrap-around business advisory services helps ensure these women have access to the knowledge, skills, and networks to be successful.
Here are some testimonials from current ACE clients:
Ardina Pierre, Nature’s Own Herb Shop/Hapeville – “I could not have made progress without ACE. I love the way they help women entrepreneurs.” Ardina not only owns her shop but has purchased the shopping center in one of the fastest-growing areas in Atlanta.
Julissa Vargas, DSD Distribution Services/Lawrenceville – “I am happy that I found the ACE Women’s Business Center. I only went there for a loan, but I found a community and inspiration.”
Ceata Lash, PuffCuff/Marietta (e-commerce) – “ACE is the only entity I know of that really reaches out to women, minorities, and other underserved entrepreneurs who have a dream and just need a little help achieving it.”
Nicole Wimpy, Jolie Day Spa/Dahlonega – “ACE has been the key to our success in all of our ventures. We had just paid off the loan for the day spa, so we thought, why not take out another to keep expanding our operations?”
Dawn Hall, Happy Belly Kitchen & Truck/Cumming – “We approached ACE with the same information we gave to the traditional funders. Their response was completely different; ACE actually listened to us and believed in our dream. This loan enabled us to buy our truck, remodel our 3,000 square foot kitchen, and hire more than 10 people, half of whom didn’t have jobs before.”
If you would like more information on ACE’s resources for women, please contact us 678-335-5600.