The Arkansas Women’s Business Fund is a pivotal resource for women business owners in search of capital, providing credit enhancements and assistance to entrepreneurs across the state.

A new model to address the historic gap in financing for women business owners.

Research conducted by the Arkansas Asset Funders Network (AR AFN) in 2021 and 2022 identified and addressed key challenges women business owners face: limited credit scores, collateral coverage, and access to capital.

The Arkansas Women’s Business Fund introduces a new model to address the historic gap in financing by offering lenders a guarantee of 20% to 75% on qualified women-owned businesses. This is not just financial support; it is a commitment to leveling the playing field and fostering economic growth.

Women in business: A force to be reckoned with:

  • 42% of small businesses in the U.S. are owned by women.
  • In 2021, 1,821 new women-owned businesses opened each day.
  • In 2019, there were 3 million women-owned businesses in U.S.

Yet unfair gaps persist:

  • Only 15% of women-owned businesses received private business loans.
  • The average loan for women business owners is 50% lower than men’s.
  • It took until 1988 before a law made it legal for women to borrow in their own name.
  • Women often have lower credit scores and limited collateral and capital.

A path to financial empowerment.

The Arkansas Women’s Business Fund is open to lenders and women-owned businesses across Arkansas. Apply to your preferred lender or directly to the fund for a guarantee. We offer flexibility for those without a banking relationship or those hesitant to approach lenders.

Empowering connections for success.

More than just a fund, the AWBF is a catalyst for forging connections. We connect women business owners with lenders and support organizations, positioning them for sustained access to capital and support. Together with existing and new woman-focused programs, we aim to eliminate barriers hindering the growth of women-owned and operated businesses.

Join us in building a future where every woman entrepreneur can thrive and reach new heights of success.

The AWBF, administered by the Arkansas Community Foundation for AR AFN, invites you to join us in creating a future where every woman entrepreneur can thrive. Together, we will cultivate a dynamic ecosystem, breaking down barriers and unlocking the full potential of women in business.

If you’re interested in supporting this effort, please fill out this brief form.