As National Women’s History Month is underway, we want to celebrate the women that have started and grown their businesses. At Live Oak Bank, small business is our business and successful entrepreneurs mean a stronger economy. There are more than 9.8 million women-owned businesses in the United States today, an increase of over two million businesses, or 26.8 percent, from 2007, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Women’s business ownership is on the rise in industries across this country, up from 28.8 percent in 2007 and generating $1.4 trillion in receipts.
This growth signifies opportunities for additional expansion, for women to add to our economy by hiring more people and an increase in economic output. Specifically in the government contracting space, women have been seizing this opportunity. When I came to the SBA in 2010, women had less than 5% of all federal contracts. Today, women have exceeded that goal, but women can do even more work with the federal government if they have the financing support they need.
At Live Oak, we want women-owned businesses to grow and grow smarter. We want them to think about how to grow while keeping costs down. This includes not accepting loans with high interest rates, which ultimately hurt cash flow, to cover expenses like payroll. According to the National Women’s Business Council, there is a significant difference in undercapitalization that exists between men-owned and women-owned businesses. Undercapitalization limits enterprise growth by constraining business investments in key assets and limits the number of women in the government contracting space.
Live Oak can help remedy this with products that help women-owned businesses capitalize their firms while maintaining healthy working capital.
Financing can help your firm grow:
- Contract Mobilization Financing: Small business federal contractors often run into cash flow deficiencies immediately after winning new contracts, when they need to hire staff and/or purchase equipment for new projects. It usually takes at least 45-90 days from contract award before the first invoice is paid. During this time, you may need contract mobilization financing to bridge the cash flow gap from contract award until invoice payments start flowing to your business.
- Purchase Order Financing: Live Oak purchase order (PO) financing is a funding option for small business government contractors that need cash to fill single or multiple Federal Government orders. Our PO financing is backed by intimate knowledge of the Federal Government procurement process and deep understanding of the cash conversion cycle during an initial contract award base period. This money provides sufficient working capital to fully purchase all necessary materials and supplies pertaining to government purchase orders and offers a business negotiating leverage to obtain the best prices and terms from suppliers.
- Debt Refinancing: One way to improve your business’s cash flow is to refinance existing debt. Refinancing your existing business debt can significantly decrease your current monthly payments. Improve your cash flow with longer amortization, lower interest rates and a better debt structure.
- Merger and Acquisition Financing: Buying another firm can establish qualifications needed to win large contracts, inherit established relationships with agencies, and increase your profits exponentially.
Women make an incredible difference in this country every day. They deserve to have a bank that will be there when they need the financing to grow, hire employees from their community and impact the American economy. Live Oak is here to do just that. We want women to understand how they can leverage debt to grow and also use growth strategies such as acquisition to increase the number of women-owned businesses in the government contracting space.