Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Sexism is still prevalent in our society and, sadly, extends to small companies. Women-owned businesses are still fighting for equal opportunities and fair treatment when it comes to small business lending. We ran a study that revealed some shocking findings about gender-based approval rates for business loans.

In this blog, we will delve into the data and different business statistics from our survey respondents, as well as statistics from census data available on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website.

The Demographic Makeup of Our Survey

Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at the demographic data of our survey respondents so you have a better idea of who we were talking to about an SBA Loan. For clarity’s sake, this is a United States-based survey.

Out of the respondents we surveyed, the split was fairly evenly distributed between men and women. Business owners surveyed were all in leadership/ownership roles, and the majority had a college degree. Lastly, every business had at least two employees.

Business Loans: Men Vs. Women

In addition to traditional loans from small banks, online lenders, large banks, and commercial banks, the government is still forgiving PPP and other COVID-related loans. If a business owner applies for a line of credit, it shouldn’t matter whether they’re a man or woman, but our results showed differently.

The first two questions we asked our business owners were if their business loan applications had been denied, and if they were denied any business lines of credit pre-COVID, were they able to receive one of the business loans available during the pandemic.

Men are 3X More Likely to Get a Business Loan Than Women

Access to capital is important to many entrepreneurs and small business owners. There are many factors that go into qualifying for a loan from big banks, such as a good credit score. But one thing that shouldn’t matter is if it’s a women-owned small business. We took a deep dive into the world of small business loans and explored gender-based approval rates for business loans pre- and post-pandemic.

This is what we learned:

Men Are More Likely to Get a Business Loan Over $150K Than Women

After gaining insight into loan approvals for business owners without bad credit, we examined the average small business loan amount to see how much females were getting compared to their male counterparts.

The results were surprising.

Our survey showed that women-owned businesses are often approved for lower loan amounts than male-owned businesses. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, women-owned businesses were approved for loans in amounts much lower than male-owned businesses.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, both men and women experienced difficulties when it came to business shutdowns and limited occupancy requirements. For female businesses trying to get loans, the challenges they faced in accessing the capital needed to grow their business was greater than for their male counterparts. When it comes to dollars given, men still received a larger piece of the pie post-COVID for small business financing.

50% Loan Forgiveness Gap Between Men and Women

The last piece of the puzzle was seeing how male- and female-owned businesses fared regarding loan forgiveness.

The findings:

It’s not surprising to see that women-owned businesses are worse off post- COVID, given the amount of money loaned to small businesses and how much was forgiven.

What Is the Current Small Business Landscape?

Recent reports from the Small Business Administration and Federal Small Business government page provide valuable insights into the current landscape for small businesses. Many firms still struggle post-pandemic, and women own 80% fewer businesses than men.

Sources of Business Loan Financing

It is crucial for entrepreneurs to have a solid business plan and improve their credit score to enhance their chances of getting approved for a business loan. Some of the common sources for borrowing are merchant cash advances, loans from small or large banks, lenders, friends or family, and SBA loans.

Small Business Environment Pre- and Post-COVID

The government has implemented several relief programs to help small businesses during COVID and continues to offer different loans to help with overall economic growth. As the economy recovers, there are signs of improvement in small businesses, but challenges still persist for many businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has current statistics and trends and has a live graph that is updated weekly that shows how businesses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

SBA Business Loans Pre- and Post-COVID

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided critical funding to many small businesses during the pandemic and continues to do so. Loan application rates for small businesses owned by women have been disproportionately lower than those owned by men.


How do you get small business loans with bad credit?

When you have bad credit, it can sometimes feel like your financial options are limited. Fortunately, there are things you can do, like consolidating debt, applying with a co-signer, starting a debt payoff plan or a debt management program, and trying to settle your debt.

How do small business loans work?

Small business loans provide businesses with the capital they need to start or run their business. There are many different types of loans therefore the way they work depends on the loan you took out.

Can I still get a COVID EIDL loan?

As of January 1, 2022, SBA stopped accepting applications for new COVID-19 EIDL loans or advances. (SBA)

Are there still PPP loans available?

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. There are other loans available though; existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

Spread Awareness and Share These Stats on Business Loans

Despite the growth of women-owned businesses over the past few decades, gender bias still exists when accessing capital. For the most recent data on loan amounts, the SBA 7(a) & 504 Summary Report keeps an updated record of female and male loan approvals and amounts, showing the gap between female-owned and male-owned businesses.

Sexism in getting business loans from private institutions and those that fall under the Federal Reserve is a real problem that needs to be addressed. The Tayne Law Group study found that women entrepreneurs face significant disparities in approval rates and average SBA loan amounts compared to their male counterparts.

To overcome these challenges, women can seek alternative types of loans, use government loan programs for women business owners, build strong relationships with lenders, and reach out to Tayne Law.

It’s time we create an environment of equal opportunities for all genders in the world of business financing. As a female-owned law firm, Tayne Law supports women-owned businesses. Share this blog on Facebook and other social media platforms so we can help ensure that all entrepreneurs have an equal chance at success.

Request a Free Consultation

Your initial phone consultation is free and requires no committment!
A team member will respond within 1 business day.

Request a Free Consultation

Your initial phone consultation is free and requires no committment!
A team member will respond within 1 business day.

tayne icon on cartoon letter in enveloper

Message Sent!

A Tayne Law team member will respond within
1 business day.