Small business loans for women
Women’s Enterprise Centre’s Business Loans Program offers small business loans to women-owned businesses in BC that can help you start, enhance or grow your BC business. You may qualify with us, even if you don’t with other lenders.
We do not have a grant program and, despite popular belief, grants for business start-ups are rare. If you are interested in exploring other funding options, check out this list of grant programs and funding sources.
About Our Small Business Loans Program
Our Business Loans program is different from those of traditional lenders. We offer:
- Loans up to $150,000* for BC women
- Loans for market-ready start-ups, business expansion projects and business purchases
- Loans for leaseholds, equipment, operating capital and more
- Flexible repayment options and terms up to 5 years
- Lower security and equity requirements than many other lenders
- Lower fees than many other lenders
- Competitive interest rates
*If you require funding beyond $150,000, we attempt to partner with other lenders to meet your full borrowing requirements.
One of the unique pieces to our loans program is that it is bundled with free, ongoing, professional business advice. Whether you’re just starting out, purchasing a business or growing your BC business, Women’s Enterprise Centre is here to help.
How Do I Qualify?
For basic eligibility you must be:
- A woman who owns and controls at least 51% of a business that is registered and located in British Columbia
- A Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
- Residing in British Columbia
Our loans program is different from traditional lenders, and we are interested in learning more about you and your business plans. Loan applicants will work with one of our business advisors throughout the application and repayment plan processes. See our small business loan qualification requirements >>
Equal Access to Capital Business Loan
Do you have trouble financing your business? You may qualify for an unsecured small business loan of up to $50,000 if you're a woman who does not have security to offer and you fall into one of these groups:
- recent immigrant to Canada (applicants must have obtained Permanent Residency within the last 5 years)
- under the age of 40; or
- have an annual personal income under $20,000 or annual family income under $30,000
In these circumstances we require that the owner make a 10% equity contribution to the business instead of the usual 25%. Security is not required. Learn more about our Equal Access to Capital Business Loan >>
Youth Business Loan
Do you dream of starting, buying or growing a business but think you're too young to get a business loan? Women's Enterprise Centre has partnered with Futurpreneur Canada to offer an unsecured joint loan for youth of up to $65,000. If you're a woman under 35, you may qualify! Learn more about our business loans for youth >>
How Do I Apply?
To find out more about applying for a loan with Women’s Enterprise Centre, you will need to participate in one of our bi-weekly phone-in Business Loans Information Session on our loans program. The Business Advisor facilitating the Business Loans Loan Information Session will review the details of our lending program, answer your questions and advise you on how to apply. Learn how to access small business financing today!