Business Loans: Questions and Answers

You may qualify for a business loan with us even if you don’t with other lenders. We understand the unique challenges that women entrepreneurs face, so we work hard to help you build a successful business and take it to the next level.

Our free phone-in Business Loan Info Session is the best way to learn about our business loans. We will review our lending criteria, answer your questions and advise you on how to apply.

Register for Our Free Business Loan Info Session

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our business loan program.

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Does Women's Enterprise Centre provide grants?
Women’s Enterprise Centre DOES NOT provide grants. We DO provide business loans, which are repayable with interest. View a list of Grant Programs for BC businesses.
To whom does Women's Enterprise Centre lend money?
Women’s Enterprise Centre provides loans for BC women who are Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada and who are starting, purchasing or expanding a business in BC. We determine whether:

  • The business idea is strong, realistic and workable
  • The strategy to carry out the plan is viable
  • The business is at least 51% owned and operated by women
  • The owners have the necessary skills, talents and experience to implement the plan

At its discretion, Women’s Enterprise Centre may fund competing business ventures.

Our free phone-in Business Loan Info Session provides you with more information regarding our lending criteria and the application process.

How do I get an application form to apply for financing from Women's Enterprise Centre?
We want you to have a good understanding of our program and what you’ll need before you apply. Participation in our free, phone-in Business Loan Info Session is necessary to provide you with all the information you’ll need, including instructions on how to apply for a loan.
What help is available to me as I develop my business plan?
We can guide you through the process to get your plan in shape, including helping you put together financial projections. Some ways you can fill gaps in your business plan include:

Still have questions? Call us at 1.800.643.7014 and our Client Service team will help you find the resources you need or connect you with a Business Advisor who can answer your questions.

I don't like the idea of going into debt.
We do everything we can to work with you to ensure the loan is right for your situation, and to avoid saddling you with debt for a business that cannot support you. We want you to succeed!

Unlike traditional lenders, our business loans are bundled with complimentary, professional support to help you make the most of your loan. As a loan client, you will be matched with a personal Business Advisor who works with you throughout the term of your loan and beyond to give you hands-on support on any issues that may come up in your business.

I have never operated my own business nor have I been involved in management. How much does experience count?
If your business plan is strong and workable and you have developed the skills and traits needed to operate a business through other means, then your application will be given full consideration.

Women’s Enterprise Centre believes that learning business skills is critical to your success, so we offer many ways you can gain knowledge and confidence in business:

How long does the loan application process take?
Once we have received all of the information we require, it will take approximately four weeks to complete our assessment and give a final lending decision. The length of the process depends on the completeness and complexity of your plan and your level of experience.
What if I don’t have enough security?
Women’s Enterprise Centre secures its loans to the fullest extent possible given the applicable venture risk.

Applicants who cannot provide security may apply for an unsecured loan – talk to your Business Advisor to learn more. Loans that are unsecured are subject to a higher interest rate. A qualified guarantor can help in situations where security is limited.

What if I don’t have enough equity?
Women’s Enterprise Centre typically requires a minimum equity of 25%. Some exceptions may apply – talk to your Business Advisor.