Resources & Tools
Working to increase diversity, inclusion, and impact in early-stage investing and our entrepreneurial ecosystem through our innovative learning-by-doing progressive fund model. Our global fund has 99 women investors, 25 of them women of color, which is led by an experienced investment committee of ten women. We are building a portfolio of investments in early-stage impact companies, diversified across industry and geography, over a four year investment period. We will make 6-8 investments in each of the first two years and then do some selected follow-on investments in those companies in years three and four. We are excited about this model, building on two pilots in the United States and Europe (the Rising Tide Pilots) with nearly 200 women, which made 18 investments. Together, we are creating the next wave of educated and trained angel investors focused on both social impact and financial returns, which are investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs
MergeLane discovers, accelerates and invests in high-potential startups with at least one woman in leadership. They make select investments in startups and venture funds, and run a series of seven-day immersive programs for startups with at least one female in leadership. MergeLane also offers intensive three-day Leadership Camps for male and female leaders in startups, industry, and nonprofits designed to accelerate participants’ growth as innovative leaders.
Pacific Community Ventures is a mission-driven lender that provides fair and affordable loans from $10,000 – $200,000 to California small businesses. They specialize in working with women who have been turned away by traditional lenders, and offer funds to increase inventory, expand or update your space, scale up for a new opportunity, purchase equipment, add new jobs, and more. Plus, their loan borrowers get free access to their network of over 1,000 business advisors for help in any area you need, like marketing, business strategy, or sales.
Start Small Think Big is a non-profit organization, serving Californa Bay Area and New York City, that provides entrepreneurs positioned to grow their business with high quality legal, financial, and marketing assistance through a combination of in-house and pro-bono experts. Their mission is to help under-resourced entrepreneurs build businesses so owners can increase their personal financial security and stimulate economic activity in their communities. They provide about 350 businesses per year with one-on-one services and 60% of our entrepreneurs are women.
Grameen America provides microloans to individuals living below the poverty line to start or expand businesses. Grameen America offers a fair interest rate with reasonable terms and supports the microloan with no-fee savings accounts, credit building and financial training.
The mission of Lending Club is to transform the banking system to make credit more affordable and investing more rewarding.
StreetShares provides a suite of specialty finance products focused on the military and veterans market, including small business funding, lines of credit, and alternatives to VA small business loans for vet-owned businesses.
Lendistry offers small business term loans with responsible rates, transparent terms and fast delivery.
Opportunity Fund believes that small amounts of money and financial advice can help people make permanent and lasting change in their own lives, driving economic mobility and building stronger communities.
Funding Circle is the world’s leading lending platform focused exclusively on small businesses, matching established and creditworthy businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe.
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) finance community businesses, including small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing. Use this finder to locate a CDFI near you.
Venturize is a free online resource hub for small business owners who need help accessing tools and resources to grow their businesses. Venturize offers unbiased education and resources about small business loans, retirement and healthcare. Use Venturize to learn how to navigate your financing options.
Learn about the fundamental rights you should insist on from a lender, and the lenders that have pledged to uphold them.
The Michigan Women’s Foundation offers a variety of opportunities for women business owners in the state of Michigan. They have a events where you can pitch your business idea, get advice and support, and win funds. You can also join a peer support group for business owners, attend a conference for entrepreneurs, and more.
The Excelsior Growth Fund provides resources, events, advisory support and loans to entrepreneurs who are based in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Online loans range from $10,000- $10,000.
Working Solutions is a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) that provides loans (from $5,000- $50,000), mentorship and resources. They prioritize giving their services to low-income, women and minority individuals in the California Bay Area.
“Angel Investor: Why Should Girls Consider a Career in Investing & Finance” is a video featuring Deb Kemper from our partner, Career Girls.
Golden Seed invests in women-led companies. Their investments are big (between $250,000 and $2,000,000) and they have a lot of criteria to be eligible for investment. You can learn more on their website.
Belle Capital USA invests venture capital in women-led or women-owned companies. They focus on companies with big plans: to be eligible, your company must plan to reach $20 Million in revenue within 5 years.
37 Angels is a community of women of who invest in companies. Businesses who successfully complete their application and pitch process can receive investments of $50,000 – $150,000. They seek to make their application process as transparent and welcoming as possible.
FedEx hosts a contest for small businesses. Winners (10 total) receive between $7,500 and $25,000. Their website offers information about previous grant winners, as well as what those small business owners have learned about running a business.
Accion is a non-profit community lender for small businesses. They offer personalized support to help you find a business loan. Their staff will walk you through the loan application process to make sure you’re aware of all the best ways to get the funding you need to grow your business. Because they are a non-profit, they are often able to provide loans to small businesses that may not be able to access bank loans due to credit or other reasons.
Kiva offers 0% interest loans (up to $10,000) to small businesses in the US. Once you apply for a loan, you will go through a vetting process. Then, your loan is posted on the Kiva website where lenders can support your small business in increments of $25 or more.
Backstage Capital provides funding to “underrepresented founders” of technology companies in the United States. They have an open application process, so any founder of a tech company who identifies as a person of color, as a woman, as LGBTQ is welcome to apply. So far, they have invested over $4 million in over 80 companies.
Pipeline Angels offers funding opportunities from women and non-binary femme investors, to women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs (meaning, companies that have a mission that has a positive impact on society or the environment). You can apply to pitch your business to their Angel Investors.
The Small Business Administration, or SBA, offers a funding program with access to loans, grants, and investors. The website explains in clear and simple terms what you will need to find an SBA-approved funder (like a business plan!) and walks you through the step by step process of identifying the best option for your business. They also offer in-person free support and business counseling at their local centers. Make sure to check out their Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program.
This IRS website has the tax forms you will need for your business, and lots of helpful resources (including an online learning section) about how to file and pay your taxes.
Shoeboxed is a service that enables you to track your expenses (including gas and travel mileage) by scanning and organizing your receipts, which can then be used to create expense reports. There are multiple plans, and they offer a free 30 day trial with a $29/month plan for individuals and a $59/month plan for small businesses.
Wave is a service for accounting, invoicing, scheduling payments, accepting payments, and managing payroll. It is specifically designed for small businesses, and they use simple, easy to understand language. There is no cost to use Wave; the software is free. There is a charge for some additional services, like credit card processing.
EMSplus is a service that allows you to accept payments via credit card on your phone or other device. It also enables you to send invoices for payments. There are no monthly fees but there is a small transaction fee every time you accept a payment.
Harvest offers an way to track your time and expenses online. You can create time-sheets, and see how you are allocating your time to specific tasks or projects. You can use it as an individual or as a team. The basic plan (for one person) is free, a more comprehensive plan costs $12 per month.
If your business requires scheduling employees to work different shifts, check out Deputy. It lets you create calendars and time-sheets, assign tasks, and more. Pricing starts at $2.50 per user per month.
Expensify can help figure out how to report your business expenses. You can use this service to scan receipts, compile your expenses in one place, and create expense reports. It is free for individuals and $5 per month for small teams.
Paypal enables you to accept and make payments online. They offer a variety of ways to collect money, including through mobile card readers. They have a version that is free as well as an option with more features that costs $30 a month.
Freshbooks offers a way to do your accounting online. You can use this service to track your income and expenses, create invoices, track your time, generate business reports, and accept credit card payments (and more). A lite version of this service costs $15 per month.
Quickbooks offers a way to do your accounting online. You can use this service to track income and sales, pay vendors, send invoices, and figure out your taxes. Their service costs $5 per month for freelancers, and $7 a month for a basic small invoice plan.
If your business has paid employees, Sure Payroll provides a way to streamline that process: they pay employees by direct deposit automatically, help file taxes, and provide human resources. Their prices vary (for a very small business, it would be in the range of $30/month).
iFundWomen is a crowdfunding platform for women-led startups and small businesses. They also provide coaching on crowdfunding, a helpful guide to crowdfunding, and support in creating a crowdfunding video.
Not only do they offer a way for you to create a crowdfunding campaign, but they reinvest 20% of profits into the campaigns on their platform. They also offer a helpful guide to creating a crowdfunding campaign, as well as crowdfunding coaching and support with producing videos for your campaign.
SCORE provides you free business mentoring and advice. They also offer educational webinars, courses on demand, and a library of resources with guides and helpful articles. Connect with SCORE in your community or online at www.score.org.
Square allows you to accept credit cards payments on your phone or mobile device. They also have an app that allows you to see a dashboard of your transactions, so you can see sales reports in real time. There is no cost to sign up, but there is a small transaction fee.
If your business has multiple employees who work remotely, TSheets offers a way for them to track their time, clock in and clock out, and get alerts and reminders about breaks and overtime (and more). It is free if your business only has one user. There is a $20 base fee plus $8 per user fee per month, if your business manages between 2-99 employees.
Offers free business plan templates, as well as a variety of free tools including a small business toolkit, resources for pitching and funding your business, and numerous templates and tools.
Annuity.org offers a basic resource on financial literacy. It explains how to borrow, spend and save money, and includes helpful facts to help determine if your financial planning is on track.
Hello Alice uses AI technology to curate tools, resources, events and opportunities based on stage of business, and they believe in inclusivity for women and minorities. They also run a 12 week virtual accelerator.
“Tips to Get a Bank Loan” is a video featuring Kate Putnam from our partner, Career Girls.
“Create a Budget” is a video featuring Karin Schmitz from our partner, Career Girls.
“Becoming Financially Savvy” is a video featuring Alicia Masse from our partner, Career Girls.
WESST is a non-profit organization that supports small business owners in New Mexico, which focuses on supporting low-income women and minorities. The support they offer includes loans, trainings, and technical support.
“What Type of Person Makes a Good Analyst” is a video featuring Eliza Sorise-Sawyers from our partner, Career Girls.