Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > Trying to Access Capital for Your Startup? New Search Tool Helps Women Entrepreneurs Find Funding Sources

Trying to Access Capital for Your Startup? New Search Tool Helps Women Entrepreneurs Find Funding Sources

January 31, 2023

Jan. 27, 2023
Marie Leech

Accessing capital can be a daunting task for any entrepreneur, but it is especially hard for women, who received just 2.4 percent of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the U.S. in 2021, data shows.

Now, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Seneca Women have teamed up to expand a database designed to help underserved entrepreneurs learn about available sources of funding, including equity, debt and grant capital.

The Bank of America Access to Capital Directory now includes standalone sections specifically designed for women entrepreneurs, as well as Hispanic-Latino and Black entrepreneurs.

“It puts at your fingertips hundreds of organizations providing funding for businesses owned by women entrepreneurs, Black entrepreneurs and Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs across the U.S.,” the site states.

In the last few years, a variety of new sources of funding have sprung up – many of which are specifically targeted to women, according to Bank of America.

The directory is searchable through keywords, such as the name of a source of capital you’ve heard of, or a characteristic of the type of funding you’re seeking. There is also a pull-down menu to indicate the type of capital you are seeking (equity, grant or loans, for instance). The site is also searchable by the amount of capital you are seeking.

Types of funding found in the directory include:

  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs): Typically, nonprofit loan funds and/or grants that provide capital, mentoring and financial advice to small businesses.
  • Venture Capital and Angel Investors: This form of private investment equity includes individuals and firms typically looking to invest in startup companies with long-term growth potential.
  • Grants: Awards given by the government, foundations, corporations or individuals, which under most conditions do not require repayment.
  • Loan Funds: Secured and unsecured term loans and lines of credit from non-bank corporations, investment funds, nonprofit organizations and other nonbank institutions.
  • Crowdfunds: The use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture, made accessible through social media and crowdfunding websites. Crowdfunds help expand the pool of investors beyond the traditional circle of owners, relatives and venture capitalists.