There are certain perks to being a woman-owned business. Some I knew about — such as when companies are looking to diversify their suppliers and reserve certain contracts and jobs for businesses run by women. But some I'm just now learning about — such as the ability to access interest-free cash.
After a post I wrote a few weeks ago with tips for women looking for small-business loans, Jeffrey Rogers of the small business lending company Lift Forward in Manhattan reached out to me.
His company offers women business owners loans of up to $5,000 that are interest-free for 30 days. Plus, he will provide a free assessment of their business, identify challenges and offer advice on how to be successful.
"It's to give them a little boost. One thing we can see over time is that in general women are successful, so it's a segment that for us is important. And also, for us, it's a growing segment," Rogers told me.
Although he is based in Manhattan, his firm works with businesses throughout the Northeast, and New Jersey is a big focal point for that future growth.
"We like them to be in business fro at least six months to a year, and they have just gotten to a point where they need cash because they're expanding. They're actually going into a larger store, they need more equipment," Rogers said of prospective clients. "And they also would appreciate some help and some direction in forecasting and growing within their means."
Before I let Rogers off the phone, I asked for a sampling of some of that advice for women business owners. Here's what he had to say:
"The key to success is to try to spend time and meet people that have done it. They'd be surprised how many successful — whether they be women or just successful business people in general — will sit down and offer mentorship. Never turn down mentorship and just be open to learn and change. And also work hard," he said. "I mean, small businesses, they're not easy, especially if it's a product that hasn't been around for a long time, so you need a lot of hard work."
For more information on Lift Forward, click here.