New York City has good news for women entrepreneurs struggling to fund their businesses: it’s just teamed up with Goldman Sachs and other partners to launch WE Credit, a new program that provides loans to hundreds of women throughout the City.
Introduced this week (March 6), WE Credit will help up to 250 women obtain lines of credit without having to put themselves at financial risk.
To qualify, participants need one year of business experience and a minimum of $50,000 in revenue—requirements that are far easier to meet than traditional underwriting standards.
Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program is providing $5 million to finance lines of credit. The NYC Economic Development Corp. and Squarespace are each providing $500,000 to cover potential loan defaults. Fundation, a credit-solutions provider, is providing the platform for women to access and manage their lines of credit.
The campaign is the newest addition to WE NYC (Women Entrepreneurs NYC), the City’s platform that’s connected women entrepreneurs with approximately $2 million in capital since 2017.
“Through this partnership, we are proud to expand the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses commitment to ensure local women entrepreneurs have access to the capital they need so that they, and our communities, can succeed,” said Margaret Anadu, Managing Director and Head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.
Thanks to that support, women entrepreneurs in New York City have begun to scale persistently high barriers to funding. According to a report released by the City, 70% of women entrepreneurs say it’s a challenge to obtain capital to start and grow their companies. As a result, many put themselves into debt by turning to predatory lenders or personal credit cards to get the cash they need.
“Despite small businesses serving as a hub for community vitality, economic growth, and quality job creation in neighborhoods across New York, many women entrepreneurs still have difficulty accessing the funding they need to grow their businesses,” said Margaret Anadu, Managing Director and Head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.
“Through this partnership, we are proud to expand the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses commitment to ensure local women entrepreneurs have access to the capital they need so that they, and our communities, can succeed. We are excited to play our part in addressing this long-standing challenge,” Anadu added.
Former Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said, “Easy access to an affordable line of credit can be the difference between a business thriving or folding. With WE Credit, we are leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs who historically lack the same support as men to grow their businesses.”
Women-owned businesses in New York City generate a whopping $50 billion a year in revenue annually and employ over 190,000. Eliminating gender-based barriers to credit and other resources creates a “win-win” for the City, as well, said Faye Penn, Executive Director of women.nyc, the one-stop platform for women to find financial, legal, and other available resources to thrive financially.
“For far too long, women of all backgrounds have notoriously struggled with access to affordable lines of credit,” Penn said. “We are proud to be sparking change in the greatest city in the world through the introduction of WE Credit. Thank you to all of our funding partners for backing such an important program that will uplift female entrepreneurs and give them the resources they need.”