Westpac announced new measures to help female-led SMBs with dedicated start-up and scale-up loans, as research reveals accessing finance is one of the main challenges for women in business
Australian banking corporation Westpac has declared its ongoing commitment to back more women in business with the new support measures, including dedicated start-up and scale-up loans.
The new initiative is part of the total $500 million program to help female-led small businesses to start or grow. They will include:
- Start-up loans. Unsecured $10,000 – $50,000 loans with terms of up to three years for female-led businesses that have operated for less than 12 months. The applicants need to provide a sound business plan and budget projections to access funding, instead of the two years of financials required for a standard loan of this type.
- Scale-up loans. Secured and unsecured loans between $10,000 and $1 million with terms of up to three years aimed at existing businesses willing to grow. The requirements for these businesses are less than three years of operations and one year of financials.
Westpac Group Chief Executive, Consumer & Business Banking, Chris de Bruin, admitted that businesses established by women are still underrepresented in Australia. Thus, women represent around 36% of Australian small business owners. Moreover, the bank’s recent research revealed that accessing finance is one of the primary and most pressing challenges faced by female business owners.
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