Business resources for women in banks and credit unions

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March is the month of women’s history, and to celebrate this, NerdWallet takes a moment to highlight the current state of women in business. Since we live in a world that has not yet achieved social and economic equality, it is not surprising that women and minorities still occupy an unequal position in the economy. However, this should not be taken as evidence that women and minorities do not contribute to the US economy. An October 2010 report of the US Department of Commerce found that in 2007 nearly 30% of all non-agricultural, private US companies were owned by women. These companies had sales / revenues of $ 1.2 trillion for that year. Between 1997 and 2007, female-owned businesses grew twice as fast as male-owned businesses, and between 1997 and 2002, minority-owned businesses grew faster than businesses run by non-minority women. However, women-owned companies tend to be smaller than men-owned companies and represent a much smaller percentage of total sales and employment.

Banks and savings banks support women in business

This Department of Commerce report emphasizes that many women start out with less capital than men and are less likely to take on additional debt to fund their businesses. You are also more likely to start yourself and avoid outside financing. These are important factors to consider and they indicate the practicality and pragmatism of many women entrepreneurs, but they do not level the playing field. The report’s introduction ends with a call to improve national support for women owned businesses through better mentoring, increased information awareness, and networking. We can do this by empowering women who already have a business, and also by changing the way women-owned businesses look in the country.

To that end, we have found some specialized banks and credit unions that provide financial resources for women, including seminars, business loans, and networking meetings. They do their part to improve the position of women in the financial world.

Truth mom – Verity Credit Union (Seattle, WA)

Verity Credit Union has historically been recognized for its excellent blogs, but its Verity Mom blog has particular relevance to women in business. Danielle, a Seattle native mother, writes the blog. She posts about her own experiences as a mother and offers financial advice to Washington families. Danielle points out jobs that might appeal to mothers with less available hours, but more importantly, the blog provides a space for mothers of all beliefs to talk about themselves and network with other mothers across the country. Verity Credit Union has offices in Lynnwood, Auburn and Seattle, Washington. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, prays, or goes to school in Washington State.

Women’s finance group – National Bank of Arizona (Phoenix, AZ)

The National Bank of Arizona’s Women’s Financial Group is a forum for professional women dedicated to bringing women entrepreneurs together and helping them succeed. They offer banking products, securities services and workshops created by regional advisory boards with successful women entrepreneurs. The group is led by women who understand the unique challenges facing women entrepreneurs. Each program is designed to offer strategies and advice on how to empower women. The National Bank of Arizona has offices in more than 50 parishes in Arizona.

NAWBO networking – Old Plank Trail Community Bank (Mokena, IL)

The Old Plank Trail Community Bank hosts regular networking breakfasts with the National Association of Women Business Owners. Just last month the bank hosted a breakfast where speaker Bobi Siembieda explained the six key components of successful companies. The Old Plank Trail Community Bank has offices in Frankfort, Mokena, New Lenox, and Orland Park, Illinois.

Vital seminars for women – Del Norte Credit Union (Santa Fe, NM)

The Del Norte Credit Union offers half-day vitality seminars for women devoted to improving women’s well-being and financial health. The workshops are available year-round and include topics such as “Financial & Emotional Health” and “Stress Reduction Techniques” specially developed for working women. Del Norte Credit Union has offices in Española, Los Alamos, White Rock and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Everybody can participate. Visit the nearest branch location for more membership information.

Sponsor of the Women’s Business Summit – Bank of North Dakota (Bismarck, ND)

The Bank of North Dakota became the presenting partner of the 2012 Business summit for women. Held in Bismarck, North Dakota in October 2012, the summit celebrated National Women’s Business Week and provided two days of training, networking, business growth, personal development, and professional orientation. The summit helped bring together business women from across the state to create a support network for all working women. The Bank of North Dakota is based in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Commercial business loans – Florida Community Credit Union (Rockledge, FL)

Community Credit Union of Florida offers a range of lending options to businesses in their community. Throughout their history as a financial institution, they have been committed to supporting and investing in emerging and small businesses, especially those run by women or minorities. They work with your company and offer convenient, flexible services. The Community Credit Union of Florida has offices in Rockledge, Indian Harbor Beach, Melbourne, Cocoa, Titusville, and Viera, Florida. For information on membership eligibility, see Here.

Small Business Loan Fund – Nicolet National Bank (Green Bay, WI)

Nicolet National Bank has been participating in the Small Business Lending Fund since 2011. The fund was developed to support small businesses and specifically aims to help women and minority owned businesses. Nicolet National Bank has made a habit of helping local businesses during difficult economic times and they bring that mindset to the implementation of the fund. Nicolet National Bank has offices in Appleton, Green Bay, De Pere, Crivitz, Marinette, and Menominee, Wisconsin.

Seminar on financial management for women – American Heritage Federal Credit Union (Philadelphia, PA)

In September and October 2012, the American Heritage Federal Credit Union hosted a four-week series of seminars on financial management for women. The seminar covered topics such as “how to achieve future financial goals” and “how to get good credit”. The seminar was devoted to improving the financial situation of all women, both employed and inactive. The American Heritage Federal Credit Union has offices in Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties, Pennsylvania. Information on membership can be found Here.

Seminars for Women, Wisdom & Wealth – Advanced (Dallas, TX)

As part of its services to employer groups, Advancial offers employee finance seminars. One of her seminars on “Women, Wisdom & Wealth” aims to support women in preparing and planning their financial future. Advancial has offices in Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Jersey. For information on membership eligibility, see Here.

picture courtesy of Shutterstock.

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