If you thought that obtaining a business loan would be easy and simple, think again. The application process is typically quite slow as lenders require a large number of documents and additional clarifications. And it’s said that especially if you’re a woman it can be challenging.

Although one would wonder why as having women as leaders in business is needed for diverse viewpoints resulting in better, more creative solutions to business issues. Women on average are skilled communicators which is something that’s needed in the highly competitive information age.

As good, clear communication is critical to generate revenue, control expense, manage top talent and build a loyal customer base. And business is about building relationships and women instinctively care about building relationships and are natural networkers.

Well if you’re a business women with the skills and expertise to make a success of your business look no further than Absa, which is enabling entrepreneurial women through its Absa Women Empowerment Fund. If your loan application has been turned down because you did not have enough security then you may be eligible for finance through their Fund, subject to your business’ ability to repay the loan.

There’s also Government’s Isivande Women’s Fund (IWF) an exclusive fund that aims to accelerate women’s economic empowerment by providing more affordable, usable and responsive finance than is currently available. It also assists with support services to enhance the success of businesses. Apply if your business has at least been in operations for 6 months where you can receive funding between the values of R30 000 to R2 million.

While the Women Entrepreneurial Fund (WEF) has been established by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to increase access to entrepreneurial finance for marginalised groups in South Africa, prompted by the realisation that race and gender remain important variables in the ability of entrepreneurs to access finance.

And the Business Partners Limited Women in Business Fund aims to increase access to finance for women entrepreneurs affording women entrepreneurs a fair and equal opportunity to start, expand or purchase an existing business.