Women-owned businesses are integral to accomplishing national and regional goals of economic welfare and job creation. Since a key concern for women entrepreneurs continues to be access to capital, this paper reported on research designed to investigate women entrepreneurs and their access to debt financing from commercial lenders. The research utilized the Surveys of Financing of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises administered across Canada during the fall of 2001 and 2002. The research showed that the gender of the SME ownership team does not affect either loan turndown rates or rates of loan application. The research does show a significant gender difference in the length of lender-borrower relationships. Even when controlling for age of the firm, the study showed that male SME owners have significantly longer relationships with lenders—suggesting that male entrepreneurs may benefit more from relationships with their lenders than do female entrepreneurs.

Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Sprott School of Business

Madill, J.J. (Judith J.), Riding, A.L, & Haines, G.H. (George H.). (2006). Women Entrepreneurs: Debt Financing and Banking Relationships. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 19(2), 121–142. doi:10.1080/08276331.2006.10593363