I-WE Newsflash (1).jpg
  • SB 1235, Truth in Lending Bill

  • Washington D.C. 

  • Bank of America's Women Business Owner Spotlight

  • Anita Gardyne and Funding for Women

  • Fund Your Dreams Training - Baltimore October 18-20

  • Further Reading


Entrepreneurs need financing and most need it yesterday. So when an internet search offers new business owners quick ways to access small or large amount in funding, it's easy to be tempted. Last year the California Department of Business Oversight analyzed many of these alternative, online lenders, reporting that many have hidden unusually high interest rates and fees, some going as high as 300%.

California State Senator Steve Glazer proposed SB 1235, a bill that requires all lenders to lay out their loan terms in a way that new business owners can understand, so that the financing costs are clear. I-WE partners CAMEO and Small Business Majority advocated for the bill. Thanks to Blanca Blomquist from Small Business Majority, and Carolina Martinez and Heidi Pickman from CAMEO for their successful efforts! The bill passed vote on Friday September 1 and now heads to the Governor's desk.


Claudia and Steering Committee member Faith Bautista, CEO of the National Asian American Coalition, recently did a quick trip to DC together.  While Faith met with her CDFI Advisory Council colleagues, Claudia checked in with Kathy McShane, Director of SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership, who has agreed to keynote at Jenny Kassan's October 18 crowdfunding for women conference in Baltimore, Fund and Fuel Your Dreams. They will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of HR 5050 that day, the legislation that created OWBO and allowed women to sign for their own loans without a male co-signer. Interestingly, women are more successful with crowdfunding campaigns than men, due in part to their need to rely on strong social networks and the persistent lack of bank financing. It's called "working it....."

Claudia also met with Candace Waterman, the new CEO of WIPP, who offered to include our questions on women's business financing needs in her annual member survey of thousands of Women Business Enterprises (WBEs).  We will use this data to encourage lenders to create products to meet these needs. Candace is a dynamic leader and we are proud to have her in our Sphere of Influencers!  

Shout out to both Katie Vlietstra (NASE) and Barbara Robles (Federal Reserve Board) for their insights, support and connections as we build this movement. As Barbara said, "what is not measured, does not exist." Economists do not "see" self-employed, home-based, non employers as true businesses, contributing to the economy. They don't understand how these enterprises are actually creating employment through the 1099s issued to other contract workers. We at I-WE rely on the data produced by Emergent Research to balance the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and we will continue to aggregate various studies in order to shine a light on the economic impact of women businesses in this sector.


Bank of America published their 2018 Women Business Owner Spotlight report, with 84% of respondents saying that access to capital for women has improved in the past decade. However 68% reported that it is more difficult for them, than for men, to secure financing. A large proportion expressed that reducing gender disparity in financing would have the most impact. This tracks with the data from the Federal Reserve's annual Survey of Women's Business Credit Needs which showed that 26% of women sought alternative financing, e.g. online lenders. 

It is interesting to note that 24% of those surveyed cited more education for women would help increase access to capital. This indicates the need for more business training and technical assistance.  Heads up SBA Administrator Linda McMahon! In California two years ago, a million dollars in TA funding leveraged $200 million in new loans. Just imagine how many women businesses and local economies would benefit if our Women's Business Centers had more funding for this purpose.


When African American women represent a tiny fraction of startup CEOs, and raising $1 million in capital is a longshot for any CEO, Anita Gardyne is truly the exception to the rule. With decades of experience in the tech world and a relentless appetite for networking, Anita has distinguished herself as one of very few women of color at the helm of a successful start-up, Oneva. Stay tuned for an upcoming I-WE feature about how Anita was able to beat the odds by obtaining this level of funding, and her advice for other women fighting the uphill battle to build a business.


In Baltimore on October 18-20 Jenny Kassan, I-WE Steering Committee Member, crowdfunding maven, and author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul will be hosting a three day training on how to fund and grow your business. Gain insights into how to identify your needs, find ideal investors, and create a plan that works for you. Mention you were referred by Claudia Viek for an additional 20% discount at


In gratitude,