Finding financial support for your business can be difficult. Alberta Women Entrepreneurs wants to help you start, enhance, and grow your business. This includes ensuring you are connected to the people and the resources you need at all stages of business growth, which is why we offer small business loans to women-owned businesses in Alberta. You may qualify with us, even if you don’t qualify with other lenders.
Please note that we do not offer a grant program.
About our Loans Program
AWE is a non-profit, business plan lender and our lending decision is strongly tied to our assessment of the viability of your business plan (economic viability, marketing strategies, competition in the marketplace and financial projections). We also consider the economic impact of the business in terms of job creation and future growth.
Our loans differ from those you may receive from a traditional lender. We offer:
- Loans of $30,000 - $150,000* for Alberta women
- Loans for market-ready start-ups, business expansion projects, and business purchases
- Loans for leaseholds, equipment, operating capital, and more
- Flexible repayment options and terms of up to 5 years
- Competitive interest rates – Prime +3%
- No penalties for early repayment and no charges for annual renewal fees
Loan administration fee is 1% of the amount loaned to a maximum of $500.
*If you require funding of more than $150,000, we attempt to partner with other lenders to meet your full borrowing requirements.
How do I qualify?
For basic eligibility you must:
- Be a woman who owns and operates at least 51% of a business that is registered and located in the province of Alberta
- Reside in the province of Alberta
- Have a minimum credit score of 650
- Contribute a minimum or have contributed a minimum of 25% owner equity on total project costs
- Contribute a minimum of 30% security on the loan. This amount differs depending on the size, risk, and purpose of the loan. The loan may require up to 100% security.
AWE cannot finance:
- Owner’s salary
- Re-financing existing debt
- Commission-based businesses, independent agents, or commissioned salespersons
- Pyramid-based businesses including network or multi-level marketing programs
- Franchise fees
- Speculative ventures (i.e. Purchase of land for resale, unpublished books, etc.)
- Business purchases that are solely share purchases
- Intangible goodwill (i.e. business name or reputation)
- Research and development
- Purchase of stocks, shares, or other non-productive investment
How do I apply?
Our loan application process is broken down into three stages: Pre-Application, Application, and Loan Committee Review. To learn more about each of these stages, click here.
Loan Redress/ Appeal Process
If a Loan Application is declined by Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and an applicant wishes to appeal the decision, the appeal must be made in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail and addressed to #308, 10310 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5J 2W4.
Appeals must include the following information:
- Full name
- Contact information
- Detailed reasoning for appeal
The appeal will be reviewed with AWE’s third party ombudsman. Following the review and recommendation of the ombudsman, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs will provide a written response to the appeal.