From Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to General Motors’ Mary Barra, more and more women are earning top leadership positions.

It’s clear that women have come a long way since the Mad Men era. But, women still hold a mere 14.6 percent of executive officer positions. And this pattern continues with women entrepreneurs and small business owners, especially when it comes to raising capital. According to the “Kauffman Firm Survey,” men start firms with nearly twice the capital that women do. On top of that, only 4.4 percent of the total dollar value of all small-business loans goes to women.

So why does the funding gap still plague women entrepreneurs today? It could be that women are more risk-averse. When starting my business, I always took more calculated risks than blind leaps of faith and funding seemed chancey. Asking for money is also a touchy subject that never feels comfortable. Women could also fear that committing to funding cycles will take time away from family.

Despite the hurdles widening the funding gap, every entrepreneur needs capital to sustain a business. As a woman entrepreneur, don’t let these start statistics deter you from actively seeking funding.

Women Entrepreneurs Overcoming the Funding Gap

Here are five tips for getting the funding you need to succeed:

1. Broaden your funding horizons.

Raising capital doesn’t always have to be in the form of venture capital or equity financing. There are many wonderful options out there, including bank loans, crowdfunding, lines of credit and Small Business Administration loans. Educate yourself on the variety of available funding sources to find out which one suits your needs best.

2. Network with others.

Entrepreneurs who build a strong network have a greater amount of resources and insight into funding opportunities. There are many women networking organizations, such as Ellevate, that support business growth, provide financial advice and offer mentorship opportunities. Make a concerted effort to connect with powerful businesswomen, and if you’re in a position to mentor somebody else, step up and do it.

Continue reading 5 Ways Women Entrepreneurs Can Overcome the Funding Gap.

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