User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


19° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Business

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Women Struggle To Get Small Business Loans

August 11, 2014, 10:10 PM by Angela Kennecke

Women Struggle To Get Small Business Loans
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Women-owned businesses are among the fastest growing in the country — especially in South Dakota.  However, a new congressional report found women only get four percent of all small business loans.

Sanaa Abourezk has a master's degree in nutrition and has trained under famous European chefs so when she had an idea to open her own Mediterranean restaurant nearly 11 years ago, she didn't think it would be difficult to borrow the money.

"I thought, 'Oh, I have this wonderful idea. People will just run to give me a loan,'" Abourezk said.

Abourezk quickly discovered that wasn’t the case.  She finally did get a loan, but she had to put everything she owned as collateral and that's not all. 

"And that's the most upsetting, my husband had to co-sign. I'm not equal with the man in their mind, so my husband had to co-sign the loan," Abourezk said.

Abourezk expected a different outcome when she went in for a second loan to expand her business.  She'd paid off her loan early and made a profit every year, but that didn't seem to matter to the banks.

"I tried every single bank in town until I found the one that gave me (the loan).  But I did apply to all of them," Abourezk said. And still, her husband had to co-sign.

"I proved myself. It's my sweat. It's my hard work; not my husband's," Abourezk said.

And it's not just business loans.  Twenty years ago, the federal government set a goal of giving women-owned businesses five percent of government contracts; it's never met that goal.  And women lose out on some $4 billion a year because of it. 

"So we'd like to help open those doors--provide the necessary referrals to our SBA partners who might be able to help with that," Director Helen Merriman said.

The only women's business center in South Dakota, The Center for Enterprise Opportunity, is trying to help women get government contracts and loans.

"Most businesses fail in that first three to seven years without a lot of planning.  Everybody's passionate about what they want to do.  But that passion needs to be converted into really a strategic plan," Merriman said.

A good business plan is one key to getting a small business loan, but as Abourezk will tell you, it also takes not giving up when banks turn you down.

"You have to have an extremely strong business plan.  Be confident and you have to believe in your business--whatever you're doing and just go after it, over and over," Abourezk said.

It's that determination that has led Abourezk to not only a successful restaurant, but three cookbooks, a product line in stores and future plans to franchise her business. 

The Center for Enterprise Opportunity is holding its first Women's Business Conference on the eastern side of the state Friday, September 12 to help women start and grow their businesses.

Yankton Women's Business Conference: September 12

Deadwood Women's Business Conference: October 24

SD CEO documents.pdf

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





Sponsored
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View business

You may also like

The City's Largest Construction Project Will Impact Thousands

3/2/2015 5:04 PM

It's being billed as the city's largest construction project this year at a cost of just under $9 million and it's going to impact thousan...

Full Story | Watch
Whiffer's Sandwiches Back Open For Business

3/2/2015 4:00 PM

Whiffer's Sandwiches is serving up lunch on Minnesota Avenue again.

Full Story
Costco Citigroup Partnership To Have Impact On Citibank In Sioux Falls

3/3/2015 2:45 PM

Costco is switching credit card company partnerships and that is going to have an impact on Citibank in Sioux Falls.  

Full Story
Great Western Bank To Close Two Sioux Falls Branches

3/4/2015 12:57 PM

Great Western Bank is closing its branches in the Walmart store on South Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls and at the Western Mall at the end of the month.

Full Story
Target Plans $2B In Cost-Cutting Moves

3/3/2015 3:20 PM

Target Corp. plans $2 billion in cost cuts over the next two years through corporate restructuring and other improvements.

Full Story


Events