The Restigouche CBDC is proud to present this package of tools and resources, developed for people who work as BUSINESS LOAN AGENTS within financial lending institutions.
These tools and resources were developed to provide Business Loan Agents with opportunities to increase their understanding and awareness regarding access to business financing for women entrepreneurs, and to provide practical tips and strategies to address identified challenges.
Research suggests that female entrepreneurs face more barriers* to accessing financing compared to their male counterparts. At the same time, women are increasingly becoming business owners.
The strategies contained within the tools in this package create a “win‑win” situation for lending institutions and their business clients.
How to use the tools and resources
You can use the tools in the order in which they are presented in the Table of Contents, or, you could use the tools according to the different topics as you want. Ideally, it is most effective to start with the first three tools: Tool #1 (this Introduction), then Tool #2 (Understanding Stereotypes*), followed by Tool #3 (Self-Evaluation).
The tools vary in length. Generally, each tool should take no more than one hour to review, and some will take much less than one hour.
Words identified with an Asterisk * are defined in the Glossary (Tool #8).
In this document, you will find information and short exercises for people who work in financial lending institutions. This tool can be used independently by one person, or it can be used with a group of co-workers to stimulate discussion and to further increase understanding about lending practices in your workplace. This resource is designed to complement the more in-depth “Gender-Based Analysis Plus” (GBA+) online resource developed by Status of Women Canada (SWC).
TOOLS & RESSOURCES FOR LENDERS
WOMEN IN BUSINESS AND MATERNITY
This document has been developed for loan agents whose female business clients are considering having children and have questions regarding their options as entrepreneurs.
Not all women entrepreneurs who have children will have challenges related to their having children. However, when a business client is looking for information on options regarding maternity leave, the material in this document could prove helpful. This information enables you to provide value-added services to your clients. Ultimately, providing this support creates “win-win” results for you and your clients.
(NOTE: much of the information in this document can also be used when you have a male client who is becoming a father.)
In this document you will find definitions and examples on the topic of “stereotypes”. The intent is to provide an opportunity to help increase understanding, including how to become aware of one’s own attitudes and biases. There is also a quick exercise at the end to encourage reflection. This is a simple resource tool, designed to be complementary to the existing online “Gender-Based Analysis Plus” (GBA+) resource developed by Status of Women Canada (SWC).
In this document you will find links to, and brief descriptions of, services available to New Brunswick entrepreneurs. These links and descriptions can prove useful when dealing with clients requesting services and information beyond the domain of your lending institution.
In this document you will find information, scenarios and thought-provoking questions regarding communications. This tool has been developed for people who work in financial-lending institutions. Its purpose is to increase understanding and awareness regarding potential barriers that can exist when women entrepreneurs apply for business loans. Tips and strategies are provided to address these barriers. This tool can be used independently by one person, or it can be used with a group of co-workers to stimulate discussion. Both methods are meant to increase understanding about services for your business clients.
In addition to the suggestions that have been mentioned in the previous tools in this package, there are many other ways that you can help increase women’s access to business financing.
We have listed in this document a number of additional tips and strategies that you as a loan agent could consider. These additional suggestions could further benefit your business clients and your financial lending programs. These are “win-win” strategies that can increase your potential for profitable lending to women-owned businesses.
This document provides definitions of many words and terms used within the other documents in this package. This Glossary is designed as a helpful tool for understanding the meaning of different expressions and situations.
This INTRODUCTION section provides an overview of the entire package of tools and resources. The package was developed for people who work in financial lending institutions, to provide information regarding access to business financing for women entrepreneurs, and to provide practical tips and strategies to address some identified challenges/ barriers. This INTRODUCTION section includes information such as: why these tools were created, how the tools can be used, and details about the barriers that the tools are intended to address.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS AND MATERNITY
Tips and Suggestions for women
For women entrepreneurs, who are planning on having children, are pregnant, or already have children.
The following are some tips and suggestions we gathered during our research and in consultations with women business owners. These women shared with us suggestions they found helpful in running a business and having children.
Bank of Montreal
''I was very impressed by the practical coverage of what can feel like a sensitive subject. Great job!''
''Great awareness tools! By better understanding the barriers, it will help us build better relationships and gain more trust from our client''
NB Association of CBDCs
Women in Business Initiative
''These tools are a mix of different elements, they're user friendly and can be used as a great learning tool. We will use them as orientation documents with our employees.''
To help us better target needs and evaluate our tools, we would appreciate if you could answer this small questionnaire after reading / using the tools and resources. Thank you!
Questionnaire for Business Loan Agents/Financial institutions:
For Women Entrepreneurs: