"Women entrepreneurs face many obstacles, access to capital being the biggest and the most common," Tory Burch, founder of the Tory Burch Foundation, told CNBC Make It via email. "I was incredibly fortunate — we were able to launch after a personal investment and one round of fundraising. This, of course, is not the case for most women."
In 2018, 40 percent of privately held firms in the U.S. were women-owned, according to the American Express 2018 State of Women-Owned Business Report. Still, just 2 percent of venture capital dollars went to female founders last year, according to Pitchbook.
"This has to change," said Burch. "It takes more than a great idea and determination to start a business; it takes resources."
More than 2,500 women business owners have received $46 million in loans through the program over the past five years. Over 90 percent of the businesses receiving capital through the program are still in business and current on their loan repayment.