As any small business owner knows, especially women-owned businesses, raising capital can be a challenge. Finding the right lender, navigating funding applications, and developing a plan to put those funds to use can be completely exhausting, leaving you wishing you could find a lender who just gets you and your business.

At WBENC, we understand these challenges, which is why our LIFT Financial Center of Excellence is constantly searching for new funding opportunities to share with our network. Last month WBENC LIFT featured another access to capital education and funding series Macy’s Inc. S.P.U.R. Pathways: Access Capital to Propel Growth.

Macy’s Inc and Momentous Capital have come together through the new Macy’s Inc S.P.U.R Pathways program to provide capital resources and mentorship opportunities specifically to underrepresented entrepreneurs who own at least 51% of their business.  Backed by over $200 million in funding, this partnership represents a unique opportunity for the WBENC network to secure funding from an organization that was built to fit the specific needs of WBE’s. During the July session Macy’s Inc. and Momentous Capital shared an overview of this new program, how WBEs can access this capital resource, and how to ensure capital readiness.

Access to Capital and Eligibility

Macy’s S.P.U.R Pathways offers a combination of loans and investments designed to meet the needs of any small business, regardless of where they are at in their funding journey. In summary, there are four options when applying for capital with S.P.U.R. Pathways: small business loans, working capital loans, commercial real estate loans and impact investments.

While there is a preference for lending to companies that specialize in retail or retail services, funding is still available for businesses outside these sectors and all businesses who meet the criteria outlined above are encouraged to apply. If approved, beyond receiving capital for your business, businesses may also be selected to receive additional mentorship and guidance from advisors at Momentus Capital.

Key Considerations for Applying for Funding

Before applying for funding, it is important to consider the factors that may have an impact on your ability to obtain capital, such as your credit score, current interest rates, or years in business. Many WBE’s can be concerned that a lack of credit or lack of experience would prevent them from being considered as a candidate for funding. While it is true factors such as your credit score do hold weight in lending decisions, it is important to note that your score is just one of many factors that will be taken into consideration while making a lending decision and a low score will not always result in a denied application.

Similar to a low credit score, a limited number of years in business may also have an impact on your ability to obtain funding. Traditional lenders will generally require 2-3 years of financial statements. For many entrepreneurs who may be just beginning their entrepreneurial journey, bootstrapping by utilizing a crowdfunding platform, asking friends and family, applying for grants, or dipping into savings can help your business establish a positive track record to purse a loan in the future.

Interest rates are an additional area of uncertainty when applying for capital. While financing at a higher than typical rate is a valid concern for any business owner, it is important to note that interest will always be a factor. Business owners should be strategic in how they factor the cost of capital into their operating expenses. An infusion of capital can ultimately lead to greater growth in your business, offsetting the cost of your interest-related expenses. While it is understandable that interest rates may factor into a decision to apply for a loan, they should not prevent a business owner from sourcing the funds needed for the continuation or growth of their business.


WBENC LIFT understands the access to capital challenges women-owned business face. Our goal is to empower you with the capital connections and support needed to successfully scale your business. If you are interested in learning how to apply for funding or how you can level up your business to become more capital ready, reach out to the LIFT team ( We look forward to finding ways to support you and your business.

Learn More about Macy’s Inc S.P.U.R Pathways