CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Welcome to Verve Beauty in the historic Dilworth area of Charlotte. “This is our 12th year here!,” says owner Verbena McIlwaine. She is the owner, whose salon caters to the needs of both women and men. She says getting to the point of having an established business and clientele didn’t happen overnight.
“It was a process. Years of building upon what I needed to do to open the doors," says Verbena.
Here to help with that process is The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte. In it’s 2 1/2 years in existence they’ve seen an explosion of women wanting to be their own boss. The center’s free training and resources help with just that.
“So at this point I’ve seen about 395 clients. We provide over 100 training workshops throughout the year, so we’ve done about 200 training workshops. We trained at least 6,000 entrepreneurs in some facet,” says Natalie Williams, Executive Director of The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte.
So it’s maybe no surprise North Carolina is a hot spot for women to start a business. When it comes to finding a loan to get your business off the ground, sadly, women face a bigger struggle than their male counterparts.
“There was an article I was reading that said men have a hard time trusting women being in a business role, being in a leadership role” Williams said, in response to being asked why it’s so hard for women to get loans.
Still today, we still struggle with being accepted in those particular type of roles, being the leader, being the owner of a business.
“I was approved for a line of credit. That’s how I was able to purchase the equipment, everything I need to build this business,” says McIlwaine about her lending experience.
But Williams says you won’t get there if you have any “doubt and fear.”
Not having a solid business plan, is also something Williams says can get in the way in the loan process and The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte specializes in helping women prepare a solid plan.