Continuous Financial Education for Women Small Business Owners

FICO-hosted panel at NAWBO’s 2022 Advocacy Days discusses how financial education impacts access to capital and business growth for small businesses.

In June, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussing credit access and financial education for women small business owners at the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Advocacy Day events in DC. The panel, supported by our Score A Better Future (SABF) program, was moderated by Marsha Barnes, Founder and CEO of The Finance Bar. Karen Bennetts, of NAWBO and Owner & Founder of Little Red Bird, and Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg, vice president for Government Relations and Public Affairs of NASE, also joined me on the panel.

Prior to the panel, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22), was kind enough to participate in a fireside chat on women entrepreneurship (as she is an entrepreneur herself) and financial health.

During the panel itself, we discussed a range of topics, including the importance of understanding how FICO Scores work, and the difference between personal and business financial credit – specifically for small businesses. It should be noted that while a strong business credit profile could help qualify for better financing, many lenders will still check the business owners’ personal credit management before issuing a loan.

Your personal credit and financial history matters. 75% of small business owners use their own personal credit to get started. There is a main asset that entrepreneurs use to start up their business and qualify for a small business loan. Banks use a small business score, which is a combination of your personal credit and Dun & Bradstreet credit, to track how the small business is accomplishing their payment history. The two combined is what tends to be used actively.

The financial health and management of a small business continuous process, we also provided resources to all NAWBO members on how to access free financial  education and counseling through our SABF program and partnership with Operation HOPE. These resources offer business owners tools to improve financial literacy, take control of finances and progress life goals. To learn more about SABF and to access financial management education resources and tools, visit

We interviewed several attendees at the event. Visit our Instagram to hear what they had to say:


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