Women business owners are an economic powerhouse contributing millions of jobs and trillions of dollars to the US economy. Yet, history has shown that women entrepreneurs faced greater obstacles compared to men in their quest to obtain credit and secure investments. Inequities in today’s financial landscape remain and are often exacerbated by financial institutions in their methods for determining creditworthiness.Israeli financial technology company Fundbox has released a new research report called “What If”, that chronicles the historical challenges female-business owners have faced in accessing a business line of credit. Fundbox, dedicated to simplifying the way businesses pay and get paid, claims that new data-driven underwriting models are helping to close the gender credit gap.The report concludes with Fundbox’s own empirical data demonstrating that transaction-focused risk models help reduce access-to-credit friction for women, where traditional underwriting processes are challenged.Despite the challenges that female-business owners face, the report concludes that there are newer, more data-driven methods that can diminish bias and level the playing field so that women and men are treated fairly.“At Fundbox, we believe in the importance of financial inclusion. All business owners deserve fair and equal access to credit,” said Sebastian Rymarz, Chief Business Officer of Fundbox. “Our goal with this research project was to highlight the fact that women entrepreneurs continue to face significant challenges when applying for credit. Thankfully, advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are helping to close the gender credit gap and, we’re proud to be part of that much needed wave of change.”The “What If” report is based on a curated assemblage of objective and respected research from government, nonprofit organizations and academic sources. These include the US Census Bureau, the US Department of Commerce, the US Senate Committee, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the National Women’s Law Center, the Kauffman Foundation, the Urban Institute, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.Since the company’s founding in 2012, it has raised $140 million from a blue-chip group of investors led by Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Spark Growth Capital and Jeff Bezos.