Women-owned businesses are increasingly important to the U.S. economy in terms of numbers of firms owned, revenues and employment. Despite the growing role of female-owned business, the ownership, growth and size of female-owned firms is lower than that of male-owned firms. Differences in access to capital have been one reason attributed as an obstacle to women launching and growing small firms. This paper presents the results of an empirical study that examines differences between use of bootstrap financing between female- and male-owned small firms. Research on the use of bootstrap financing among small firms is limited. The findings show that bootstrap finance methods were similar among female and male owned small firms. However, differences were found relative to age, education, sales and overdraft privileges. The results have implications for female entrepreneurs, support persons or agencies and government agencies providing assistance. Female owners should become more informed about financing options available beyond the traditional sources of capital. During periods of declining sales, especially during recessionary periods, female owners may rely on bootstrap sources to supplement capital needs, as well as proactively developing contingency plans for accessing bootstrap capital. These policies could be incorporated into training programs for female business owners. Educators and consultants could help female owners better understand financing alternatives and the importance if developing contingency plans. Government policy may be able to alleviate capital shortages through programs that better inform female entrepreneurs about the capital acquisition process.