Government Grants for Women
The Federal Government provides assistance to women in a number of ways. More than 800 government grants exist especially for women and people in the minority category. These grants assist women of The United States in several different ways. The help can be in the form of financial funds or other aids that could make women’s life easier. The government grants for women are available directly in the form of award money or are given indirectly through other established not for profit organizations.
Government Grants for Women Entrepreneurs
As of now in 2017, there are about 9.5 million businesses that have been started by women. These businesses provide employment to almost 8 million people. This is a clear indication of the impact that women entrepreneurs have on the country’s economy and growth.
Even though these facts are proven time and again, the truth is, inequality persists in the business sector. Minority women commonly experience gender discrimination.
To make sure that their business continues to grow without any hindrance, women entrepreneurs need financial help during various stages of their entrepreneurship journey.
Many women take up a loan to set up their business. It can take years to pay off the debt, depending on how well the business takes off. It’s a risk and an additional stress for a budding women entrepreneur. Women still choose to pick this route since they are unaware of the government business grants for women.
Of course this isn’t free money that’s waiting to be snatched up. It’s awarded to impressive people with innovative products/services. Private and government grants are often reserved for the country’s minority sector.
Applications are constantly pouring in for these free government grants for women and the procedure can often feel lengthy. However, if you’re truly passionate about your business and think it deserves the funding, this effort is nothing compared to the outcome you will achieve once you’re application is accepted and approved for the government grant.
The Federal Government provides funds both directly and indirectly to women entrepreneurs.
They do so indirectly by giving money to not-for-profit organizations and colleges. These universities and foundations then award the money to deserving candidates. To learn more about college grants for women, check out this article.
Direct money is offered in the form of government grants for women in businesses that will benefit either the country’s environment, or the other women residents of the same state that the woman belongs to.
To find these direct government grants for minority women and women entrepreneurs, researching at state level will show you helpful results. Many states award government grants to women business owners in some form or the other. Every state has a website with links to it’s business opportunities. This is where you will find multiple grants for minority/women businesses.
For example, if you’re looking for government grants for women to start a business, you can apply for a business grant with your state’s website if you have a practical business idea that revolves around saving the environment while being cost efficient.
However, this grant money cannot be used to cover everyday costs and most of these grants are open to men as well as women. Thus making the competition fierce.
Government Grants for Women Entrepreneurs
Now that we’ve made the facts clear, lets look into the possible places that provide resources to women entrepreneurs:
This website is a massive collection of all the available government grants. Specifically searching for grants that you are looking for, using the search filters, will save you precious time. Women entrepreneurs looking for free government grants should mainly look for small-business grants on this site.
- The Small Business Administration
The SBA is another great resource to find available grants. The SBA website has a database of several government grants and financial sources for women. These grants do not need to be paid back and are given to women entrepreneurs that have businesses with potential to boost the country’s growth in some form or the other. To learn more about small business grants for women, click here.
- Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs
The Small Business Administration awards two grants through these programs. Financial aid is given to small businesses that in some way help federal research and development. Multiple Federal agencies post grant information on their respective websites. These include but aren’t limited to, Department of Defense, Agriculture & human services. The SBIR website has all the available grants listed.
- InnovateHER Challenge
This is a competition that is held annually by The U.S. Small Business Administration. Grant money is awarded to three finalists. They stand a chance to take home $40,000, $20,000 & $10,000, respectively, for their business. To be eligible, a woman must have a business idea that could enhance the lives of other women.
- The Minority Business Development Agency
An organization that is a part of the U.S Department of Commerce, MBDA helps minorities and women with starting and expanding their small business. First, identify the exact purpose of your business and it’s predicted outcome and then look through MBDA’s website to find state agencies that are looking to provide funding for women entrepreneurs. To learn more about grants for black women, click here.
How to apply for a Government Grant
While the exact steps for application of a government grant will depend on your business idea and the grant you choose to apply to, certain things to keep in mind are:
- Ensure that your business is practical. Being honest with yourself about your upcoming start-up, noting down the possible outcomes and then applying for grants will make it easier for you to be confident about your business idea before convincing others about why you deserve the funding.
- Don’t apply to several places without checking if you are eligible for the grants. Thoroughly go through the grant’s guidelines and eligibility criteria.
- Make a list of all the paperwork that needs to be submitted and make sure you have everything in place.
- Have a friend or family member take a detailed look at your application before submission. These grants can sometimes feel overwhelming and overly technical. To remove any chance of errors, check it multiple times and confirm that you’ve followed all the rules carefully.
- Apply as soon as your paperwork is prepared. Earlier the better.
- Grants.Gov is a great resource to get information on how you can apply for grants. Free application package can be downloaded from the website, after completing the registration. If you choose to apply to one of the grants from this large database, after submission you will constantly be updated on the status of your application via email.
Government Grants for Pregnant Women
Special funding is provided to women who are pregnant. Somehow, not a lot of pregnant women are aware of these grants and hence miss out on the opportunity to receive help during their time of extensive expense.
Most of these grants are available to help pregnant women with their pregnancy related costs. They are available to both single as well as married women. This financial aid can be as small as providing free or very inexpensive nutrition vouchers or as large as providing housing and free prenatal & post-natal costs. Women looking for support in the payment of medical bills, baby supplies and food can benefit from these grants.
Do note that just like all other federal government grants, government grants for pregnant women are not always directly given to the pregnant women. The federal government provides money to local government organisations and not for profit foundations that in turn help eligible pregnant women.
Read below to find a few noteworthy sources of government grants for pregnant women:
Government Housing Assistance Grants for Women
Several foundations provide pregnant women and new mothers with housing aid. Getting in touch with your state’s Department of Children & Family Services would be the quickest way to know about the various opportunities that are available. The housing assistance can be in the form of payment of the pregnant women’s mortgage, providing money for rental deposit and more.
For instance, The Fair Housing Initiative is a program that provides money to state and local foundations.
These foundations then support the housing needs of pregnant women. They assist in the search of affordable housing for the eligible applicants.
Government Educational Grants for Women
Plenty of times, new mothers are keen on completing or continuing their education. This is where the educational grants come in. Universities and other Education bodies have programs that aid in the financial payment for eligible applicants. Usually, women that come from low-income households stand a better chance of securing these grants.
The Title V Maternal and Child Health Program
This program gives pregnant women, easy access to prenatal as well as postnatal treatments. They also have toll-free hotlines to provide quick support to pregnant women and mothers that need help. Registered Not-for-profit organizations, Maternal & Child foundations that fall in the state’s health division, are eligible for the grants. These foundations are given financial aid corresponding to the requirement of that state. Soon to be mothers and new mothers of that state can both then get inexpensive or sometimes even free health care through these foundations.
Women Infants & Children
WIC is an incredible program that provides assistance to pregnant women as well as single mothers & young children that come from low-income families. They provide vouchers that can be redeemed for food to qualified applicants.
Children’s Health Insurance Program
CHIP is another generous resource that gives health insurance to pregnant women with financial difficulty, who cannot pay for their pregnancy related expenses.