Small business grants for women
As of 2017, there are close to 10 million businesses in United States that are owned by women. This means that the women run businesses have increased by almost 70% since the late 90’s. This massive growth should have ideally been a good enough reason for women to receive equal treatment in the areas of career growth and workplace environment. Sadly, that’s not the case.
In spite of the proven and documented contribution by women entrepreneurs to the business world, they still have to work much harder to secure funds for their startup, as compared to men. Statistically, small business loan applications made by women are rejected more than those made by men.
Luckily however, there are plenty of other, constantly growing sources of finance for women entrepreneurs. A few of them are grants, scholarships and online loans. Out of these, grants are a relatively untapped source. This is because they aren’t advertised as much as the other sources and also due to the lengthy paperwork that they require. This makes it the most time consuming route compared to the rest. But this shouldn’t be a reason to not explore this every growing source of small business grant for women.
To learn more about business grants for women, check out this article.
What are free small business grants for women?
Grants for women starting a small business are made available by several governmental bodies as well as private organizations. Startups usually pick this route to fund their business solution because these grants don’t have to be repaid. In a way, they can be better referred to as free grants available for women starting a small business. However, this doesn’t make them completely guideline free and easy to win. It’s a slightly complicated process but if an applicant is successful, the reward money is definitely worth the effort.
The usual process of securing grants involves research, application and then follow up. The research phase is the most important aspect of this process simply because, this is where you have to carefully screen the available grants and find the ones that you are completely eligible for. The guidelines are strict and the grant providing bodies will not be flexible for any applicant. Do know that there are probably thousands of other businesses that are applying for the same grant as you. Therefore, taking the time to carefully complete the research and application process will help you avoid errors and re-submissions.
What are federal and state grants for small businesses for women?
Federal grants for women starting small business exist, but aren’t widely known. The many commercials that claim to provide free money from the government for small businesses might influence women and make them believe that it’s a legitimate source of capital. It’s advisable to be cautious when responding to any of these adverts since not all of them are authentic. That’s not to say that small business loans and grants for women don’t exist at all. They are out there and are in many forms. A variety of them are especially made available for women who are interested in pursuing a business that’s in the realm of science, education, technology or medicine.
While most of the government grants are made open to everyone, some not for profit organizations that are funded by these governmental bodies, provide small business grants for minority women specifically. Besides this, there are a whole bunch of grants that are awarded to business solutions that have a positive impact on the lives of other women.
Where do I find the small business federal and state grants for women?
A recommended route to find grants for women owned small business is to first research the available opportunities at the state level. Almost all the states award grants for women in small business in one way or another. Log on to your state’s website and read through it’s business section. This is where most of the grant and capital related information is listed. If your state has any available small business loans and grants for women, this is where that updated information would be made available along with all the relevant links.
The Minority Business Development Agency, also referred to as MBDA is the next best source of information for small business loans and grants for women. This brilliant organization comes under the U.S Department of Commerce. They help women as well as minorities in setting up and expanding their enterprise. Start your search by logging on to their site www.mbda.gov. The easy to navigate website has a list of all the grant and loan opportunities.
If you want to read more about government grants for women, click here.
What kind of small business private grants are available for women?
Along with the grants setup by the federal government, there are several individuals and foundations that have made available several grants especially for women entrepreneurs.
Listed below are 8 of the very best.
- Huggies – Mom Inspired Grants:
The Huggies grant program gives up to $15,000 in the form of business related resources to aid women in coming up with innovate products and services that positively influence the lives of mothers. To be eligible for this grant, the applicant should be 21 years old or older and must be a citizen of the United States. The applicant’s business solution should help women either during the prenatal stage or during the aftercare of the child up until he turns six.
- The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program:
This program gives grants in the form of award money to 5 lucky women entrepreneurs, every year. To be eligible, the business should be completely owned and run by women and should be environmentally and socially conscious. The fresher and more innovate the idea, the better chances are of the business wining the grant. The available grant money sometimes goes as high as $125,000.
- FedEx Think Bigger – Small Business Grant Program:
Up to $75,000 is available to be awarded to the eligible candidates. This program involves gaining public votes as a part of the application process. Besides the large sum of grant money, the public voting process is another positive aspect of this grant. While pitching for votes, the applicant manages to market their business to a wide audience, which in turn could lead to more opportunities for their enterprise.
- Idea Café Small Business Grant:
The Idea Café lists several grants on it’s website. The award money goes up to $1,000 and more and is awarded to the applicant with the newest, most unique business concept.
- 2017 InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge:
This unique competition presented by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), awards new and innovate business solutions that could positively influence the lives of women.
The top applicants get a chance to present the concept of their products or service to a panel of judges. Up to $70,000 is awarded in the form of prize money.
- Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project:
A unique collaboration between Chase and Google has led to the creation of this project that sponsors $3 million in the form of grant money. Not only do the winning candidates get a large chuck of this grant money but they are also given a Google Chomebook laptop. Some also stand a chance to visit the Google Headquarters.
- Small Business Innovation Research:
The Small Business Innovation Research program is a Government program, organized by the Small Business Administration. The United States Congress first established the SBIR program back in 1982 This program aims to aid a few small businesses in their research and development process. Over 10 federal agencies are a part of this program.
- Small Business Technology Transfer Program:
The STTR program first started in 1992. This program arms certain governmental agencies with large sums of money. This money is to be used in the Research and Development of small businesses that have the potential to boost technology. While the money isn’t directly provided, the funds in the form of resources for the R&D can prove to be extremely valuable.
If you want to learn about college grants for women, read this article.
How can I apply for a small business grant for women?
While the application process for every grant will differ as per the grant’s guidelines, a few helpful points to keep in mind are:
- Research several grants and make a note of all the grants that your business is eligible for.
- List down all the paperwork that you will need to apply to your chosen small business grant. This is a constructive use of your time instead of preparing the documents haphazardly and making errors in the process.
- Thoroughly read through all the rules of the grants. Small business grants have a number of rules and guidelines that need to be followed during the application process. It’s important to cross check all of these before submitting your application.
- After having all the required documents that need to be submitted, have a friend or family member cross check them for any errors. Another set of eyes might catch mistakes that you may have missed out.
- The application process might turn out to be lengthy. Some grant’s take anywhere from weeks to months to process the applications. Apply early and keep a constant note of all the deadlines.
- Follow up at appropriate intervals with the agency involved to check the progress of your application.
- Rejection is normal. Do not feel disheartened if one grant rejects your application. Aim to apply till you win one.
While the process might feel overwhelming at first, if it’s handled in an organized step-by-step manner, applying will be no problem. However, if you just don’t have the time to invest in this, you can hire an individual or organization to help you with the same. Their fees depend on their experience in the business world.
Small Business Grants for Women with Bad Credit
Women with bad credit might face a difficult time in accessing the required capital to run their business. They may find that the banks constantly reject their loan application. But there are other ways for women to find the funds for their small business even with their bad credit. Some grants are specifically meant for women entrepreneurs that come from low-income families. If your business idea is unique and in demand, you still have a high chance of securing a grant to run it, despite the bad credit.
Small Business Grants for African American Women
Black women entrepreneurs account for about 7% of the businesses today in the United States. The contribution to the country’s economy by these businesses is proven to be extremely high. The federal government as well as several other private foundations have therefore taken the responsibility of skyrocketing the number of businesses run by African American Women. Several sources provide small business grants for black women. If the women of minority have a strong and impactful business solution then their chances of securing a grant considerably increase.
To review grants for black women, read this article.
Before looking at grant opportunities, we recommend that you have a perfect business solution in place for pitching it to the grant foundation. The ideal business plan should outline why your business solution deserves a grant and what future you foresee for your business. It’s important for the plan to seem realistic and not completely un-achievable.
Minority Business Development Agency would prove to be of great help in finding grants especially for African-American women. They also provide free assistance in chalking out a strong business plan and in connecting the applicant to the right people.
If you want information for grants for minority women, check out this page.
To conclude, small business grants for women do truly exist. They are out there in different forms for all women. While some grant may be in the form of actual money, others might be help women by providing the right kind of business education and knowledge that would boost their enterprise. Whether you are a woman of minority, or have bad credit associated to you, your access to various grants is still wide open. The effect of women entrepreneur on the society and in turn, the world, isn’t being ignored. It’s just about conducting extensive research, both offline and online in order to tap into the right sources.