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Business Grants for Women
One of the most positive economic trends of the past decade or so is the number of women entrepreneurs. Women are opening businesses at a pace never seen before in history. In fact, there are almost a quarter of a billion female entrepreneurs around the world, all of whom are pursuing their business dreams with a passion. One of the most challenging aspects of starting a successful business is financing it. Many women, just like other entrepreneurs, often have trouble securing the funding they need to help their businesses grow and succeed. One option that female entrepreneurs often don’t consider for funding their businesses is grants. There are many business grants for women available that may be just what you need to bring your business roaring to life. Here is what you need to know right now about business grants for women.
What is a Business Grant?
According to Nav, a grant is:
Money that is given to a person, business or corporation from federal, state, county or local governments, or private businesses or corporations. There are a number of companies, nonprofits and government agencies providing essentially free money to small business owners in the form of a small business grant.
While grants are free, some of them require businesses to provide matching funds; for every dollar in grant money a business receives, it may have to provide a certain amount of its own funds as well. Additionally, many grants require extensive proposal writing in order to successfully apply for and receive them; this is especially the case with Federal and other government grants. Many grants that are available are specifically designed to help female entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are some great business grants for women.
Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program
One very well-known business grant for women and women-owned businesses is the Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program. Eileen Fisher is a woman’s clothing company, and they developed a popular and effective women’s business grant program. The program has existed since 2004, and every year provides five women-owned businesses with $120,000 grants. However, there are some eligibility stipulations. Women-owned businesses applying for this grant must earn less than $1 million annually and must have been in operation for at least three years. Additionally, businesses applying must have made some sort of positive contribution to environmental or social change as well.
Another great business grant for women you should consider is the Amber Grant. Amber Grants are offered by the WomensNet foundation. Each month, WomensNet awards one $10,000 Amber Grant to an eligible small, local, women-owned business. Then, at the end of the year, that year’s awardees can compete for an additional $25,000 grant. The application process is straightforward, low-tech, and simple, so if you think your business may be a good candidate, you should definitely check this grant program out.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
Founded in 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative is a grant and fellowship program that is designed to drive change by empowering female entrepreneurs. Each year, the Initiative provides grants and support to women entrepreneurs whose businesses are between one and three years old. 14 of the 21 grant recipients receive $30,000 grants, while the top seven finalists will receive $100,000. In addition to funding, the Cartier Women’s Initiative also has further resources and information that are useful for women entrepreneurs and business owners, so the organization is definitely worth checking out.
NASE Growth Grants
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is an organization dedicated to providing support, advocacy, and mentorship to people who are self-employed. Each year, NASE awards $4000 growth grants to its members in order to empower the businesses and help them succeed. In order to be eligible to apply for these grants, businesses or entrepreneurs must be members of NASE, which costs $120 per year. While modest, the application process is straightforward and simple for businesses to complete. Female entrepreneurs should definitely consider pursuing a NASE growth grant if they are seeking funding for their startups or existing businesses.
Searching for Grants
While this article covered some of the most popular programs, there are hundreds of grant programs available to women-owned businesses; the biggest challenge is often finding them. Fortunately, there are some resources you can turn to. One of the best places to look for government grants, including business grants for women, is Grants.Gov. This recently updated website is the definitive place to search for any sort of government grants available. You can also design custom searches on the site, and search for business grants for women there as well. Grants.gov also had mobile apps for iOS and Android devices now, too.
The website Grant$ for Women is another good website to check to see if there are any grants available for women entrepreneurs or women-owned businesses as well. The website has a wealth of information about applying for grants and includes up-to-date information about business grants for women that are available. Additionally, you can also consider subscribing to a private search engine for government grants and contracts. Platforms like GovTribe are affordable and will help you effectively search across the government for grants your company may be eligible for.
Small Business Grants For Women: Parting Thoughts
If you’re a female entrepreneur or are running a woman-owned business, pursuing grants is a great way to supplement your company’s financing, and could help limit the amount of external investment or debt you have to take on to get started. So, check out the grants and other resources discussed here, and get ready to fund your business today.
Enjoy our business grants for women article?
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