9 Best Small Business Grants for Women
Grant money is highly desirable for any female-owned business looking to grow, start a new product, or even get their first small business off the ground. Because grants are free money and don’t have to be paid back, there is a lot of competition to get them. Women have opportunities to apply for grants that the larger population may not, however, thanks to some programs designed specifically for this demographic. Unlike loans and credit cards, which need to be paid back, grants are ideal for anyone on a budget, but you’ll need to work hard to find, apply for, and be awarded these payouts.
Grants pop up all the time, sometimes just for a short window. Start with these eight top resources to find legitimate grants that are likely to be around for a while. (Offerings change, however, so don’t be surprised if some have run out of funds or closed up altogether. Some may be replaced by new grant programs, as well.)
The first place you should look before hitting up random, limited-time grants or loans is the government. While there aren’t too many free money programs out there specifically designed to give money to women, there are some programs that women are more likely to qualify for, and some have set aside cash just for women and minorities.
The System Award Management site.) It can take a couple of business days to get this number issues, so start here before seriously narrowing down grant opportunities.
2. Girlboss Foundation
This grant program gives biannual awards of $15,000 plus promotion through the Girlboss website and platform to its recipients. The program has already ended for this round, but check back search the site, making sure to select “Women’s Business Center” from the filter. You’ll see which of the organizations in your area are designed to help women, specifically, meet their business goals. Some of the resources offered are geographically-focused, so this is a great way to see grant opportunities for women that aren’t widely advertised nationwide.
4. Amber Grant
Awarded annually to 12 women, the smaller $2,000 grants are given out before these same dozen women go on to compete for the final award: $25,000! The Amber grant requires a $25 fee to apply, which is something you’ll have to decide if it’s worth. With awards given out since 1998, however, this is a long-term program that’s been recognized by organizations such a Michigan State University. these grants from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Programs that promote education and equity for women and girls are supported through this program, and “special consideration is given to projects focused on K–12 and community college girls’ and women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering, or math.” Grants are for one or two years, and over $3.9 million was awarded to over 250 women and organizations in the last round of funding.
6. Nav Small Business Grant
While not exclusively for women, the quarterly Nav Small Business Grant is a great opportunity for a small business looking for a boost. The grand prize is $10,000, and the application doesn’t take much time at all.
Farming grants and subsidies can be found through the Grants.gov website listed above, but if you’re an ag business, you might find it valuable to skip right to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources application is lengthy, but the potential rewards are great. Winners also get a trip to the conference, mentoring, and ongoing support of their business, worth far more than the tens of thousands of dollars in prize money!
9. The Halstead Grant
Silver jewelers take note of this opportunity to get an annual prize of $7,500 in start-up capital and $1,000 in merchandise from Halstead Bead. Promotion within the industry has also helped winners achieve the next level in their business. the FedEx Small Business contest have regularly awarded money to female entrepreneurs, and the odds are good that many of the winners will be women again this year. Put your best foot forward, and get your name in the running for every open opportunity to have the best chance at getting the grant money you need to grow your business.
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