For an unfairly long time, the business world has been dominated by men. This is partly due to the sexism and bias that has existed as long as we can remember. Now though, times are changing, and it’s time for women to have their turn at success in the entrepreneurial world. One of the best ways to get your small business rolling is through grants. There are many grants that you can get, but here are some of the best options for women entrepreneurs. Learn more about the top 8 business grants for women.
In this article you will find:
Business Grants for Women
1. Amber Grant
The Amber grant is by far one of the best options that a female entrepreneur can go for. It is targeted specifically at women. Each month, there’s a $1,000 dollar grant that is awarded to one female entrepreneur. The great thing about this grant is the fact that you must be a woman to be eligible, so there won’t be any bias towards males when choosing who to award the grant to. If you’ve been struggling to get a grant due to your gender, give the Amber grant a shot.
The National Association of the Self-Employed also offers a small business grant. Of course, you need to be a member of their association if you hope to qualify for their grant. Their grants come in the form of $4,000 and are awarded to one member per month. The great thing about these NASE grants is the fact that they are pretty vague in their purpose and as such you can use them for a wide range of things without any repercussions. Where some grants might specify that you can only use this grant for marketing, the NASE grant lets you use the money to hire an assistant, further development, market the product, and virtually anything else that benefits your small business. If you’ve feel constrained by the limited uses of the other grants, getting a NASE grant might be the best way to further your business.
Okay, Grants.gov doesn’t actually give out grants. “Then why is it on this list?” you might be asking. Well, while grants.gov doesn’t give out grants on its own, it is one of the most comprehensive databases when it comes to finding a grant. If things didn’t work out with the other items on this list or you simply want to increase your options in hopes that it will boost your odds of getting a grant, all you have to do is browse the many grants listed on grants.gov. Think of it as the Yellow Pages but for finding grants rather than ordering Chinese food.
The United States Department of Commerce has a specific branch known as the Economic Development Agency. It is responsible for providing any necessary assistance to ensure that the members of the United States population are able to attain financial stability and become a productive member of society by driving supply and demand. It is prepared to offer not only grants but also advice and other forms of assistance that could help you get your small business going. If you’re just starting out and want some funding along with advice, going to the EDA website might be your best bet at getting a good start on your entrepreneurial journey.
5. SBA InnovateHER
If you’re looking for large chunks of change, you might be best off joining the annual InnovateHER challenge which is run by the Small Business Association. This grant is limited to women much like the Amber grant which ensures that you have a fair shot of winning it regardless of any bias that the judges may have toward men — though we doubt that any is present in the first place. This grant is significantly larger than the other grants with a total of $70,000 up for grabs each year. The prize money is ultimately split between three female winners, but even split three ways that’s still a lot of money that you can use to further your business. If the other grants were just too small to make an impact on your business, or if you’re too far along for them to be helpful, go for the InnovateHER challenge run by the SBA and with some luck, you’ll be getting a five-figure prize.
6. Eileen Fisher Grant
This grant is perfect for female business owners who need a big enough cash influx to take their business to the next level. Where the Amber grant provides $1,000 and the NASE grant provides $4,000, the Eileen Fisher grant provides a minimum amount of $10,000 dollars. That’s a guaranteed five-figure prize for those who win the grant. The best part is that your odds of winning the Eileen Fisher grant are far higher than your odds of winning the other grants that are listed in this article. This is due to the fact that the Eileen Fisher grant chooses a total of 10 winners each year. That’s right, they’re handing out $100,000 annually spread across 10 female entrepreneurs who are trying to run their own business. When it comes to prize size and odds of winning, it’s hard to bet the Eileen Fisher grant.
7. Zions Bank Smart Woman Grants
Up to this point in our list, the grants that we’ve featured were available on a federal level meaning not limited to a state. That said, it’s important that we don’t leave out all the great state-level grants that you could use to further your business. The Zions Bank Smart Woman grants for instance target those with low incomes in Utah and Idaho who want to make a change in their life, their family’s life, and the lives of others in their community. There are six grants up for grabs each with their own category. Each grant winner gets a total of $3,000. Only one winner will get the grant for the business category, but there are also other fields such as childcare or community development. If you live in Utah and Idaho and want to compete for a grant that isn’t as hard to win as some of the federal programs, you could go for the Zions Bank Smart Woman grant and use the money to further your business as well as improve the lives of those in your community.
8. SBIR Grant
The Small Business Innovation Research grant is a federal program that is awarded to those who are trying to progress in the fields of research and development in order to further our scientific understanding and capabilities as a species. If your business falls under the R&D category, you might want to consider chasing this grant. There’s no shortage of funding seeing as they are operated by the government. In fact, in 2018, around $2 billion dollars was awarded to grant recipients.
We’re lucky enough to live in a world where the business industry is open to all genders as long as the entrepreneur behind the company is willing to stick it out and endure the long haul. With some patience, strategy, and a whole lot of determination, there isn’t a lot that can’t be accomplished. As you’ve seen with this article, there is no shortage of grants available, so go out and get one today!