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12 Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

Find out where women can get small business grants, how and when to apply for them.

5 mins readJune 09, 2021

Don’t Miss Out on Grants Specifically for Women Entrepreneurs

Today, more women than ever are starting small businesses, and they need cash to get a firm footing in their industry.

They may have set up the basics such as business insurance, tax filings, website and even a brick-and-mortar location, but to survive the rough first quarter, they'll need money. Fortunately, there are foundations and other enterprises that give help to women-owned businesses.

The support for women entrepreneurs is not yet what it should be. Women are 5% less likely to get a conventional business loan from banks or government agencies such as the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Even if a woman does get a loan, it is usually a smaller amount than men get. This hinders the woman’s ability to get credit. It doesn’t matter if women are less willing to take risks than men, or the fact that fewer women apply for business loans because the system is biased.

Read on to learn about the corporations and other lenders who understand the problems women entrepreneurs have and want to do something about it. You have a better chance of success with one of the following small business grants for women.

How Does a Woman Get a Grant to Start a Business?

The first step is to research the institutions that focus on giving grants to women entrepreneurs. That’s why we provide this list. Go through it and find one or more that suits your needs.

Secondly, create a credible business plan. Even people who give grants want to be sure you know what you’re doing. A business plan demonstrates that you have planned out your business for the next five years or so and have a path to follow. This shows you are serious about making your small business a success.

Remember that grants may take longer to get than a loan because grants depend on the decision of a board that only meets once or twice a year. You may have to wait several months before you receive the help you seek.

Here is the list of lenders that focus on giving help to women-owned businesses.

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1. Grants for Women.org for Women-Owned Businesses

This is a good place to start your search for a grant. This website has a huge database of institutions that give grants to women-owned businesses.

You can learn a lot here about the types of grants that are available, including corporate, private, federal and state grants. You will see a wide range of industries, not all of which are for business owners.

Visit: www.women.org

2. FedEx Small Business Grants

While this grant is for any small business owner, it has proven over the years that it is not biased towards men. FedEx conducts a contest in which the public votes for the start-up they like.

The winner receives a $5,000 grant, use of FedEx services and free advertising through FedEx outlets. There will be a total of 200 grants awarded.

To apply for the Fedex Small Business Grant, you must

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Work for a a for-profit small business operating in the United States
  3. Employ fewer than 50 employees
  4. Have generated less than $5 million in annual sales revenue in 2020.
  5. Have shipped in the previous 12 months, and/or planning to ship in the following 12 months as part of your company's operations.

Visit: fedex.com/en-us/support-small-business-grants.html

Fedex small business grant

3. The Eileen-Fisher Grant for Women-Owned Businesses

This grant provides up to $120,000 for women-owned businesses that meet the criteria:

  • Your business must have woman-owned business certification.
  • It must promote environmental and social change.
  • You must own an existing business, running for at least three years
  • Your business must be headed by women.
  • Your business cannot have earned more annual profits than one million dollars.

Grants can be utilized for costs associated with expanding their businesses that are relevant to business. Recipients are selected based on their success in making a good social and environmental effect.

At a three-day event in New York City, participants will not only get a grant but also the chance to interact with Eileen Fisher team members and previous grant beneficiaries.

Eileen Fisher is herself an entrepreneur with a focus on environmental sustainability.

Visit: Eileenfisher.com

Responsabilidad Civil General

4. Amber Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

This organization gives a $10,000 grant every month to a women-owned small business, and after one year, one of the winners is given a $25,000 grant.

You will need to tell what motivates you and the story behind your business. You will also need to tell what you will do with the money. The grant is given on the 22nd of each month.

It is straightforward to apply. Please take a moment to tell us a little bit about yourself and your ideal business. No complex, lengthy forms to complete. You become automatically qualified for all awards relevant to your firm by submitting a single application.

By the 23rd of the next month, they reveal the recipients of the grants.

Visit: Ambergrantsforwomen.com

Consultant

5. She’s Next by Visa for Black Women Entrepreneurs

Visa continues to fight against the disproportionate barriers that Black women have to face to start their own businesses.

Through the Visa She's Next Grant Program, Visa and IFundWomen have worked to increase access to funding and education for women-owned small companies all around the world.

By creating international programs that will provide financial awards & coaching memberships to entrepreneurs in more than 10 nations globally in 2022, Visa has been extending their reach.

To qualify for the She’s Next program, you must:

  • Be a Black woman business owner.
  • Have been in business for at least two years.
  • Be a B2C company with at least $24,000 in revenue.
  • Comply with set location restrictions.

Visit: usa.visa.com/run-your-business/women-small-business.html

She’s Next by Visa for Black Women Entrepreneurs

6. The SBIR and STTR Programs

The highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs encourage domestic small businesses to participate in federal research, development, and commercialization activities.

SBIR and STTR give small firms the opportunity to explore their technological potential and the incentive to profit from its commercialization through a competitive awards-based program.

Grants of up to $225,000 will be given to chosen candidates over the course of six to twelve months (the period to be decided by the applicant). Initial Phase I funding for successful SBIR candidates will be made available about six months after the request deadline.

Visit: Sbir.gov/funding

SBIR-STTR

7. V-WISE for Women Veterans or Spouses of Veterans Small Business Grant

Sponsored by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) provides entrepreneur training for women to learn the skills needed to start and grow businesses.

V-WISE assists female military spouses, female veterans, and female veterans in discovering their passions and acquiring the business acumen needed to develop an idea or start-up into a successful business.

With centers across the US, you will learn how to be an entrepreneur, several ways to start your own business, and how to connect to the community for support. Five grants from $5,000 - $20,000 are awarded every year.

Elegibility criteria includes:

  1. Women veterans with an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed forces and during any period of service, including the Reserve and National Guard.

  2. Female active duty personnel in any branch of the armed forces, including the Reserve and National Guard.

  3. Spouses/life partners of the aforementioned women, including bereaved spouses/partners.

Contact: IVMFEducation@syr.edu

Women veterans

8. Ms. Foundation for Women Small Business Grant

The Ms. Foundation for Women (MFW) supports businesses that advance reproductive health, promote affordable child care and prevent domestic violence.

Along with funds, it gives training, mentorships and other support for women entrepreneurs.

The only applications they process are the ones sent when they solicit applications. If you visit the website regularly, you will see when applications are requested.

Contact: Grantsmanagement@ms.foundation.org

Ms Foundation

9. Cartier for Women Entrepreneurs

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award is given to 21 female entrepreneurs every year. Winners receive expert coaching, media coverage, workshops and other prizes from $30K to $100K. You apply online and do not send business plans.

You can apply for the Regional Awards or the Science & Technology Pioneer Award. You will get a generic confirmation email that your application has been submitted and saved.

Visit: Cartierwomensinitiative.com/faq

10. Jane Walker First Women Grant (JWFWG)

This grant program is for women who have an innovative business that is unique in the market. It should break down conventional business boundaries.

Jane Walker is the female equivalent of Johnnie Walker, the whisky company, and celebrates women in a number of roles like CEOs of a major bank and Vice Presidents.

Jane Walker and IFundWomen have partnered as part of the First Women campaign to support the expansion of possibilities for women to succeed. Through the end of the year, Jane Walker will invest in a total of 30 ground-breaking women-owned enterprises.

A $10K grant plus a one-year Annual Coaching Membership on IFundWomen will be awarded to businesses in the entertainment and film, music, sports, STEM, journalism, and hospitality sectors.

It selects businesses in a wide range of industries. You get $10,000 and one year of business coaching.

Visit: Ifundwomen.com

Jane Walker First Woman Grant (JWFWG)

11. Belle Capital for Women-Owned Businesses

Grants are available from Belle Capital to female-run businesses. The subsidies come in a variety of amounts, and women-owned firms can also use an angel investment fund to start or grow their companies.

Information technology, digital health, and clean technology businesses are their target markets.

Some of the criteria they look for include:

  1. Strong management
  2. Female founder
  3. Urgency of the need
  4. Growth possibilities
  5. Exit plan

Visit: Bellevc.com/belle-capital-investment-criteria.html

Business contents

12. The Thirty-Seven Angels Organization for Women Business Owners Small Business Grant

The 37 Angels are all women who invest in women. They aim to redress the unfair practices that give men the advantage of getting business funding.

At this time, they are providing awards up to $150,000.

You will speak to an angel to determine if you qualify and if you do, you will be able to pitch your company to several investors.

Visit: 37angels.com

Takeaways for Women Entrepreneurs Who Need Funding

  • If you have woman-owned business certification, you may be eligible for several of the above grants. They include government agencies, private organizations and nonprofits that give money to women-owned businesses that need not be repaid.

  • The organizations that are open to men and women have proven they are fair and not biased towards men. It’s not always easy to get a grant, but it’s worth a try if you qualify to get the cash you need to take your business to the next level.

Contact us today to get more information about small business insurance and to answer any other questions you may have.

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