With over 11 million woman-owned businesses in the United States alone, women are starting to become a larger presence in business industries. Because of this, more women are looking for funding opportunities in order to help their businesses thrive. Below we have compiled a list of small business grants for women, and where to find these grants.
What Are Small Business Grants?
Small business grants are amounts of money offered to small businesses in order to help their business grow. Unlike loans, businesses do not have to pay back grants. Small business grants for women are grants offered to small businesses that are specifically run by women.
Finding Small Business Grants For Women
Grants.gov is a government website that compiles all grants offered by government agencies, including small business grants for women. In order to find grants you are eligible for, this website offers filter options to narrow the parameters. In order to begin using this database, you must register with Grants.gov and receive a DUNS number. Then take your DUNS number and EIN or SSN and also register on the SAM website, then you will be able to create an account on Grants.gov. All of this is free.
This is a comprehensive database like Grants.gov, but it is filled with grants that are catered specifically to women. Unlike Grants.gov, the filter option isn’t quite as extensive.
This database provides information and links to grants and government-hosted challenges. Challenges are similar to grants but they require either video pitch submissions or an extensive application process. It is likely that it includes options for small business grants for women.
Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency is a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce that offers grants to minority groups, including women who are also part of a minority. The MDBA has planned roughly $$$ million for 2018.
Small Business Innovation Research
This database is geared toward the pioneering technology industry. This database includes grants from a variety of government agencies and promotes women in the pioneering technology industry through a multitude of grant options geared towards women.
Small Business Administration Women’s Business Centers
Women’s Business Centers provide networking opportunities and mentoring programs for women looking to start a small business. These centers also have information on small business grants for women, and can direct you to the right places.
Economic Development Administration
Every state contains an Economic Development Administation that offers financing to local entrepreneurs.
Office Of Women’s Business Ownership
OWBO offers access to credit and capital to small businesses owned by women. They also offer these women programs that relate to:
24 Small Business Grants For Women You Can Apply For Today
EARLY Stage Businesses
1: SBA InnovateHER Challenge
This grant is for women who have a business plan, but need the finances to get their company kick-started. Winners of this challenge have a chance at $.
2: Idea Cafe
Although this grant is not specifically for women, it does offer grants to businesses that aren’t necessarily operational yet. The winner of this award gets $ in cash and $$ in advertising credits. Applicants may also submit an entry video that has the chance of being posted on Idea Cafe’s social media.
3: The Girlboss Foundation
This grant is focused on women who are in the industries of fashion. design, music, or the arts and requires applicants to provide a portfolio. This grant awards two $ grants per year.
4: Amber Grant
This grant offers between $-$$ every month to a selected business. Winners of the monthly grant are also eligible to win $ at the end of the year. This grant allows applicants to apply at any point throughout the year. The application for this grant is $.
5: Startup Runway Foundation
This grant offers $ to $$ to women or minority startup business. The drawback with this grant is that you must be located in the Southeast to qualify.
6: FedEx Small Business Grant
This grant is not geared to solely women, but they do encourage women to apply. This grant awards $ to $$ in cash and $ to $$ in office supplies supplied by FedEx. The winners are chosen by the public through voting.
7: Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
The top 7 applicants for this grant are awarded $$. 14 other businesses are awarded $ through this grant as well.
8: Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program
This grant awards women with $$ and access to important business resources such as:
9: Belle Capital USA
This grant is offered to businesses in the IT, digital health, or clean-tech fields that generates over $$$ million in revenue. This business offers angel funding to women in the early stages of their businesses.
10: Patrina Foundation Grant
This foundation offers grants to women with non-profit organizations in the New York Metropolitan area. Since this foundation was created, it has awarded over $$$ million in funding and has helped more than 450 organizations.
11: Open Meadows Foundation
This foundation promotes equality (gender, racial, and economic) for women by providing funding to non-profit organizations dedicated to that cause. Grants are less than $ and favors small businesses and startups. To apply, applicants must use the online form to submit a proposal and then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
12: Women’s Foundation Of Greater Kansas City
This grant is awarded to women who own businesses in either Kansas or Missouri. Unlike other foundations, 50% of the awards go to organizations with innovative ideas and the other 50% goes to actual established businesses.
13: Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) Small Business Technical Assistance Grant
This state-funded grant is offered to organizations in Massachusetts run by women entrepreneurs and also offers access to business resources and mentoring programs.
14: American Association Of University Women
This foundation offers 6 grants throughout the year from educational funding to non-profit grants, The competition for this grant is tougher because it is open to women globally, not just nationally. Awards range from $ to $$. The application process includes:
15: The Walmart Foundation
These grants are only awarded to non-profit organization and range from $ to $$. The foundation states that although the grants are not specifically for women, they prefer women-run businesses apply.
16: Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp Small Business Competition
This award is not necessarily cash. WVEC offers a business competition for women who own small businesses. The winner receives an 8-month business training course. In order to apply, you must submit a video that is 2-minutes long explaining your innovative idea.
17: Smart Women Smart Money
This grant is offered by Utah’s Zion bank to businesses in Utah and Idaho. Winners of the competition are awarded $.
18: Mission Main Street Project
This grant is offered by Google and Chase with awards of over $$$ million to over 20 companies per year to businesses that contain progressive goals. Winners receive $$.
19: Mom Inspired Grants
This grant is offered by Huggies, the diaper company, to women who have innovative ideas and products geared towards mothers and making their lives easier. 12 awards of $ are granted per year.
20: Halstead Grant
This grant is awarded to businesses that sell exceptional silver jewelry. The award is $ to designers who have talent in silver jewelry design.
21: 37 Angels Grants
37 Angels is a foundation that recognizes the hardships that women business owners face. In order to promote woman-run businesses, they offer grants up to $$.
22: National Associate for the Self-Employed
This is a non-profit organization that offers growth grants of $ per month to small businesses of all types, woman-run businesses included.
23: MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneurs Series
With this grant, $$ is distributed evenly to 5 winners. Their goal is to promote diversity in the workplace.
24: Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program
Although this grant is no longer in operation, we are including it in the list because Eileen Fisher is changing their grant plans for 2019 in order to better fun businesses run by women. These grants were awarded to small businesses run by women who had a social and/or environmental impact. Past awards were $ each to 10 businesses per year. Eligibility requirements include:
As the number of businesswomen business owners continues to grow, so does the number of small business grants for women. Above are some examples of these grants and where to find and apply for these grants. But it is important to keep an eye on the ever-growing list of such grants, as new opportunities may arise.