Businesses take time to build unless you find a completely new, unique, and beneficial venture that is well funded. Since funding is crucial, grants will boost your enterprise, and greatly enhance profitability. Women-owned enterprises abound, and proper financing will increase their visibility and success. Here are seven grants or organizations/institutions that offer grants for women-owned businesses that should be on your radar.
Although this institution has opportunities for both men and women, Grants.gov is a good starting point for women-owned businesses. Grants.gov offers federally sponsored grants from various federal government agencies in a one-stop-shop database.
Check the website to confirm your eligibility for the many grants offered. Note that the database includes all federal grants. Therefore, it is important to find out the grants that best match your start-up. Check the database frequently as small business grants are added and updated frequently.
2. Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grants
Eileen Fisher is a clothing brand that gives grants to 10 women-owned ventures annually; each recipient is awarded $10,000. The ventures should be beyond the start-up stage and in the growth phase. To be eligible, the social and environmental impact of your business is taken into account.
You can use the database to find various donations for women-owned businesses and non-profits. In addition to business donations, there are scholarship opportunities. However, most of the endowments are for non-business purposes.
4. InnovateHER Challenge
Do you have a unique, marketable product or service that is beneficial to women or families? InnovateHER Challenge provides grants for women-owned businesses that offer either products or services. The challenge is managed and administered by the Small Business Association (SBA).
Local InnovateHER Challenge is organized by partners like universities and other agencies, after which ten finalists advance to the national competition level. Winners receive $40K, $20K, and $10K for the first, second, and third positions respectively.
5. Amber Grant
The Amber Grant is a small business grant launched in 1998 in honor of Amber – a young woman who died before fulfilling her entrepreneurial dreams. The program offers a $2000 monthly award to one woman-owned enterprise. An additional $25,000 is awarded to one of the monthly winners each year. To apply, pay an application fee of $15, and tell your story, and that prize could be yours.
6. Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
This award is given to 18 women entrepreneurs around the world. It targets women-owned enterprises in their early stages of development. The first prize is $100,000 including one-on-one mentoring, and the second prize is $30,000.
All the finalists attend the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Program (ISEP). Participants can also benefit from entrepreneurship workshops, networking opportunities, and business coaching seminars.
7. #GIRLBOSS Foundation Grant
The Girlboss Foundation was launched in 2014 to fund female entrepreneurs involved in the creative industries, specifically in the design, art, fashion, and music industries. It is a bi-annual grant where each beneficiary receives $15,000 and significant online media exposure.
The Bottom Line
Funding a business is important for success, and there are many women-owned start-ups, grant opportunities that will boost your entrepreneurial ventures. Different organizations and government agencies have grants available for women-owned businesses; scrutinize the application process and your eligibility against the requirements, and then identify the grant(s) that best aligns with your business enterprise and that you will be the most competitive for.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.