Maybe you're launching a new business, growing your team, or starting a non-profit. These moves take money, and sometimes your business just can't fund them alone. That's where grants come in.
Here's what you need to know about applying for grants as a women-owned small business.
What Are Grants and How Do You Get Them?
Grants are sums of money gifted from the government or a corporation to your business. Unlike loans, you don't have to pay grants back or offer anything in return. Corporations offer grants to businesses they truly believe in and businesses making a positive impact.
In order to receive a grant, you first have to apply. You'll need to gather and present information about your company, how much money you need, and exactly how you'll use it. You can hire a grant writer to help with this process, or you can do it yourself.
Receiving a grant as a small business or non-profit is a huge gift, and it can make a major difference for your business. That being said, they are competitive. Luckily, there are plenty of "special interest" grants out there, meaning grants specifically for minority groups. As a female business owner, you have access to tons of grants specifically for women-owned businesses.
Where to Apply for Women-Owned Small Business Grants
There are literally thousands of grants out there, and each has their own requirements. Here are some of my top resources for finding the right grants for your business.
Although they don't advertise women-specific grants, grants.gov is a great place to start looking at and applying for different types of grants. This is a database of thousands of federal grants across all industries, including tons specifically for small businesses.
GrantsForWomen.org is another helpful database, and this one is specifically targeted towards women. Keep in mind, though, that most of their funding is for students, not business owners. You may have to dig a bit to find business-specific grants.
So maybe 37 Angels isn't a traditional grant program, but it's still an incredible resource for women launching startups. Once you apply, you're in the running to receive up to $200k in funding from a group of angel investors. And while they don't only invest in women, they do pride themselves on helping to close the gender gap in the world of startup funding.
Specific Grants for Women-Owned Small Businesses
Check out these individual grants awarded only to women.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
Yep, that's the Cartier. Every year, they award dozens of grants women-owned and -run small businesses across the globe making a positive impact on their community or the environment. You can apply for their regional awards or their Science & Technology Pioneer Award.
Amber Grant Foundation
The Amber Grant Foundation awards a $10k grant to a women-owned small business every single month, and they have a different application specifically for an end-of-the-year $25k grant. They aim to support businesses with passionate, driven owners looking to make a difference.
So How Much Money Do You Really Need to Start a Business?
If you want an actual number, I’ve got you. Download my free guide to calculating your small business start-up costs, and take your first step towards becoming a bonafide business owner!