- Grants are a great way to help fund your small business because they don’t need to be repaid, unlike credit lines or loans.
- Grants.gov is a great place to start, as this database includes a huge number of grant opportunities.
- You can find a variety of grants open to all minority business owners, which includes women as well as entrepreneurs of color.
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Not that long ago, women couldn’t even apply for business financing without having a male cosigner. Today, women make up around 20% of small business owners, equally more than 1.1 million businesses.
While the number of women-owned businesses has grown substantially, there’s still a significant gap in business funding for women. Moreover, business credit cards, loans, and other credit lines all need to be paid back. So, even if you’re approved, you’ll still have red in your books.
Small business grants, on the other hand, are sort of like scholarships for businesses. If you qualify for a grant, you get the money — no repayment required. Even better, there are several small business grants specifically designed for women who want to build or grow their businesses.
This huge database is the single most comprehensive resource for business owners looking for grants. It not only provides information on hundreds of grants, but it also offers tools and resources for finding, applying for, and making use of small business grants.
More info: Grants.gov
2. WomensNet Amber Grants
This wonderful organization focuses on helping women entrepreneurs. It offers a huge range of grant opportunities throughout the year, including:
- $10,000 Monthly Amber Grant (one winner every month)
- $25,000 Annual Amber Grant (two winners every year)
- $10,000 Startup Grant (one winner every quarter)
- $10,000 Non-Profit Grant (one winner every quarter)
- $10,000 Business Category Grants (one winner every month)
In addition to monetary grants, there is also an annual Marketing Grant that includes strategic advice sessions with members of the AdvisoryBoard and professional agency support.
More info: Amber Grants
3. Tory Burch Women of Color Grant Program
The Tory Burch Foundation selects 75 businesses with majority ownership (at least 51%) by women of color to receive $10,000 and $20,000 grants. Recipients are also given access to education and community partnership with the Fearless Fund.
More info: Tory Burch Foundation
4. High Five Grant for Moms
Run by The Mama Ladder, this grant program is designed specifically for women entrepreneurs who are also moms. Each year, the program selects three winners, who receive:
- First place: $25,000 grant
- Second place: $10,000 grant
- Third place: $5,000 grant
Pretty much all mothers will qualify, including first-time expecting mothers, moms to adult children, stepmoms, and foster moms. Unfortunately, only moms of human children are allowed; pet parents won’t qualify!
More info: High Five Grant
5. Cartier Women’s Initiative
The Cartier Women’s Initiative offers a variety of awards for women-owned businesses, including:
- Regional Awards: These grants are awarded to women from around the world spanning nine different regions, from North America to various regions of Africa.
- Science & Technology Pioneer Award: This grant is awarded to women entrepreneurs working on disruptive solutions built around technological or scientific advancements.
- Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Award: This grant is awarded to entrepreneurs working on solutions to close gaps of access, outcome, or opportunity for underserved communities.
More info: Cartier Women’s Initiative
6. Black Founder Startup Grant
These grants are open to Black women and Black nonbinary entrepreneurs who want to scale their businesses. Amounts vary from $5,000 to $10,000, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
More info: Black Founder Startup Grant
7. Comcast Rise Grants
This program offers 500 grants, each worth $10,000, to eligible minority business owners. This includes women as well as people of color. While the eligibility requirements are broad in this respect, it does have strict geographical requirements. Only businesses in these areas are eligible:
- Chicago, IL (Cook County)
- Miami, FL (Miami-Dade and Broward Counties)
- Oakland, CA (City of Oakland)
- Seattle, WA (King and Pierce Counties)
- Washington, D.C. (Wards 1-8)
Up to 100 grants will be awarded in each city.
More info: Comcast Rise Grants
Be sure to read the fine print
Every grant program has its own specific qualifications, so it’s important to read through the rules and requirements carefully before you apply. This includes making note of any important due dates so you don’t miss out.
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