While women-owned businesses are growing, according to the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS) statistics, raising capital is still challenging. Women often struggle to raise money for their businesses compared to their male counterparts. However, business grants can make a massive difference if you qualify.
You can get the cash you need for your business, and the best part is that you don’t have to worry about repaying the loan. Here’s how grants can transform your woman-owned business.
Benefits Of Grants For Your Business
Grants offer numerous benefits compared to other business-funding options.
• Grants Are Free
One of the main reasons most people will rush to apply for grants for their businesses is that grants are unrestricted. Yes, they’re free. You don’t need to worry about repaying the business loan once you secure one.
The trick to securing a grant is a compelling business idea. Your woman-owned business idea should stand out from the rest.
• Grants Are Reliable
Once you get your first grant, you stand a higher chance of securing additional funding, mainly when you use your funds correctly. Organizations will want to support you in growing your business if your initial idea proves successful.
To secure additional funding from organizations, you must clearly state that you’ve received support from other institutions. This way, the funding organizations can rely on your previous successes to determine whether to give you another grant or loan.
• Accessible Information
Business owners can easily access grant information over the internet — many reliable sources detail where, how, when, and who can get a grant. You can use this information to position yourself strategically to get a grant.
• Gain Credibility
Getting a business grant not only increases your chances of getting another, but it increases your visibility. Grants are usually in high demand; winning can put your business in the spotlight. Donor companies may want to know more about your business and its progress. Besides taking advantage of the free money that comes your way, grants can open doors of opportunities for you. It’s one of the best ways to sell your idea and get free funding.
Where To Find Business Grants
Now that you know how grants can help your woman-owned business, here are some examples of sources for these funds.
• Government Agencies
The federal or local government can offer grants. However, most of the grants from government agencies target businesses in tech, science, energy, agriculture, or other industries that are more likely to benefit the community.
If your business is geared toward supporting your community, you can apply for government grants.
Nonprofit grants usually target underrepresented demographics, including veteran proprietors, women businesses, or businesses owned by minority individuals.
• For-Profit Organizations
For-profit organizations like banks also offer grants, but these loans have broad eligibility criteria. Usually, these organizations will offer grants based on merit.
Tips To Secure A Grant For Your Woman-Owned Business
Business grants are competitive, and adequate preparation can help ensure you simplify the process. Here are essential tips to ensure your application gets accepted.
• Check Your Eligibility
Before you even think about writing a grant proposal, you must check your eligibility. You don’t want to waste your time applying for grants you’re not eligible for.
So, the first step is to determine whether you’re eligible for the business grant you want. From there, you can now think about writing a proposal that sells your idea to potential investors.
• Develop A Winning Proposal
Your grant proposal explains what your business is all about and why you deserve the funding. Therefore, your proposal should clearly state your business goals and objectives. Your proposal should also state why your business stands out from the thousands of other companies applying for the same grant funding.
More importantly, your grant proposal must be specific to the grant you’re eligible for. You may have the best proposal, but if it’s not specific to the grant being offered, you probably won’t get the funding.
• Demonstrate Your Passion And Expertise
In most cases, donors offer grants to people and businesses with passion and expertise in what they do. You must showcase your knowledge and passion in what you do. To do this, highlight your previous experiences in your business. Talk about the awards you’ve won, including the previous grants you’ve received.
Essentially, it would help if you bragged about your expertise professionally. Prove to the donors that you’re committed to the project and will do your best to deliver.
Think about it this way: Donors want to be sure that if they lend you the money, you’ll deliver and be their success story. So, prove to the donor organizations that they can trust you with their money.
• Prepare A Realistic Budget
While you might think of grants as free money, it doesn’t mean you should provide an unrealistic budget. Grants usually require a budget detailing how you will use the funds. Do your homework to ensure you provide a realistic and feasible budget. Investors can quickly figure out when you’re guessing numbers to add to your budget.
• Hire A Grant Writer
Of course, you have a brilliant idea, but it’s essential to convince donors that you’re the right person or business to get the funding. This makes it essential to hire an expert to write for you.
Grant writing is complex and time-consuming.
Hiring an expert increases the likelihood of getting the funding. Remember, these people have a specific skill set and have submitted many applications. Therefore, they know what it takes to create winning grant proposals.
Get That Grant
Grants can help your woman-owned business in many ways. Besides providing free money you don’t have to repay, it’s an opportunity to put your business in the spotlight. The people and businesses you meet can make a huge difference as you seek funding. Since grants are competitive, pay attention to the details to ensure you stand a better chance of getting funding.