Women-led companies generate an astounding $1.8 billion in revenues yearly and show a higher ROI than their male counterparts.
But when women attempt to secure business loans, they are shown to be slightly lower than the approval rate of men.
Women are not eligible for loans. However, they have smaller loans and higher interest rates.
There are alternatives to financing, like federal grant programs designed to address the gender gap in funding.
Here are some grants you might consider applying for. Also, here are some resources that will help you to locate more federal funding opportunities.
1. Small Business Technology Transfer Program and Small Business Innovation Research Grants
The STTR grants are financial aid programs created by the Small Business Administration for companies involved with technological research.
While the SBA is the principal contributor, all recipients have the chance to work with various federal agencies, depending on what type of work they do. By connecting with other agencies, it is possible to obtain additional funding for your research.
You must meet the following eligibility requirements
- 500 employees or less
- Cannot be a Non-Profit Organization
- Must not be less than 50% owned by citizens or permanent residents
It can be hard to navigate the SBIR/STTR application process. Fundera is a great resource for small businesses looking for assistance.
Also, read Personal Grants For Women
Additional SBA Resources
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a lot more than financial aid. Their website contains a treasure trove of resources that will benefit any woman entrepreneur.
The Learning Platform site has information about networking opportunities and small business loans. You’ll also find help with taxes.
You never know when they will give another grant. Therefore, it is wise to follow any updates on their site.
Are you in dire need of working capital for your business? Learn how Now is able to help you get quicker invoice payments now!
Dream Big Small Business of the YearThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Wish Big grant competition is an annual contest that helps small businesses to grow and aids in overall economic growth.
Each year, one company receives $25,000 in grant money. The COC stated that the grant is intended to “recognize small businesses that embody the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and individual initiative.”
Businesses must meet these requirements to be eligible.
- For-profit businesses
- At least one (1) year old
- 250 or fewer employees
- $20 million in annual revenue or more
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards
Through this program, small businesses can also be eligible for eight additional Business Achievement Awards.
One of these is the Women Owned Achievement Award.
You must have two things in order to be eligible for this award.
- 51% owned or controlled by U.S. resident women
- A woman (or a combination of them) who manages and runs the daily operations
All Business Achievement Awards award winners receive a free, one-year Chamber of Commerce membership as well as a sticker to put on their websites. At an annual dinner, prizes are presented.
This may not be grant funding, but it is good publicity for your business!
2. 8(a) Business Development Program
The 8A (a) Business Development grant is not really a grant. However, it can help propel your company forward by awarding you a very valuable government contract.
The federal government aims to allocate 5% to small and disadvantaged businesses through their contracting dollars. This program aids them in achieving that goal.
For this business opportunity to be considered, your small business must fill out the following forms:
- certified small businesses by the SBA
- Have good character and the ability to complete the contract.
- There has never been an 8(a) previous contract recipient.
Furthermore, applicants must be 51% owned by economically and/or socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs.
This business is:
- A personal net worth of less than $750,000
- Assets below $6 million
- Amount of adjusted gross income less than $350,000
By applying to this program, you can be eligible to apply for a federal contract worth millions.
Also, read 6 TIPS ON GETTING PERSONAL GRANTS
This website provides a list of hundreds of grants that are freely available to all. It provides a list of grants available from both federal agencies and private organizations.
You should keep in mind that the database includes grants for both individuals as well as businesses.
It is important to carefully read the information regarding the grant before applying. You don’t want to waste time or money on applications you aren’t eligible for.
To apply for any grant through Grants.gov, you must sign. You can filter your search in order to find one that meets your needs and business criteria.
Similar: Are Loans Always Better Than Grants?
This program allows individuals and groups to solve problems for the federal government.
Depending upon the nature of your company, you might just have the answer that the U.S. government wants.
There are many competitions in various fields, from engineering to medicine. Each competition is different and has its own eligibility criteria.
Non-Federal Grants for Women
Grants offered through government agencies can be very competitive and hard to qualify.
However, many private companies also have grant programs. Applying for these programs will allow you to receive some cash that can be used to support your small business’s financial needs.
These are all specifically made for women entrepreneurs.
The WomensNet Amber Grant is a program that helps young women to realize their business dreams. It was established in 1998.
One person receives the grant each month for $10,000, and four finalists each get $1,000.
Each of the twelve monthly recipients will be eligible for the $25,000 Award at the End of the Year.
WomensNet also offers $5000 business-specific grants and some mini-grants worth $2000.
Even if you’re not awarded larger amounts, there are still many ways to get money from this organization.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
This grant opportunity to women from all walks of the globe is available to those whose startups positively impact the social, economic, and environmental world.
The following conditions are required for businesses to be eligible.
- In its early stages, you can be a for-profit organization
- A minimum of one year of revenue
- Meet one UN SDG
There are seven regional prizes with three winners each and a Science and Technology Pioneer Award (with three more winners).
They give a $100,000 prize to each grant winner and $30,000 to runners-up.
All winners will participate in the Fellowship Program, which gives them the knowledge and skills to run a successful enterprise.
This includes mentoring from industry experts and established entrepreneurs as well as academics.
Also, winners become part of a lifelong network of like-minded female entrepreneurs who are thriving in the business world while standing up against social injustices and protecting the environment.
IFundWomen provides grants for women-owned businesses.
Here are a few examples:
Entrepreneur of the Year Award
One female entrepreneur has been selected to receive the award.
The honorees and runners-up are given either monetary grants or mentoring/coaching scholarships.
Jane Walker * IFundWomen First Women Grant
This program gives 15 winners $10,000 to develop female businesses within the following industries:
- Entertainment & film
Entrepreneurs must submit a 60 seconds video to apply for this grant. This video should demonstrate why their business stands out and break the rules within their industry.
Visa She’s next Grant Program for Black Women-Owned Business.
Visa is a partner of iFundWomen, which offers $10,000 to 60 black-owned businesses all across the country.
The program provides exclusive networking opportunities for black women entrepreneurs and offers coaching opportunities.
The IFundWomen X Neutrogena Fund
Neutrogena partnered with iFundWomen for a $10,000-to-181 woman-owned business in the health & wellness sector.
Qualifying businesses can be women-owned and promote healthy living by promoting physical health or mental well-being.
iFundWomen – Monthly Payment-It – Forward
Start a crowdfunding campaign on the iFundWomen website, and you are entered into the monthly Pay it Forward grant, which returns 20% of the crowdfunding fees iFundWomen received that month.
It is not necessary to complete an application. All those who create a crowdfunding campaign will automatically be entered into the pool.
This organization offers many other grants through their website, which are too numerous to be covered in this article. Many of the current applications are closed. However, new ones will be made in the near future.
iFundWomen will continue to search for new ways to help female entrepreneurs succeed within the business world. They offer grants for specific industries and places and a COVID-19 grant and assistance to minority groups. (Also, you can find a detailed article on where to look for COVID relief grants in your particular state here: Are You Offering Back to Businesses Grants?
You can check back with iFundWomen to stay up to date on new grants. Alternatively, you may fill out their Universal Grant Application and be included in their database of potential grant beneficiaries.
Tory Burch Foundation
The Tory Burch Foundation award $5000 each year to one small-business owner.
Your business must have three elements in order to be eligible
- Already generating income
This grant is for your business advancement and includes a 1-year fellowship that includes workshops, virtual classes, and other resources to help you increase your success chances.
You’ll have the chance to visit Tory Burch offices as well as be part of a premier peer group.
Women’s Founders Network Fast Pitch competition
They describe the Women Founders Network as “to provide access capital, visibility, mentoring, and support to female founders.”
Their Quick Pitch Competition provides over $25,000 in cash, mentoring, and networking for qualifying female entrepreneurs.
Here are the eligibility conditions:
- Women-owned Businesses
- Located in America
- You cannot have raised more than $750,000 from outside funding or personal donations.
- The CBD and the life sciences are not relevant.
Participation in the annual Fast Pitch Event is required to be eligible. You will present your products or business plan to a panel at this event.
For this grant competition, there is a $50 application fee. Their guidelines contain a complete description of the application process.
The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Small Business Grant
Eileen Fisher has created her own clothing line with sustainability at the forefront of her mind. She shares her vision and success with female entrepreneurs who value sustainability.
To accomplish this, she created the grant.
This financing opportunity is only available to businesses that meet the following requirements:
- A minimum of three years.
- Socially- and environmentally-driven
- Profits of less than one million per year
Your business could receive up to $120,000 to assist with your efforts to improve environmental and social conditions worldwide.
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Grants for Black Women Entrepreneurs
These grants provide financial assistance to women-led businesses in need of working capital. They’re a fantastic alternative to borrowing money from lenders.
It is possible that small businesses may not be eligible for any grant, government or private.
But, it’s worth the effort to receive a financial boost by simply filling out an application for a grant.