As a woman business owner, you understand the importance of chasing your dreams—no matter the obstacles. But securing startup funding is no small feat. One option to consider is applying for a grant, which provides access to free finance that can be used to start or expand your venture.
While grant applications can take time and dedication, they offer an invaluable opportunity for female entrepreneurs like yourself with ambitions of creating a sustainable business. By following this post's helpful tips on how to earn a business grant, you'll be one step closer to making those dreams come true!
A business grant is essentially a sum of money awarded to a business, usually by a government agency or private foundation, to help fund specific projects or initiatives. While the application process for a grant can be quite competitive, taking the time to apply can be well worth the effort, as business grants do not have to be repaid.
Not only can grants provide essential funding, but they also offer the opportunity to gain recognition and credibility within your industry and community. Plus, being awarded a grant can help to propel your business to new levels of success.
Where To Find Small Business Grants For Women
1. Fundid Grant Marketplace
Fundid provides business owners with an easy way to search and find the latest business grants. Their team updates the Grant Marketplace weekly with new grant finds so you can spend your time growing your business, not searching for new grants!
2. The Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that provides support to small businesses. The SBA offers a variety of programs and services, including business counseling, financing, and grants. The SBA also provides information on where to find business grants.
3. State and Local Governments
State and local governments also offer grant programs for small businesses. These programs vary from state to state, so it is important to research what is available in your area. Many states have websites that provide information on business grants and other resources for small businesses.
4. Private Foundations
Private foundations are another source of funding for small businesses. These organizations typically award grants to businesses that are working to improve their communities or that are engaged in charitable work. To find private foundations that award business grants, you can search online databases such as the Foundation Center or GrantSpace.
5. Federal Grants
Federal agencies also offer grant programs for small businesses. These programs are typically competitive, so it is important to research the requirements and prepare a strong application. To find federal grant opportunities, you can search online databases such as Grants.gov or contact the agency directly.
How To Win A Business Grant
As mentioned earlier, the competition for business grants is stiff. Those up their game are more likely to succeed. And to help you do that, here are five tips to keep in mind.
Choose Grants Wisely
Winning business grants is a game of numbers. You must apply to many with the hope of earning a few. Successful applicants say they spent many hours a week researching grants and investing in networking. But while at it, it pays to be selective.
Grant applications are time-consuming. And sometimes, they may require external support from someone like a grant writer. Therefore, it is wise to make sure you're spending focusing on what you're eligible for.
Always keep in mind that most organizations offering business grants are experienced funders. They are very thoughtful about what and who to fund.
Funders are looking for suitable candidates in many ways. They will look at your financials, business strategies, and personal principles for shared missions and values.
If your vision, business approach, and missions are not aligned with theirs, you're less likely to win. So do a thorough review of past grants, recipients, and grand descriptions to gain insight on what to do to improve your chances of standing out.
Be Smart When Budgeting
Many business owners make the mistake of forcing budgets to correspond with the precise grant amount. In doing so, they end up losing focus on what the entire project will cost.
Funders have a team of experts who review grant applications. They can easily see through your numbers. And if they notice inaccuracies or irregularities, your applications will be denied.
So be smart when budgeting. Remember, the purpose of the budget is to give the funder a clear picture and impact of what their grants will make on your business. Itemize what the money will be used for and how much.
Sometimes, it takes a team's effort to win a grant. Instead of pursuing it alone, work with other people by leveraging your networks.
Build relationships with people working at organizations funding grants, thriving female business owners, and those who have won grants in the past. This will help you learn more about what funders look for, other grants, and other financing options to consider.
Start Your Search for Business Grants!
As you take the time to learn more about business grants, it's important to remember that the goal is to find a way to grow and sustain your business. Take advantage of all the valuable resources available, and make sure you do your research before applying. Women entrepreneurs who equip themselves with knowledge and apply for these grants can gain access to financial resources to invest in their dreams.
It may not be an easy road, but hard work coupled with persistence will pay off. Above all else, never give up on your passion and always stay determined in your pursuit of a successful business. Don't miss out on this opportunity; join our newsletter today to get the latest grant finds sent right to your inbox!
Editors note: This blog was originally published on December 15, 2020, and has been updatedfor accuracy and comprehensiveness.