4 Tips for Women Looking for Small Business Grants
Explore funding options to support your business growth.
Women entrepreneurs have the option of obtaining small business grants to finance their businesses venture. Unlike other financing options, you don't have to pay back the grant. Therefore, many may view this as free money to start or grow a business. Below, we detail 4 tips for women looking for small business grants.
1. Apply Extensively
Apply to many places with the hopes of winning a few. The more you apply, the more likely it is to be successful in at least some of your applications. It may feel like almost a full-time job, but the reward will be fulfilling.
2. Search for Local Opportunities in Institutions
Perform a local search and identify the state and local governments that offer small business grants to women. Some institutions may offer grants to all businesses, while others may offer grants specifically to women.
Search the websites and connect with the business advisors in your location who can direct you on the right path. You can also get free business consulting from Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
Institutions Offering Grants to Women
Some institutions will offer grants specifically to women. They include:
Federal Small-Business Grants
Some federal governments offer grants to small business owners. However, the grants are designated for a specific purpose like research and development or grants for businesses in rural areas.
These grants cannot be used for startup purposes or everyday expenses. Examples of places you can look at include the Grants.gov database that offers business grants. It also offers grants specifically for small businesses that are federally sponsored.
This is another example that awards grants yearly to women entrepreneurs.
State Grants and Local Small-Business Grants
Federal government grants are limited and very competitive. You can also look at the state level and identify the grant programs in your location.
Private Organizations Offering Small-Business Grants
Some private businesses and institutions offer small business grants specifically to women. For example, the Amber Grant awards 10,000 dollars every month to women-owned businesses.
3. Do your Research on the Organization
After you identify a grant, take time to research and find out more about the organization. If possible, make connections with people who work in the organization awarding the grant and ask questions that might be helpful.
Knowing someone in the organization makes it easier to find answers as some organizations might not be able to respond to all inquiries. Look at the businesses that have previously won the grant you are interested in. From this, determine the type of projects the organization is interested in funding.
4. Look for Non-Cash Prizes
Some organizations will offer competitions with non-cash rewards like business services or office space. These rewards are equally beneficial for your business. Participate in the contests and benefit from the non-cash grant that might target a more specific need in your business. The non-cash grant can sometimes be more valuable than the cash grant.
Winning a small business grant might not be the easiest thing to do. It takes time, effort, and dedication, and at times it can feel like a full-time job. However, the grant in cash or kind can go a long way in financing your startup or project. Knowing how to identify the right grant and using the right strategy in pursuing it will increase your chances of success. Subscribe to learn more about small business grants.
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