Many private organizations and non-profits fund grant programs that are specifically created for women-owned businesses. There are also many government grants for female entrepreneurs. Their efforts are aimed at leveling the entrepreneurial playing field for women business owners.
For women in business, finding grants and learning how to apply for them can provide you with the much-needed capital to grow and expand your business.
6 Small Business Grants for Women
Grants are great funding sources because, unlike loans, you do not have to pay back the money you are awarded when you win a grant. Because of this, the competition for these grants is often very high and the application process can take some time. That said, there are many grants available for female business owners, and it can definitely be worth taking the time and effort to apply for a business grant.
Here's a list of six great small business grants for women-owned businesses and the qualification requirements:
Grants.gov is a database for all federally sponsored grants. While it is open for both male and female business owners, it is the best place for female entrepreneurs to find federal grants. The site's database has all federal grants, including those specific to small businesses. Women business owners can visit the grant applicants section to apply for assistance based on eligibility.
There are also often government or private grants that are available to business owners if you live in a certain stage. Fundid's Grant Marketplace lets you search for grants by state.
IFundWomen launched this program last year, IFundWomen has secured more than $8M in corporate grants to pay forward to their members. So far, they have only deployed around 40% of the grant pool, so there is still a ton of money to go around.
Requirements: The requirements for this grant are standard and shouldn't take as long as some other applications. According to the application site, it should take you no more than 20 minutes to fill out.Grant Application Tip: Have your business pitch written out in advance so you can just copy and paste it in. Check out our list of other common documents you need to apply for grants.
This foundation awards $10,000 to one female business owner every month. One of the 12 recipients for the year gets an additional $25,000 year-end grant in December. The program is geared to helping women business owners achieve their entrepreneurial goals in honor of Amber, a young woman who died before fulfilling hers.
Requirements: The Amber Grant Foundation looks for female business owners who are passionate about their ventures. Tell a story about your business and what you intend to do if awarded the money.
4. Girlboss Foundation Grant
This foundation is exclusive to women business owners in the design, music, and art industries. Two female entrepreneurs that display creativity, innovation, and forward planning in the above sectors are awarded $15,000 every year plus online exposure via Girlboss' website.
Requirements: Samples of your creative works and a comprehensive plan on how you'll use the grant money.
This award aims to propel women business owners worldwide to their entrepreneurial success. Twenty-one finalists are chosen from the pool of applicants and receive business mentoring and media visibility. From the 21, seven are awarded $100,000. Cartier provides them with an expert for one-on-one mentoring. The remaining 14 winners get $30,000 in prize money.
Requirements: This grant is intended for early-stage, for-profit businesses. Must participate in the January to April Cartier program.
This program is not technically only for women business owners but it encourages women to apply by its policy of fairly awarding grants to both men and women. There are a total of 10 winners every year. They are sector and geography agnostic. Their 68 portfolio companies include: 55 are technology startups, 9 consumer packaged goods companies. 1/3 are B2B, 1/3 are B2C, 1/3 are both. 70% are NYC-based (this reflects their deal flow rather than a specific preference).
Requirements: Your business must have more than six months of customer data. Most of the companies that the 37 Angels fund have between $50k-500k in revenue.
Find and Apply for Business Grants
Fundid is on a mission to get women-owned businesses the funding they need to grow so that we can all close the business wealth gap. While 42% of businesses in the US are owned by women, they only account for 4% of revenue generated by private businesses. We spend our time at Fundid thinking about what the world would look like if women also generated 42% of revenue and how to get them the capital they need to make that happen. Fundid is creating new ways to get small businesses the capital they need to grow and is built from the feedback of women entrepreneurs.