Women-led businesses are blossoming, and it's a trend we hope to continue to encourage. Women starting their own businesses add diversity to the number of business opportunities available to the everyday person. In addition, it opens new doors to women who may have once struggled to find the same opportunities for income growth as men. Here, we want to take a look at some of the best Pennsylvania small business grant options available to women.
Small Business Advantage Grant
Environmentalism and energy-efficiency are top of mind for many consumers and small businesses. Both are encouraged to look for ways to use energy in more effective ways to reduce carbon emissions. The State of Pennsylvania wants to encourage this behavior, and offers the Small Business Advantage Grant to those who meet certain specifics related to how they use energy.
Per the Department Of Environmental Protection of Pennsylvania, the grant can provide the following:
The Small Business Advantage Grant provides 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,000 to enable Pennsylvania small businesses to purchase energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or adopt waste reduction processes.
This is a big boost to any small business ,as the purchase of equipment is a major expense on the front-end of operating a business. The fact that the state is willing to step in and potentially cover half of the cost of doing this is a positive thing.
Encouraging businesses to sprout up in certain neighborhoods is difficult due to long-standing economic, racial, and socio-economic discrimination and disparities. To help to try to right some of these wrongs, the state of Pennsylvania has established certain "empowerment zones" in various neighborhoods throughout the state. They seek to offer money to help encourage development in those neighborhoods.
The grant money offered in this program is between $20,000 and $25,000. Furthermore, it requires the recipient to have a business that is located in the empowerment zone. Additionally, it’s required they meet with a Pennsylvania Commerce Department staff member to discuss their business idea. The Commerce Department must okay the concept of your business in that empowerment zone before you are eligible for the grant money. In other words, they need to see the validity of what you are attempting to build.
Women's Business Enterprise Center (WBEC)
There is a local chapter of the Women's Business Enterprise Center that specifically operates in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware areas. Their mission in life is to provide the funding and resources that women need to make their business ideas a success. Business counseling, training, and networking programs are also available through this organization. It is a great way to start out any business on the right foot.
Amber Grant For Women
Every month, the Amber Grant for Women pays out $10,000 to a deserving women-led business. Additionally, they also pay out $25,000 once per year to a women-led business within their network. This grant seeks to specifically give a boost to women-led businesses as a matter of principle.
The application process for this grant is simple. One needs only to fill out paperwork explaining how their business could use the $10,000 - $25,000 in grant money to expand its services and operations. The applicant will also have to pay a one-time $15 processing fee. Once these are accomplished, the applicant becomes part of the program. They may be selected at any time based on the judgment of those who run this grant program.
It should be noted that while this grant is not strictly limited to businesses in Pennsylvania, it is limited to businesses that are women-led. This makes it more exclusive than some other programs in existence.
Grants are an excellent way to help fund the early stages of a business as it attempts to get off the ground. Applying for multiple programs is a good idea to diversify one's chances of landing grant money. Thus, all of these programs ought to be considered alongside any others that help women-led companies in Pennsylvania.