Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Selina Parker
As a women entrepreneur, you know that getting your business off the ground can be challenging. You may have also found that traditional funding sources, like business loans and investors, are not always available to women business owners.
It is where small business grants can come in handy for businesses owned by women like you.
This article will discuss how to choose the best grants for women. We will also provide a list of some of the best grants available!
The Raising Capital Process
Raising capital is an essential aspect of the business world. However, in this male-dominated industry, women-owned businesses are at a disadvantage. Female entrepreneurs have difficulty seeking funding opportunities, getting approved for loans, and attracting investors.
Different women-owned businesses have different funding needs. Some may need grants to cover start-up costs, while others may need grants to help with expansion. There are also grants available for specific purposes, like business grants for women of color or rural businesses.
Grants have been around for a while, but they are becoming increasingly popular as an option for women-owned small businesses. Grants can provide the necessary funding to get your business off the ground or help it expand.
Fortunately, there are grants available that can help offset this disparity. Grants are a great way to get funding for
What is a business grant?
It is a sum of money awarded to a business by the government or another organization, typically to promote economic development. It could be a company’s philanthropic initiative to help small business owners fund their own businesses and expand their reach.
However, business grants have strict guidelines on spending money. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you use the grant money in a way that will benefit your business.
Why should you apply for a grant?
The main reason you should apply for grants is that they can help your business in several ways.
- Grants can provide the necessary funding to get your business off the ground or help it expand.
- You can use grants to improve your company’s infrastructure, hire new employees, or fund research and development.
- Applying for grants can also show potential investors that you are serious about your business.
- Finally, grants can help level the playing field for female small business owners.
What are the types of grants?
Business grants have two different types:
1. Government grants
These are grants provided by the local, state, or federal government. Businesses that promote economic development in the said area are the ones that usually receive this type of grant.
The requirements tend to be strict, and the application process can be lengthy. However, government grants tend to have the most significant amount available.
Examples of government grants include:
- Women’s Business Centers
- Economic development administration
- Small Business Development Centers
- Small Business Administration
- Small Business Innovation Research
2. Corporate grants
These are grants provided by corporations to businesses that align with their philanthropic goals.
The requirements for this type of grant may be more accessible; however, the competition is tough, and the amount of money awarded is usually smaller.
Examples of corporate grants include:
- Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
- Eileen Fisher Women-owned Business Grant
- Tory Burch Foundation
- Amber Grant
What are the eligibility requirements?
Each type of grant has its own set of eligibility requirements, but there are some general requirements that all grants will have. These include:
- Must be a for-profit business
- Must be based in the United States
- Must have less than 500 employees
- The company must be at least 51% owned and controlled by women
- Registered with the government
- In good standing with the government
How do you apply for grants?
The application process for grants can vary depending on the type of grant and the organization awarding the grant. However, there are some general steps that all businesses will need to take. These include:
Research grants that align with your business goals
Not all business grants provide funding to businesses in all industries. It is essential to do your research and find grants that align with the goals of your business.
For example, if you are looking for a grant to start a women-owned business, you should look for grants that specifically fund women-owned businesses.
Create a list of potential grants
Do not settle right away for the first grant you come across. Create a list of potential grants and compare their requirements, application processes, and funding amounts. It will help you narrow down your options and choose the best grant for your business.
Gather the required documentation
Before filling out the application, ensure that you have all the required documentation, especially your business plan. Other requirements include business ownership, tax returns, business licenses, and financial statements.
Complete the application
Once you have gathered all the required documentation, you can start filling out the application. Ensure to answer all questions truthfully and provide as much detail as possible.
Submit the application
After completing the application, double-check it for any errors or missing information. Once you are sure that the application is complete, please submit it to the organization awarding the grant.
How to choose the right business grant for you
Think about what you need the funding for
Before you start looking for grants, take some time to think about why you need the funding. It will help you narrow down your options and choose a grant that explicitly funds the goals of your business.
Choose between the two types
As mentioned above, you have two primary options for business grants: government grants and corporate grants. Consider the pros and cons of each type before making a decision.
The corporate grant is suitable if you want a more manageable set of requirements but stricter competition. If you prefer more stringent requirements but less competition, the government grant is better.
Apply for grants that you are eligible for
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should only apply for grants if you are qualified. There is no point wasting your time on an application if you do not meet the eligibility requirements.
Consider the application process
The application process for grants can vary depending on the type of grant and the organization awarding the grant. Make sure to choose a grant with an application process that you are more comfortable.
Now that you know how to choose the best business grant for your needs, it is time to start applying for grants. Black women-owned businesses have a lot of grant funding available to them.
Remember to do your research, gather all required documentation, and complete the application truthfully. If you follow these steps, you will be on your way to securing funding for your business.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“What began as a life and career coaching services company to aide entrepreneurs through the early-stage challenges and tough transformations of starting a social venture has evolved over the years to include mergers and acquisitions, organizational consulting, and business growth advisory services to mission-driven organizations that strive to improve access to basic physiological, safety, and security needs while increasing their profit margin. Clients include founders and organizations with the purpose of addressing deficiencies in delivering quality healthcare and mental health services, sufficient employment, access to clean water and air, safe shelter, adequate food, and more.”