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- Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs
- Government Funding For Female Entrepreneurs
- Grants for women-owned small businesses 2023-2025
- #1. Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program
- #2. Amber Grant
- #3. IdeaCafe Grant
- #4. Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
- #5. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
- #6. GrantsforWomen.org
- #7. FedEx Small Business Grant
- #8. The Halstead Grant
- #9. Open Meadows Foundation
- #10. 37 Angels
- #11. Visa Everywhere Initiative
- #12. Small Business Innovation Research Program
- #13. Ms. Foundation Grants
- #14. Women Founders Network
- Grants for Women Owned Small Businesses In 2023 in the US
- Small Business Grants for Black women
- #1. United Negro College Fund
- #2. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation
- #3. The National Council of Negro Women’s Grant
- #4. $20 Million Lowe’s Grants for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
- #6. SBA 8(a) Business Development Program
- #7. iFundWomen
- #8. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
- Grants for Female Start Up Business
For women entrepreneurs, raising funds for their businesses is not always an easy task. Hence some Government agencies, private organizations, and other non-profit agencies have provided funding and grants for female entrepreneurs both for start-ups and other small businesses. Some of these government grants are specially for black women’s small businesses. So here we are going to discover the best women-owned businesses grants and know how to apply for them. Grant awards are free money that you don’t have to pay back unlike loans and credit cards. So they are excellent opportunities to raise funds for your small businesses. However, the competition for grants is always high, making the grant awards available to only a small percentage of businesses. So follow this guide through to get information on grants available to women entrepreneurs for their small business and information on how to apply for them.
Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs
Small business grants for women entrepreneurs are in different categories. We have grants for black women businesses, government funding for female entrepreneurs, and even start-up grants for women. So we are going to see some of the grants available for women-owned businesses and use them as a guide through 2023.
Government Funding For Female Entrepreneurs
#1. Federal Grant Programs
This is a great place to begin is with if you are looking for federal government funding especially for female entrepreneurs. In their grant database website, searches are done by category, agency, and Recovery Act opportunities.
The African-American women business owners looking for grants should also consider the federal government’s Minority Business Development Agency. It has local offices around the country and may help business owners find local grant sources.
#2. State and Local Grants
African-American women can start with their state’s grant office to locate the local grant offers. The offices have lists of all federal, state, and local grant opportunities in the state for everything including business. Hence, women business owners can locate their state’s office through a link on the U.S. Economic Development Administration website. Many state and local grants will be given to companies that will produce jobs and further the economic growth of industries in that state.
This is a database of federal grants including grants for small businesses. So if you are looking for federal government grants, the best place to start is the official government grants website, Grants.gov. However, government grants are open to both male and female businesses as there is nothing like government funding for female entrepreneurs. But then we can find grants that a specially designed for small business owners.
The government-owned website has a lot of grants and funding available, hence you have to search carefully to see what best suits you as a female entrepreneur.
Grants for women-owned small businesses 2023-2025
#1. Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program
The Eileen Fisher Women-owned Business Program was launched in 2004 by a fashion designer, ellen Fisher. This is a small business grants program for businesses making positive social and environmental impacts. It awards a maximum amount of $40,000 to a recipient each year.
The award is targeted at nonprofit businesses that have a positive impact on women and the environment. To be eligible for this award, the business must engage women in a sustainable economy while increasing their participation in decision-making. You can learn more about eligibility and the application process here.
This is a small business grant for women business owners. It was created in honor of a young woman who died before she could fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams.
#2. Amber Grant
The program awards a $10,000 grant to a woman business owner each year. Therefore, each year 12 female entrepreneurs will receive grants. Also, one winner will be selected from the 12 female entrepreneurs and be awarded an additional grant of $25,000 at the end of the year. The grant amount might the small but then it will help to keep the businesses running.
The application process however requires a fee of $15 and you must have told your story. The applications for the female-owned businesses grant for 2023 are currently ongoing. Learn more about the application process here.
#3. IdeaCafe Grant
This is a small business grant available for anyone who has a business or for startups. They offer a grant of $1000 each year to a small business owner. The application is free. Though the funding is not only for women, the majority of the individuals that got the grants are female entrepreneurs.
However, the small business grant application for 2021 ended in January, you should look out for it early next year.
#4. Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
Cartier women’s initiative award is a grant awarded to 21 female entrepreneurs around the globe every year. It aims at women business owners in the early stages of the development of their business.
Each of the 21 small business grant finalists will gain access to the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Six-Day Executive Program (ISEP). So, the top Seven finalists will win $100,000 and one-on-one mentoring from an expert recommended by Cartier. Also, the other 14 winners will win a $30,000 prize. You can know more about the application process here.
#5. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
The grants are available to small business owners, be it male or female, who is a NASE member. The member must also be able to show a specific need for the money. Hence, the annual grant is available to only to their 50,000 members.
For NASE basic membership, you have to pay $120 yearly. So, in exchange for membership, members have access to grants and scholarships. Hence, they offer multiple grant prizes of $4,000 each to deserving small businesses. Applications are ongoing online at the NASE website
This is a database of opportunities for women across industries. So, using the database you can identify relevant opportunities and follow their application instructions. However, the benefits vary with each opportunity.
However, the grants on the database are mostly for non-business purposes.
#7. FedEx Small Business Grant
The FedEx Small Business Grant isn’t necessarily a small business grant for women entrepreneurs only. But, women small business owners can apply. In fact, the first prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Grant was a woman.
So since 2013, FedEx’s grant has awarded $250,000 in small business grants to entrepreneurs all over the country.
#8. The Halstead Grant
The Halstead Grant started awarding grants in 2006 as small business grants for women entrepreneurs specifically in the jewelry industry. The grant is awarded to new female jewelry designers in the United States. Meanwhile, it is specifically geared toward businesses under three years old.
#9. Open Meadows Foundation
The Foundation is an organization that provides grants for women-owned businesses that promote gender, racial, and economic justice. So, the applicants for the grants must be women and the businesses which are women-owned must benefit women and girls.
The grant awards $2,000 to eligible projects that don’t have enough access to financial resources to grow. Specifically, only organizations that have $75,000 or less in budget resources are taken into consideration. Hence, this grant is a great opportunity for female startups businesses or women in the midst of starting a business.
#10. 37 Angels
37 Angels can be a great grant solution for female start-up businesses looking for investment. Meanwhile, they don’t only invest in women-owned businesses. They are actively trying to close the gender gap in startup investing.
After you submit your application through their website, you may have the opportunity to pitch their network of investors. Then, you’ll receive a funding decision in four weeks and can receive an investment of up to $200,000. This event occurs every month, so you can apply now.
#11. Visa Everywhere Initiative
Visa offers a Women’s Global Edition of this competition, which grants two winners $100,000 each. So, applicants compete for answering a fintech challenge and a social impact challenge.
However, this grant requires a lot of legwork. It can be a great opportunity, especially for women-owned businesses in the fintech industry.
#12. Small Business Innovation Research Program
This program is powered by the SBA, the SBIR funds small businesses in the research and development arena. There are wide eligibility requirements since several federal agencies offer these grants. However, your business needs to be for-profit, more than 50% owned by a U.S. citizen. You must also have fewer than 500 employees.
These grants are targeted specifically at organizations that are successfully addressing pivotal issues of reproductive health. You can visit the Ms. Foundation website to apply.
Annually, the Network hosts a Fast Pitch Competition. Female entrepreneurs can apply for the opportunity to pitch investors for the opportunity to win cash prizes. Finalists will still get access to a pitching coach, a financial mentor, a connection to a potential investor, and feedback on their business. However, the applications for will run from April 1 to June 15.
Grants for Women Owned Small Businesses In 2023 in the US
This program awards 100 grants of $5,000 each to women entrepreneurs. They will also receive a five-day trip to the Tory Burch campus in Jersey City, NJ. That is where ten fellows will get a chance to pitch their business to a panel of experts.
This organization’s website has distributed $3.6 million in funding to 256 programs since 2002. You can fill out this form to receive information about future funding opportunities.
These grants support start-ups and on-going grassroots efforts led by women, girls, or anyone who identifies as such. So, the organization offers grants through different partners for various amounts ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. So you can apply through their partners here.
Asides offering grants that range from $15,000 to $150,000 they also provide support organizations within the Chicago metropolitan area. The Foundation for Women now offers smaller rapid response grants of up to $7,500 to support projects outside of the Foundation’s grant cycles. You can apply here.
#5. The Red Backpack Fund
It was established in response to the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Red Backpack Fund will be donating at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female-identified entrepreneurs in the U.S.
However, this grant is not available to sole proprietors or businesses employing only contractors or freelancers.
#6. Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Award
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America awards the grant funding for the Girls Going Places program. Girls between the ages of 12 and 18 who show leadership in their schools or communities can apply for the award. So, each year the company awards $30,000 in prizes. The award money can go to support entrepreneurial ventures.
Small Business Grants for Black women
The organization is one of the oldest in providing grants for women and minorities. The grants can be applied for online from anywhere around the world. They also provide valuable links to other organizations and agencies you can get black women and minority grants from.
This reputable organization provides both educational and business grants that have been established to support African American women.
The program aims at covering economic gaps and giving access to opportunities and financial freedom.
They are committed to the advancement of Black women in business. So, they give funding opportunities for women who are interested in starting their own businesses. They also create a progressive mentorship program for new members who are interested in mentoring others in the organization.
#4. $20 Million Lowe’s Grants for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
The grants are designed to be easily accessed by registered business owners who are interested to help grow their businesses. Thus it will help them in navigating the challenges of running a small business in 2023.
#6. SBA 8(a) Business Development Program
This is not really a grant program, so it’s not one of the several (and highly coveted) loan programs for which the SBA is best known. It’s rather a business assistance program that aids economically and socially disadvantaged business owners secure government contracts.
You can go to the website for a comprehensive guide to the SBA 8(a) program.
This incredible resource helps female and female-identified founders of any race or ethnicity seek capital, coaching, and grant opportunities. But for today’s purposes, we’ll direct you to IFW’s grants hub, where they’ve aggregated a collection of the most exciting grant opportunities for women (crucially, with up-to-date application deadlines).
#8. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
This is a federal agency that supports the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in the U.S. It has over 40 physical locations located across the country.
Although this is not really a grant program, it’s a valuable resource for Black women entrepreneurs nonetheless. You can also find more information about grant and loan opportunities on the MDBA website.
Grants for Female Start Up Business
#1. Female Founders Fund
This was launched by “serial entrepreneur” Anu Duggal in 2014. The fund is for investing in the next generation of transformational technology companies by women.
They’re open to reviewing pitches from businesses in different industries, even before those businesses are ready for a formal funding round. They award between six to eight investments per year, with investments ranging from $500,000 to $750,000.
So, you can learn more about their eligibility criteria, the application process, and how to pitch them on their FAQ page.
They provide coaching, development, and community resources for Black and Brown female-identified entrepreneurs. They also provide capital for female start-up businesses through grants.
So, they have a pitch competition. The participating entrepreneurs have three minutes to pitch their business idea. Afterward, a three-minute Q&A session with a panel of professionals follows in front of an audience. Then, the audience votes “with their dollars” on the platform. The first, second, and third place winners are announced. However, everyone participating in the BGV Pitch has the opportunity to raise capital.
#3. New Voices Fund
They grant capital and expert advice to women of color who wish to start a business or grow their current business. They have over $100 million in the fund to award. Hence, applicants with a solid business plan have a decent chance of being approved.
#4. InnovateHER Challenge
This is run by the Small Business Association (SBA). Their grants go to women-owned businesses that create a marketable product or service that helps women or families.
To apply, founders can enter a local InnovateHER Challenge. If you are successful, you’ll advance to the national level. Their offers for the first prize are $40k; the second prize of $20k; and the third prize of $10k.
#5.Women-only incubators and accelerators
This is a women-only financing option. The business grants is a women-only incubator and accelerator. Incubators and accelerators both offer varying combinations of funding, workspace, mentorship, and community.
This is a woman-only startup incubator in New York City that offers a $25k investment and mentorship. They give females access to investors who are specifically interested in women-owned businesses.
#7. Boosting Female Founders Initiative – Round 2
The initiative helps female entrepreneurs overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support through grants to grow their start-ups in business.
The grants between $25,000 and $480,000 are for female startups to expand into domestic and global markets.
However, there are also mixed-gender funding options completely available to female entrepreneurs both in the government and private agencies. You can learn more about the different options available by checking out our full-length articles on the related articles.