10+ Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

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Women owned businesses are thriving! According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there are 9.1 million woman-owned businesses nationwide, employing 7.9 million employees and generating $1.4 trillion in sales. Becoming an entrepreneur, has many perks, such being your own boss and passionately working toward your purpose. However, one of the top challenges for women entrepreneurs is finding funding. The lack of funding can be very overwhelming, and many do not where to look first. Aside from you own savings, you can find funding through investors, loans, crowd-funding sources, or grants. A grant is awarded money you don’t have to repay. Although there are many grants for entrepreneurs, some are specifically targeted toward women. We’ve compiled a  list of grants, for women starting a business. Ladies, it’s time to level up and make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.

Women’s Business Centers

WBCs represent a national network of over 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs seek to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.

GirlBoss Foundation Grant

Since launching in 2014, the Girlboss Foundation has awarded over $130,000 in financial grants to female and female-identifying entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their innovative ideas into the companies that will share the future. Grants are exclusive to female business owners in design, fashion, music, and the arts. Award amount is $15,000.

Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program

For this grant, businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. Revenues can not exceed $1 million, and the business must be founded on creating social and environmental change. The award is up to $25,000 per recipient.

The Amber Grant

The Amber Grant began in 1998. It was launched by Womensnet to honor the memory of a young woman (Amber) who died at the age of 19 – unable to fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams. This grant provides woman-owned businesses with $500 monthly and $2,500 yearly awards.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards is looking for committed female entrepreneurs heading initiatives with the potential to grow significantly in the years to come. It is a unique opportunity for early-phase women entrepreneurs to take their companies to the next level. Award amount varies from $30,000 and up.

The Single Mom Grant

This grant supports endeavors that show promise for success - whether it is a career, business, charitable, community, creative, or family project that is already underway and could use a financial boost. You might seek to use this money to build your dream business - one that lights your passion, contributes to the world in a positive way.

The HIGH FIVE Grant for Moms

This grant is a semi-annual $5,000 business grant empowering mom entrepreneurs to make massive impact. Hosted by The Mama Ladder® and sponsored by Belly Bandit, this grant provides economic empowerment for promising mom entrepreneurs to build their business.

Sephora Accelerate

This program is dedicated to building a community of innovative female founders in beauty. The months-long program begins with a one-week boot camp where founders acquire the necessary skills to create a successful business. Together, you learn from beauty mentors and seasoned entrepreneurs and prepare for a final Demo Day in the fall.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Community Action Grants

These community action grants provide funding to individuals, AAUW organizations, and local nonprofits for innovative programs that promote education and equity for women and girls. Grant projects must have direct public impact, be nonpartisan, and take place within the United States. Special consideration is given to projects focused on K-12 and college girls’ women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering, or math.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

FedEx awards up to $25,000 a piece to 10 small businesses annually. In 2017, the contest provided a total prize pool of $120,500. Winners also receive money to use toward FedEx Office print and business services.

Minority Business Development Agency

The MBDA is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It’s purpose is to help minorities and women entrepreneurs establish their businesses. Check out their website to learn more about their services.

The Entrepreneur Center of Dayton, Ohio

Our home base is Dayton! So we had to include one of the best resources for Entrepreneurs in our area, that is TEC. The Small Business Development Center at TEC, provides the following services:

  • free, confidential consulting and training to entrepreneurs in Dayton

  • private office in a shared work environment

  • affordable workplace solutions

If you aren’t located in our city, be sure to see what your city has to offer.

Grants.gov

This is a database of federally sponsored grants for small businesses. To view grants specifically for small businesses, filter the results on the left side of the page under “eligibility.”

Do you know of any more grants for women entrepreneurs? Please include them in the comment section below.

Kristina ThomasComment