Having enough capital is key to running a successful small business. Finding capital is difficult, often more so for women. But there are small business grants (from government agencies, nonprofits, and private organizations) that can help. Nerd Wallet’s Rieva Lesonsky took a look and grant opportunities, and these are four of the best.
Grants.gov – If you’re looking for federally sponsored grants for women, the best place to start is Grants.gov. All government grants are open to male and female business owners, and this site serves as a database of all federal grants—including those specifically available for small business owners. To search for this type of grant, visit the official government grants website and check out their section for grant applicants to see if you’re eligible.
It’s important to note that this database includes a variety of grants, so you may need to sort through different options to find those that are the most relevant to small business owners.
Although there are no specific small business grants for women on this site, Grants.gov can still serve as a great starting point for women looking for federal grant resources. Over a dozen federal government agencies participate in the database.
Amber Grant – The Amber Grant was launched by Womensnet.com in 1998 to honor the memory of a young woman, Amber, who died before she could fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams. The grant was formed to help women entrepreneurs reach their goals when Amber could not.
This program awards a $10,000 grant to one qualifying woman business owner each month of the year. One of the monthly qualification grant winners will be awarded an additional $25,000 by the end of the year. These grant awards are small but can be very helpful for those working to get their business off the ground. Remember, there’s no expectation that this funding will be paid back.
The application cut-off for each monthly grant is the last of every month, so if you want a shot at winning the Amber Grant you have the opportunity to apply at any time of the year. All you have to do to apply is tell your story and pay a small application fee ($15). You can learn more about the application here.
Cartier Women’s Initiative Award – The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award is awarded once a year to 21 female entrepreneurs around the world. The Cartier award grant is intended for women business owners in the early stages of development of their business (between one to three years old). The business should be generating revenue, but need not be profitable. The top seven finalists will win $100,000 and one-to-one business mentoring from an expert that Cartier finds for you. The remaining 14 applicants will win a $30,000 prize. If you’d like to apply, the instructions are here.
GrantsforWomen.org – If you’re looking for a comprehensive resource for business grants for women and other funding opportunities, GrantsforWomen.org is a great resource. You can search for scholarship opportunities and grants for women on this site, but be forewarned—most are for non-business purposes.
Not all of these grants may be right for your business, but we hope you’ll find at least one that suits your needs. As a proud woman-owned business, we at VersaTel Solutions love sharing ways to make companies more successful. And our team of business experts is available to help you with your bookkeeping, administrative, and HR needs. Reach out to us, and we’ll find a package that’s right for you.