Owning your own business is like finding a rainbow. It's a beautiful thing, but there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Financing is still difficult for women-owned businesses, and grants are hard to find. So, where can female entrepreneurs go for help? Here are 10 places where women-owned businesses can get grants.
Grants do not have to be repaid
Grants are like free money; it doesn't have to be paid back. Many organizations and government agencies give grants to encourage small business growth or support causes that are important to the giver. Here are 10 to check out.
- Grants sponsored by the federal government - can be found at Grants.gov, a federal database of grants for small businesses, including those owned by women.
- InnovateHER Challenge - is a grant competition, sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It is held once a year with winners receiving $10,000 - $40,000 in grant money.
- Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs - SBIR/STTR grants are offered through specific government agencies to small businesses whose work contributes to federal research and development.
State and Local
- Economic Development Agencies - are located in many cities and offer grants to small businesses as a way of supporting small business and growing a strong and healthy local economy.
- Women's Business Centers - are sponsored by the SBA and are located throughout the nation. They are great sources for grants as well as small business loans.
- Small Business Development Centers - these centers are also sponsored by the SBA and located throughout the nation. Many are located at colleges and universities. The centers offer grants and other business financing.
- Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant - women's clothing retailer Eileen Fisher awards up to 10 grants each year at $100,000 each to women business owners.
- The Amber Grant Foundation - every month, this foundation awards $500 to a different women-owned business. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is selected to receive an additional grant of $2,000.
- Mission Main Street Grants - gives $150,000 to 20 small businesses each year. The grant program is sponsored by Chase Bank.
- FedEx Small Business Grant - FedEx awards up to $25,000 apiece to 10 small businesses every year.