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15 Steps How To Apply For Small Business Grants For Women

( How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women - In the past 25 years, more and more women have been founding companies. Overall, women start new businesses almost twice as often as men. Still, owning a business as a woman can be difficult. Research shows that the average revenue of women-owned businesses is only 27% of the revenue of male-owned businesses, and women start their businesses with about half the seed capital of men. A grant can help you start your new business or support your existing business. Many of these grants relate to specific industries and locations.

  • Research

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

1. Look for funding opportunities that apply to your business. It's important to look for grants that are related to your type of business. In general, there are two broad categories:

Start-up grants: If you are a start-up entrepreneur, you should find out about government and private grants. Most government and private institutions offer grants ranging from $100 to $4,000. The US federal government has a total of 26 grant agencies, ranging from agriculture to commerce, that offer funding to women entrepreneurs.

Grants for Existing Businesses: If you've been in business for at least 3-5 years, you may qualify for federal grants of up to $5,000. These scholarships are designed to help women entrepreneurs to expand and develop their businesses.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

2. Research government grants. The US federal government has over 900 federal grant programs. However, it does not offer grants specifically for women-owned businesses. If your organization is non-profit or not-for-profit, it may be easier to find a grant. Companies engaged in research are also more likely to be eligible.

Visit for information about other government agencies and available grants. You can also search their database by keyword and industry type. The database can be found here:

Call your state Women's Business Center office. Organized through, this office may have state-specific grant information that can help you narrow your grant search.

To qualify for many federal grants, it helps if your business is a stable nonprofit organization that has a good track record of developing community partnerships and supporting the needs of women for at least 3-5 years.

If your company is involved in technology research or development, you may be eligible for grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Visit the Minority Business Development Agency, a division of the US Department of Commerce. It has an entire section on financing your business, including information about grants and loans available to you.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

3. Visit your state's company website. Most states have business programs that offer grants and other funding opportunities to businesses in their state. For example, New York State runs a program called Empire State Development that provides grants to a variety of small businesses.

Government grants are often targeted at a specific industry, such as B.Craft Beverages. They may also aim to promote a specific trend, such as protecting the environment or promoting minority employment.

Most states also have a loan program for minority and women-owned businesses. Although these programs are not grants because you have to pay the money back, they do offer competitive loans to minorities and women who are often turned down by small business loan banks.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

4. Look for private grants. In addition to federal and other state grants, there are many ways to apply for private grants as well. The following websites and organizations are good places to start:

The Small Business Administration Office of Women's Business Ownership. The SBA does not offer grants for starting or expanding a small business. However, the WBO office offers free counseling, advice and links to private grant and loan opportunities for women looking to develop and expand their business. The SBA also helps bring women together with the annual InnovateHER Business Challenge, a nurturing competition for women entrepreneurs.

Funding database and membership owned by women. Although you have to pay a fee to become a member, you can access thousands of business grants and government programs for business growth and development through this online site. You can search available scholarships by state and get scholarship application tips.

Women's Advancement Network. Not all funding opportunities here are business grants. However, there are over 100 funds in WFN's network.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

5. Visit company websites. Many companies and other institutions offer private support programs for female entrepreneurs. Some of them are:

Eileen Fisher grant program for women-owned businesses. Eileen Fisher awards $100,000 each year in grants to businesses that are majority owned and operated by women.

Count Me In. In partnership with Capital One, Count Me In provides grants to applicants in amounts varying from $500 to $10,000. They also provide a Women Veteran Entrepreneur grant.

Amber Grants. Sponsored by WomensNet, these are small grants (around $500) awarded monthly.

  • Preparing to Apply

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

6. Write a business plan. A business plan details the financial, managerial, production and marketing concerns for your business, at least 5 years into the future. Your business plan should outline all of the start-up costs and investment capital that is required to make your business a success.

Your business plan should explain the potential market for your company's products or services, how your company will market itself to potential customers or clients, and how your company will hold up over a long period of time. For example: if you want to start a maternity business, you can talk about your ideal customer e.g. B. Young pregnant mothers looking for eco-friendly clothing and products. You can also discuss how the market for eco-friendly maternity supplies is growing as consumers become more eco-conscious.

As part of your proposal, you should also create a marketing plan. Think about how you will reach your customers: social media, print advertising, word of mouth, or a combination of several of these strategies.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

7. Create a business budget. Your business budget should show your long-term plan to keep your business profitable. A business budget differs from a personal budget because you need to consider staff wages, production costs (if any), and funds to market your business.

Use a spreadsheet to record all of your business expenses. Estimate your start-up costs when starting a new business. If you own an existing business, use the budget from the previous fiscal year to estimate your total expenses.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

8. Ask for letters of recommendation from peers, peers, and professional partners. Most grant applications require you to submit 1-5 letters of recommendation. Ask professionals, such as community partners or business associates, who can provide strong letters of recommendation to support your applications.

Provide your referrers with a brief overview of the scholarship you are considering applying for and how you think your company qualifies for this scholarship. Be specific about specific skills or processes that you have as a business owner that would make you a good candidate. Provide a brief summary of your company's future goals.

This information is not intended to direct or influence your referrers. Instead, they will give you helpful background information and then write you a good letter of recommendation.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

9. Check if you qualify for WOSB (Women Owned Small Business) status. Although qualifying as a WOSB is not a requirement to apply for business grants, it means you have a better chance of receiving a specific government grant if you indicate this on your application. To be a WOSB your organization, company or company must:

Be at least 51% owned and controlled by and primarily managed by one or more women (who must be US citizens if applying for grants in the US).

Be "small" in its primary industry, in accordance with the Small Business Administration's (SBA) size standards for the industry. A guide to SBA size standards for businesses is available here:

Your business must also be a small business self-certified with an SF424 (R&R) form. This form can be found here:

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

10. Read the specifications of the grant application thoroughly and carefully. You must ensure that you qualify for certain grants before investing the time to apply for them. If necessary, request additional information from the scholarship provider

Read the requirements carefully. Some scholarships are for startups or new ventures, while others are for well-established companies. Some grants are only available to residents of certain states or people running certain types of businesses.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

11. Be wary of scams or fake grants. You may receive phone calls tricking you into giving out information like your credit card number or bank account number, or you may see infomercials on TV or fake websites offering big sales pitches and so-called big "grants." Never give information like your credit card number or bank account number to suspicious organizations or vendors.

Check out the scholarship provider websites. Make sure they have a contact page with a working email address and phone number. Call or email scholarship providers if you have any questions and make sure you get clear, credible answers before applying for scholarships, especially online.

Most grant scammers will contact you by phone or email and use a script that will congratulate you on your eligibility, ask for your checking account information so they can "deposit your grant directly into your account" or a one off " Handling fee." The scammer can even assure you that you can get a refund if you are not satisfied. But you will never see the grant they promised and they will leave with your money.

If you come across a rogue grantor or are scammed by a fake grantor, contact the Federal Trade Commission or the National Fraud Information Center.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

12. Organize the applications by deadlines. After narrowing down your list of scholarships to apply for, organize them in chronological order based on their deadlines. Note the deadlines on your calendar or planner. Set small goals for each application deadline so you have time to complete each one.

In most cases, late scholarship applications will not be accepted by scholarship providers.

  • Filling out the application

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

13. Gather the necessary documents for your funding application. If you are applying for more than one grant at the same time, you will likely have some overlap in terms of the documents required to apply. Many applications contain a checklist for all required documents. You may need to provide documents such as:

An application form. There is a form that you need to fill out for all funding opportunities. Read it carefully to find out how it should be completed and what financial or industry information you need to provide to complete the application.

A business plan. Make sure it is thoroughly proofread by you or a professional proofreader and clearly states your company's objectives, goals and finances. It should also address the opportunity, problem, or need your business is helping to fill.

letter of recommendation. You may be required to submit letters of recommendation from respected business people or community members.

A suggestion. You will probably need to design a separate proposal for each application. Some of the statistics and business information in your business plan can be used in all proposals, but each grant application should be specific to the grantor. For example, one grant may only be available to female academics, while another grant may only be available to African American women. Each grant application must state how you specifically qualify for each type of grant and how the grant will help your business thrive.

Proposed budgets and financial statements. Grant organizations are looking for women entrepreneurs who can manage their finances. The stronger your budget and financial position, the more likely you are to show grant providers that you will use the grant responsibly and effectively.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

14. Proofread all your materials. Ask a second person, e.g. B. a colleague or colleagues to review your applications to ensure that you have answered all questions about the applications to the best of your knowledge and belief. Ask the person to also read the requests for grammatical errors. Submitting materials with errors will affect your professionalism and reduce your chances of receiving the scholarship.

Arrange your documents in the order they were requested on the application to make it easier for the application processor.

How to Apply For Small Business Grants For Women: 15 Steps

15. Submit your application by post or online as early as possible. You can apply for many scholarships online through their website. If applying for scholarships by mail, be sure to make copies and send the application by registered mail.

If applying online, visit the scholarship provider's website before applying to create an account. You will need to enter important business and personal information to obtain an ID number to help you process your grant application.

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