top of page
Search
  • Writer's picturescblackpages

20 Business Grants For Women: How to get money to start or grow your business

By: CNN- By Rebecca Safier, Katie Lowery, Andrew Pentis

1. Amber Grant

Provided by WomensNet, the Amber Grant offers three $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses each month, including:

  • Monthly Amber Grants

  • Startup Grants for businesses with less than $10,000 in total sales

  • Business Category Grants for a specific industry of the month, which include animal services, creative arts and STEM

Then, at the end of each year, WomensNet gives an additional $25,000 to three grant winners from that year.

Your application puts you in the running for all three grant categories that month, but if you want to be considered in future months, you’ll have to resubmit your application. You must wait at least three months before applying again.

Who qualifies? Your business must be at least 50% women-owned and based in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

How can I apply? Submit the two-question application before midnight EST on the last day of the month and pay a $15 application fee.


2. Cartier Women’s Initiative grant program

Since 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative has granted more than $9 million to early-stage, for-profit, women-owned businesses that make a positive impact around the world. This organization provides three grant opportunities yearly, and each program awards three winners.

  • Regional awards: Nine global regions (including North America and Europe) are identified, and each region’s top three businesses receive financial awards.

  • Science & Technology Pioneer Award: This grant rewards three businesses that display innovation and promote advancements in STEM.

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award: This grant awards funds to three businesses that address inequities in access, outcome or opportunity for underserved communities.

First-place award winners in each category (and region) receive $100,000, second-place winners receive $60,000, and third-place winners receive $30,000. Winners also receive business training, networking sessions, media training workshops and inclusion in a fellowship program.

Who qualifies? You must be a woman who owns or operates a for-profit business that’s between one and six years old. You may not have raised more than $2 million in funding, and your business should meet at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals put forth by the United Nations.

How can I apply? Submit an online application form alongside a resume, business financial statements, pitch deck and a short video. The application has historically been available throughout May and June.


3. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grant

This organization awards Growth Grants to four member businesses each quarter worth $4,000 each. Grant funds can be used for marketing, advertising, hiring employees or expanding facilities — anything that helps your business grow — but can’t be put toward debt, mortgage or rent payments.

Who qualifies? You must be an active NASE member, and your membership tier dictates how soon you can apply. Annual, Veteran, Silver (Annual) and Gold members can apply immediately, while Monthly and Silver (Monthly) members must wait at least 90 days to apply. Membership costs between $25 and $540, depending on your membership level. Both women and men are eligible.

How can I apply? Submit a written statement about how you would use the grant funds, a copy of your business plan and recent tax returns or profit and loss statements. Applications are reviewed quarterly, in January, April, July and October.


4. Tory Burch Foundation fellowship program

The Tory Burch Foundation runs a yearlong fellowship program for women entrepreneurs. Each year, 50 fellows receive a $5,000 grant and additional resources, such as workshops with experts and networking opportunities with other female founders. Grant funds must be used to further your business education. You may also access 0% interest loans.

Who qualifies? At least 51% of your business must be women-owned, and you must be 21 or older. Your business must be for-profit, operating for fewer than five years and generating at least $75,000 in annual revenue.

How can I apply? Submit an online application, a copy of your resume, a business plan, a headshot, business or product photos and a short elevator-pitch video. In the past, the application has opened in late September and closed in early November. Fellows are announced each spring.


5. Women of Color Grant

The Tory Burch Foundation also partners with the Fearless Fund to offer 75 annual Women of Color Grants. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to $20,000; winners can also access a learning portal and small-group networking opportunities.

Who qualifies? At least 51% of your business must be women-of-color-owned. Your business must be for-profit, and the committee prefers that you’ve been in business for one to five years and have a minimum annual revenue of at least $100,000.

How can I apply? Submit an online application by the deadline. In the past, the application was available throughout April.


6. FedEx Small Business Grant

The FedEx Small Business Grants Program isn’t specifically for women entrepreneurs but awards 10 grants to for-profit businesses that use FedEx shipping services. Nine grant winners receive $20,000 awards, and the grand prize winner is awarded $50,000. In addition to the cash awards, each grant winner receives shipping perks and credits with FedEx.

Who qualifies? Your business must be based in the U.S., have fewer than 99 employees and have been operational for at least six months. You must also have a FedEx business account for at least six months.

How can I apply? Submit an online application that describes your business, how you’d use grant funds and how FedEx has supported your growth. You’ll also submit a short pitch video. For 2024, applications are accepted between March 1 and April 1. Winners are notified on May 16.


7. IFundWomen grant program

IFundWomen is an online platform that connects you to grant opportunities with partners like Visa, Neutrogena, Unilever and Comcast. After you submit a general application to the database, IFundWomen will invite you to apply with any grant partners it deems a good fit. Award amounts vary by grant but may range from $2,500 to $100,000.

To get started, register on the iFundWomen website and fill out its Universal Grant Application.

Who qualifies? Grant criteria vary by opportunity, but generally, you must be a woman entrepreneur.

How can I apply? Start by filling out IFundWomen’s Universal Grant application. Funding amounts, deadlines and application processes vary by grant opportunity.


8. Galaxy Grants

Sponsored by Hidden Star, a nonprofit that offers startup assistance to low-income entrepreneurs, Galaxy Grants provide $2,750 awards to women- and minority-owned businesses. You’ll receive a matching award if you refer a friend and they win a grant.

Who qualifies? You must be a woman or “confirmable ethnic minority” business owner (or be considering starting a business), at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the U.S. You must create a free Galaxy of Stars account before applying.

How can I apply? The application takes under a minute to complete — you’ll supply your name, email address, zip code, ethnicity, gender and business status. The current grant cycle closes on March 31, 2024.


9. Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant is awarded to women-led businesses that make silver jewelry. The annual grand prize is $7,500 plus a $1,000 Halstead gift card. Four finalists win $1,000 and $250 Halstead gift cards.

Who qualifies? You must be a professional jewelry designer who intends to pursue a full-time career in jewelry making. You must have sold metal jewelry for at least five years and intend to scale to the national level.

How can I apply? Download the application and assemble a submission packet that includes 17 short essays. You must have an online jewelry portfolio for the judging panel to review, and your social media presence will also be considered. Submissions must be mailed and postmarked by May 1, 2024. Online submissions aren’t accepted.


10. Brown Girl Jane x SheaMoisture Grant

Plant-based beauty and wellness brand Brown Girl Jane partners with SheaMoisture to provide grants between $10,000 and $25,000 to Black-women-owned businesses in the beauty or wellness industry, including:

  • The Next Black Millionaires: $100,000 grants for Black-owned businesses (not limited to women) with at least $25,000 in annual revenue and two years in business. In addition to the cash award, winners receive business development support, retail distribution with Target and a role in an upcoming documentary series that follows their business journeys.

  • The Blueprint Grant: $10,000 awards and mentoring support for Black women entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 in the beauty industry.

  • SheaMoisture Community Impact Grant: $10,000 grants for Black-owned businesses that have been operational for at least one year.

Who qualifies? You must have a Black-owned business in the beauty or wellness industry. Your business must have been operational for at least one year.

How can I apply? The application cycle has historically been in the fall of each year.


11. HerRise Microgrant

The HerRise Microgrant is designed to help women of color start or grow their businesses. One $1,000 grant is awarded each month to enterprises that create “innovative solutions that impact their community.”

Who qualifies? At least 51% of your for-profit business must be owned by women of color. It must be registered in the U.S. and make less than $1 million in annual revenue.

How can I apply? Complete a short online application and submit your business plan and pitch. You must submit your application before midnight on the last day of the month.


12. Comcast RISE grant program

Comcast supports small businesses with 500 annual Comcast RISE grants of $5,000 each. Each winner also receives business mentoring, educational resources, production of a commercial and a technology makeover. Comcast looks for businesses focused on diversity, inclusion and investing in their communities. This grant was previously only open to businesses owned by women or people of color, but the program expanded to include all small business owners in 2023.

Who qualifies? Your for-profit business must have operated for at least three years and have 100 or fewer employees. This grant is usually limited to five different cities each year. For 2023, only business owners in Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis, Philadelphia and Portland were eligible.

How can I apply? Complete an online application, which may include essay questions, and submit a business plan. In the past, the application was available throughout June.


13. Enthuse Foundation grant program

The Enthuse Foundation offers $2,500 annual grants to 10 women-owned businesses in food, beverage or consumer packaged goods (CPG) each year. Funds can be used for child care, health or business insurance, business tools or digital marketing. The foundation also hosts an annual pitch competition — the grand prize is worth $10,000, and the runner-up receives $5,000.

Who qualifies? Your business must be in the food, beverage or CPG industry and be at least 51% women-owned. You must have annual revenue under $500,000 and have been in business for fewer than four years.

How can I apply? Complete an online application and describe your company, target audience and biggest challenges. The next grant cycle was slated to begin in March 2024, and the annual pitch competition is usually held in November.


14. Launch Program by Ladies Who Launch

The Launch Program offers $10,000 grants to 20 women- or nonbinary-owned CPG businesses each year. Recipients also join a six-month education program and receive one-on-one coaching from expert mentors. Grant funds can be used to sustain and grow your business but may not be put toward debt repayment, rent or utilities.

Who qualifies? You must be a woman or non-binary business owner in the CPG industry. Your business must be for-profit and have an annual revenue between $100,000 and $499,000. You must be at least 21 and a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

How can I apply? Submit an online application and provide information about your business, including revenue, other grants received and number of employees. You’ll also answer essay questions about your business model, the barriers you face and how you support your community. The next grant cycle was scheduled to begin in February 2024 and typically runs through the end of March.


15. Women Founders Network Fast Pitch program

The Fast Pitch competition awards two $25,000 grants to women-led businesses each year. One grant is given to a company that depends on technology to a significant degree to deliver its product. The second grant is awarded to a CPG business or one that provides a service directly to consumers.

Ten finalists make their pitch in person at the annual Fast Pitch event. In 2023, the event took place in October in Los Angeles.

Who qualifies? Your business must be majority-owned by a woman and have raised less than $750,000 in total outside funding. Businesses must be based in the U.S. and operate for profit. You must attend and participate in the Fast Pitch event in October to qualify.

How can I apply? Submit an online application by answering about two dozen questions about your business and future goals. You’ll need to provide a copy of your financial model, including past and projected revenue numbers and key metrics. The Women Founders Network charges a $50 application fee that’s due at the time of submission. For 2024, applications are accepted between April 1 and May 31.


16. High Five Grant for Moms

Funded by the Mama Ladder organization, the High Five Grant offers 24 yearly awards, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. The grand prize winner and first and second runner-ups also receive a one-hour strategy meeting with a marketing firm. This grant opportunity is designed for women business owners who identify as mothers.

Who qualifies? You must own at least 50% of your for-profit or service-based business and be able to verify your revenue. You must be a mother, which includes expecting moms, adoptive moms, stepmoms and foster moms.

How can I apply? Submit an online application and write an essay about why you started your business. You’ll have to pay an application fee, though the amount is undisclosed. In the past, the application was available throughout September.


17. EmpowHER Grants

The Boundless Futures Foundation offers EmpowHER Grants of up to $30,000 to women-owned businesses that address a social issue or pursue positive change in one of the following categories:

  • Poverty and hunger

  • Public health

  • Equal rights and opportunities

  • Sustainable communities and development

  • Climate and the environment

EmpowHER Grant funding is provided as reimbursement for business expenses, and you must supply proof of payment. Funds must be used in a way that aligns with your grant proposal.

Who qualifies? In addition to prioritizing social impact, your business must have been operational for fewer than three years, and you must be a female entrepreneur who is at least 22 years old.

How can I apply? Create a free Submittable account, then fill out the grant application. Submit a business plan describing your commitment to the concept and your societal impact. Applications are reviewed quarterly.


Grants.gov is a central database where you can find grant opportunities with federal agencies like the Departments of Defense, Agriculture and Education. You can filter opportunities by eligibility and enterprise category, and the site also features educational resources and tools.

Who qualifies? Eligibility varies by grant opportunity, but your business must meet the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standards.

How can I apply? Before applying for a grant through the database, you must create a Grants.gov Workspace account. You must also have a Unique Entity ID number from SAM.gov, which allows you to bid on government contracts (including grants).


19. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs

The SBA runs the SBIR and STTR programs, which award federal grants to businesses focusing on research and development. These programs aim to help underrepresented groups, including women in business.

Who qualifies? Your for-profit business must be at least 50% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or legal residents. You must employ fewer than 500 employees.

How can I apply? You must register your company with the SBIR. Each grant has unique eligibility requirements, including a grant proposal that meets the agency’s criteria. Grant amounts vary but may be worth up to several hundred thousand dollars.


20. USDA Rural Business Development Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers Rural Business Development Grants to qualifying businesses in rural areas that can be used for growth opportunities like land development, transportation and technology-based economic development. These grants aim to help small businesses create jobs in rural areas.

There’s no maximum grant amount, but the USDA says smaller requests receive higher priority. Grants generally range from $10,000 to $500,000.

Who qualifies? Nonprofit organizations, government entities and American Indian tribes are eligible for funding. You must serve an eligible rural community with a population below 50,000. Your business must have fewer than 50 employees and have less than $1 million in annual revenue.

How can I apply? Like the grant opportunities found through Grants.gov, you must have a Unique Entity ID number to apply for a USDA grant. Applications are accepted once per year at state and local USDA offices — applications have historically been due by late February.


13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page