Small Business Grants for Women

Statistics show that more women own small businesses today than men. However, women also face more challenges of getting financing for their start-up costs. The federal government recognizes the importance of helping women own their own businesses. There, the government provides money to help women with the costs of starting a new business through women small business grants for women and small business loans. Much of the grant money is given to state and local government agencies, which provide programs for women to access the funds.

Grants are free money. Some grants for small businesses may require that the applicant match funds or combine the grant funds with a small business loan. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest loans for small businesses. Women can also secure financing from banks and other financial institutions if they meet the lending guidelines. However, loans must be paid back, and grants do not have to be repaid.

State Grants

Some states provide grant money for social programs such as senior programs or child care center, energy efficiency, technology, job training and education. Each grant has different eligibility requirements and requirements as to how the funds must be used. There may also be reporting requirements. In order to qualify for women small business grants, applicants must first meet all the guidelines of the funder. It is important to read the guidelines over carefully.  Most small business grants for women also require that the applicant submit a business plan.

A CPA, accountant or business attorney can help you prepare your business plan.

Finding Grant Opportunities for Small Businesses

To find small business grants for women, it is recommended that grantees search their local state websites and the federal government’s grant site at www.grants.gov. Private grants and corporate grants can also be found by going to the business or corporate funder’s website and downloading the application. Grants can be submitted via email or mailed depending upon the funder’s preferences.  It is also recommended that applicants register at the funder’s website for information about future grant opportunities. This way applicants will receive alerts when new grants are available.

Tips to Getting a Small Business Grant

While there is competition for women small business grants, there are some things that you can do to make your application stand out from the rest.  Here are some tips to help you win your grant:

Be sure to complete the application thoroughly answering all questions and attaching all the documentation that the funder requests.

  • Submit your grant early before the deadline.
  • Make sure your business plan is in order.
  • Show the funder how your business will benefit the community and the funder. Many private and corporate funders give grants to women who are starting businesses that are similar to the funder’s programs and that help the funder promote their brand as well.
  • Convince the funder that you have expertise and a thorough understanding of the type of business you are starting
  • Use professionals such as an accountant, COA and attorney to reflect your professionalism and credibility.
  • Follow-up with the funder.

Locating small businesses grants for women is a time consuming task. If you do not have the time to devote to researching and preparing your grant application, you may want to hire a professional grant writer to assist you. Above all, don’t give up. You should be persistent and apply to multiple grant opportunities increasing your chances of securing your funding.

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