More women own small businesses, and the numbers keep growing. However, women find it difficult to obtain funding to start a new business. Banks and venture capital firms are traditional places to find capital to start a new business. Sometimes, women find it harder to obtain financing from them because their lending guidelines are strict. Therefore, many women and minority women turn to business grants for women.
Government Grants for Women
The government is one of the primary funding sources that women go to for women business grants and loans to start their business. Government business grants and SBA loans are very popular among women who are interested in starting a new business. Funds are limited and there is a lot of competition. State and local governments as well as private organizations and corporations also provide women business grants. Minority women may also qualify for minority government business grants. Grants can be found by searching the government’s website at grants.gov or by visiting your local state website. Grants do not have to be repaid, but loans must be repaid.
The United States Small Business Administration, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a grant that many women may want to apply for. The SBIR provides start up money for women to start their own small businesses and to encourage research and development in business technology as well as products and research which will enable women to compete in today’s business world. The government also hopes that small businesses will help provide jobs and help stimulate the economy.
Applicants may wish to check with such government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture- National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, the EPA and other agencies.
Private and Corporate Grants
Private grants for women are generally funded by individuals or organizations who are interested in promoting certain types of business activities. A board of directors of a private organization may be given the task of providing the funds in the form of a grant or scholarship. Many times corporations fund business projects for women that promote their own reputations or are somewhat related to providing benefits to the corporation.
Business Grant Eligibility Requirements
Each grant has its own unique requirements. Some business grants may require the applicant to have experience or expertise in a certain field or area. It is important for the applicant to read the grant eligibility requirements carefully to make sure the applicant qualifies for that grant. Applicants should make sure they answer all the questions on the application and attach all the required documentation. It is a good idea to send the application in early in case there is anything missing or the grantor asks for more information. Applying to more than one grant opportunity is highly recommended in order to increase the chances of receiving a business grant for women.
The government, private organizations, individuals and corporations allocate millions of dollars a year to provide grants, scholarships and loans to women to help them further their education, training and provide opportunities for women to start new businesses. These grantors recognize women’s abilities, intellect and their contributions to the development of new business technologies, ideas and applications which not only create jobs, but also help women compete in today’s business world and help improve the economy. Providing women business grants is good for everyone.