Federal government and private grant programs give away millions of dollars in grants every year to small businesses. Some of these grants are aimed specifically at businesses owned and operated by women. If you’re a woman and currently run a small business, or have an idea for a business, it might be worth putting the time and effort into tracking down and applying for these grants
This guide reviews how to start your grant search, lists some popular small business grants for women business owners, and provides tips on how to apply for a grant once you’ve tracked one down.
Where to look for grants
Whether you’re looking for public or private funding sources, these are some good places to start your search for grant opportunities:
This is the biggest database of U.S. government grants on the internet. (Last we checked, there were over 2,300 active grants available to apply for on the site.) If you intend on applying for a federal grant, start your search here.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is an agency of the U.S. federal government whose purpose is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in the United States succeed. One of the primary ways that the SBA helps small businesses is by improving their access to funding—including low-interest small business loans and grants.
Be sure to check out the SBA’s grants page for information about any grants your business might be eligible for.
Your local Women’s Business Center
One specific way that the SBA supports women small business owners is through its support of a national center of women’s business centers, which offer businesses mentoring and networking opportunities, business development training, business plan development, and access to funding.
Use the SBA’s lookup tool to find an SBA-supported Women’s Business Center (WBC) near you.
Maintained by the U.S. General Services Administration, Challenge.gov is where federal agencies ask individuals and small businesses for help in solving big public problems. These “challenges” work a lot like grants, and often involve a lengthy application process, but the rewards can be great.
Grant writing for begginers: The Application Tips
Want to maximize your chance of getting a grant? Consider this:
Don’t waste your time on the wrong grants
Take the time to understand which grants you’re a great fit for. If you have a feeling your business isn’t really a fit for a grant, you’ll sink hours and hours into an application that will just get tossed anyway.
Put together a business plan
Most of the grants we go over here require some kind of „business plan“ partcularly if you’re applying for a business that doesn’t exist yet. If you’re not sure where to start, try outlining your business’ goals, how yu plan to make money, how yu plan to grow, and what financial resources you plan to draw upon.
Consider hiring a grant writer
If you’re busy and don’t think you’ll be able to devote the time and effort required for the grant application process, you might still be able to apply! Grant writers can be one way to get around this. Just take a lot on Fiverr, I am sure there are many writers waiting for your order.