The number of business organizations owned by women has increased exponentially in the last ten years in the US. So much so, that between 1997 to 2006, businesses either fully owned by women or majority owned by women has grown twice the rate of all US firms.
Women entrepreneurs seeking funds to finance their ventures can receive money by way of grants. In fact the US government grants $ 350 billion in free government grants each year to small business enterprises and personal grants. Entrepreneurial women who wish to start home-based businesses can avail of special grants. Such grants are available for women willing to start business in any field including catering, photography, printing, record- labels, craft business, consulting, brokerage and much more.
How to find a grant?
Although there are millions of dollars waiting to be claimed by way of grants by women starting businesses, finding the right grant in the right place is not all that simple as it sounds. Check out simple ways that can effectively help you get a grant though it is a time consuming process.
- There are several online sites worth checking out that provide information and access to grants. In addition to this, there are sites specifically aiming to giving grants to women. These sites attempt to help the female population succeed in entrepreneurialism and climb on the ladder of success.
- There are women's funding networks which promote the growth of women's funds and empower women to foster strategic alliances among themselves, donors, communities and institutions.
Government grants for women
- Federal government offers grants for women starting business. The government is interested in making business playing field as even as possible. They want women to have suitable opportunities to succeed like men. The government is also keen to start more women oriented business which in turn would lead to more jobs, more tax revenues and a healthy economy.
- The government in the US offers billions of dollars as grants every year and there are 100% free federal grants for women. She has to simply apply for the grant she is qualified for and if granted the money, she may never pay it back at all!
- Government grants for women come in different shapes and sizes. Most grants are available for women who want to start business or buy a business or seek to expand the business already started. Those already in business could use the grant to hire new employees, buy new equipment or purchase a new property.
- Government grants come under various categories. One such is research technology and innovation grants which are promoted by federal government for those women aiming to develop software or providing online business consultations.
Finding grants for women- owned businesses
- The local Small Business Association (SBA) office should help you in finding the right business grants. Even grants that are not advertised online can be found here. They should also lead you in the right direction of grants offered in your market area of business. Other than grants, SBA also guides you in other aspects of starting and running a business.
- Local SCORE office can offer priceless information on grant services especially for growing business establishments. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs can avail free business advice from 'Counselors to America's Small Business.'
- Minority ethnic groups, disabled women, immigrants and those who served in the military are eligible for exclusive grants in the US. Women's Business Grants has put together such ethnic and minority groups which can be viewed at 'Grants for Ethnic and other groups' pages.
- Local business newspaper or magazine detail all latest happenings in the business community and local business grants offered to entrepreneurs who wish to make a fresh business attempt. These advertisements could appear as a small tidbit or even as part of an interview with a local business person or a donating firm.
- Business groups such as the local Chamber of Commerce often hosts networking breakfasts or lunches. These business groups offer their own business grants which can be valuable.
- Business owners of particular business can access information on grants for that area of business form their associations and organizations catering to their business specifically. For instance a soap making association can have relevant information on homemade soap businesses. Similarly, a crafts business group can get relevant business grant information on general craft business.
- Inform a friend or colleague about the fact that you are seeking a business grant as this can help indirectly. This friend may mention it to some one else who may know of someone else who probably has received a business grant. A friend may happen to know a venture capitalist interested to invest in a start up business. Dame luck can smile from anywhere!
- There are business grants available with many companies who grant them to immediate family or extended family members including siblings and adult children. These grants could be small, say about $ 1000 to $ 5000 but they come in handy for those needing money to start a small business. Again, such grants are not heavily advertised and the seeker has to simply ask and find out from business sources.
It is no secret that women are beginning to proudly own more and more businesses every day. They are successfully competing with men. And hundreds and thousands of grants are waiting out there to be taken by women daring to start any type of business.Top of the Page: Grants for Women Starting a Business