5 Things Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Grants

5 Things Female Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Grants

Cassidy Chansirik
 | 

The number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 114% in the last 20 years. Worldwide, 36% of women own small businesses. Female-owned businesses generate $1.9 trillion in revenue each year and this number is only growing.

 

If you’re a female entrepreneur looking to secure funding to scale your business, here are 5 things you need to know about grants for women-owned businesses. 

 

1. There are 4 different types of grants. 

There are generally 4 different types of grants that female entrepreneurs can apply for.

The first is government grants. Government grants can be offered at the federal, state, or local level and decrease in their level of eligibility requirements and amount of money. Federal grants tend to have the strictest eligibility requirements and offer more money whereas local grants have more flexible requirements and focus on businesses that will use the money to help the community. 

 

The second type is SBA grants. The SBA offers grants for small businesses and also women-owned small businesses, so be sure to check whether you meet the grant requirements. 

 

The third type is minority grants. Minority grants cover funding for specific groups, including women, veterans, and different racial or ethnic groups. The Minority Business Development Association (MBDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce provides grants that operate MBDA's Minority Business Centers throughout the United States. It’s important to know that the MBDA does not provide loans or grants to start or expand your business. 

 

The fourth type is corporate grants. Corporate grants are offered by private companies and to apply, you’ll often have to turn in portfolios, essays, or business plans. Some corporate grants female entrepreneurs can apply for include The Red Backpack Fund, Cartier’s Women Initiative, and the Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant

 

2. Learn about writing a grant proposal. 

When you apply for a grant, you’ll be prompted to either answer a set of questions or write a grant proposal. When you write a grant proposal, first make sure that you meet all the qualifications and that the grant suits your business’s needs. You don’t want to start writing only to find out that you only meet half of the qualifications. Second, make sure you follow all the directions. If you don’t follow all the directions, you might not be approved for the grant. Third, be specific about how the money will be used and how it will contribute to your business’s goals. Lastly, if you’re inexperienced with grant writing, it might be a good idea to hire a grant consultant or writing professional to help you craft an air-tight proposal. 

 

3. Reach out to other female entrepreneurs. 

The best way to learn about how to apply for grants and what grants to apply for are from those who’ve gone through the process before. Not only will reaching out to other female entrepreneurs provide you with invaluable advice, but it will also build your network. This can mean cold-connecting on LinkedIn or joining business associations just for female entrepreneurs. For example, the National Association of Professional Women provides a personal forum for women entrepreneurs to promote their business, product or service, share ideas and expand their network. 

 

4. Apply for Small Business Association (SBA) grants

The SBA has an 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps small businesses compete in the marketplace. Through this program, small businesses can receive the following benefits: 

  • Compete for set-aside and sole-source contracts
  • Get a Business Opportunity Specialist to help navigate federal contracting
  • Form joint ventures with established businesses through the SBA's Mentor-Protégé Program
  • Receive management and technical assistance, including business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development
 

The SBA also has a Women-Owned Small Businesses Federal Contracting Program, which helps women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) compete for federal contracts. The federal government awards at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned businesses each year. Some contracts are awarded for specific industries where WOSBs are underrepresented and other contracts are restricted to economically disadvantaged WOSBs. Check here for a list of eligible industries. 

 

5. Change your strategy to secure funding. 

Statistics show that women receive only 7% of funding from venture capitalists, but have a 69.5% success rate of crowdfunding for their business. Furthermore, 57.4% of the SBA’s Microloan program loans went to women-owned or women-led businesses. If you’re still figuring out how to secure funding for your business, whether it be for inventory purposes or increasing the number of employees, loans and grants might be more helpful than pitching to VCs. It’s important to know that when you’re asking for a loan or grant, ask for more than you may actually need. This is because female entrepreneurs ask for $35,000 less in financing than their male counterparts and as a result, receive $5,000 less in loans. 

 

If you have questions about navigating the business process, LawChamps has you covered. We will match you with an affordable, experienced, and trusted lawyer who understands your business’ needs and the legal system to help you succeed. Contact us and let’s plan out your business’ success together.


LawChamps is here to connect you with an experienced and trusted lawyer who can help you at an affordable rate. The company assists with the management of your case and lawyer relationship. Your lawyer will assess your legal issue in a timely and confidential manner, explain why you need or do not need a lawyer, and only charge you for the legal services performed and associated out of pocket fees. This article is intended to convey general information and does not constitute legal advice.
Cassidy Chansirik

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