A business grant is a specified sum of money given to a business to help them further and grow their company. Women-owned business grants are grants specifically given to businesses owned by women. Unlike a loan, grants are not required to be paid back once they are awarded. There are many corporations that wish to see female entrepreneurs succeed and grow their business. These corporations typically are the ones who award these grants to women-owned businesses.
Since 2007, the amount of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has grown by 45%. Here are our picks for the top 10 women-owned business grants of 2020.
Girlboss offers a semi-annual foundation grant to women who are “pursuing a creative endeavor”. The grant is offered to female business owners in fashion, music, design, and the arts. Those who receive the grant will be awarded $15,000 in project funding. They will also get exposure through the Girlboss community/network. The winner also gets tickets to the Girlboss rally, as well as honorable mentions in the newsletters and social media platforms.
The current application cycle is open until February 21, 2020. The winner will be announced in April and the following cycle will open June 1, 2020.
The Cartier Women’s Initiative is a grant that offers $100,000 to early-stage businesses owned by females. This grant is international and is offered to women of many different industries. There are 21 finalists–three in each region. One winner from each region will be granted $100,000 for their business. The other two finalists in each region will receive $30,000. Winners will also receive a scholarship to attend the six-day INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Executive Education Program.
The winners will be announced later this month (January 2020).
The Eileen Fisher grant is “essential to accelerate progress towards improving the status and rights of women and the health of our planet”. The program began in 2019 and awards $200,000 annually in amounts from $10,000 to $40,000. There are three points that the grant supports and a business must align with at least one in order to receive the grant.
Applications are open through April and winners are notified in October.
Community Action Grants provide funding to businesses and organizations that support local non-profits for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that support and promote education and equity for females. The program offers one and two-year grants. AAUW has supported communities all over the U.S. to advance the education and equity of women and girls. A one year grant can range from $2,000-$7,000. A two-year grant ranges from $5,000-$10,000.
Tory Burch began a Fellows Program for women entrepreneurs. The program supports women and provides a community to help women learn, connect, and grow their businesses. “Fellows” receive a number of things including a $5,000 grant, a one-year fellowship, a trip to the Tory Burch offices for workshops, and an opportunity to pitch their business. You must be a female 21 or older and a resident of the U.S., as well as a for-profit company/organization.
The program typically opens for applications in September and closes in November.
The Open Meadows Foundation offers grants to an organization seeking projects that promote gender/racial/economic justice. These projects must be run by and benefit women and girls. The grants are typically less than $2,000 and aim towards smaller businesses.
Although The Open Meadows is reorganizing and not currently accepting applications, keep them in mind and check back to their page.
The For Women grants are offered to a range of businesses. Whether you are a national organization or a ” local grassroots group”, you could be eligible. Those applying for grants are working on behalf of women and girls. The grant offers more than just money. Your organization could be offered funding, but also support and opportunities to achieve your mission and goals.
Although the FedEx small business grant isn’t specifically for women-owned businesses, more women are being encouraged to apply. The FedEx grant began in 2013 and has been offering $250,000 in small business grants all over the country. There are a total of ten winners each year with one grand prize winner. The grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 grant, plus $7,500 in print and business services from FedEx. There are also four additional prize packages.
Submission begins in February and ends at the end of March.
The Amber Grant began in 1998 honoring the late Amber Wigdahl who did not get to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. The grant doubled this year to $4,000. However, if you get a grant through November you are eligible for a $25,000 grant at the end of the year.
The Amber Grant application cutoff ends on January 31, 2020.
The Halstead Grant is for women in the silver jewelry business. The grant comprises $7,500 in start-up funds plus $1,000 in merchandise. In addition, you will receive recognition for your business. The Halstead Grant began in 2006 and has helped many female jewelry artists in the industry.
The application is open through August 1, 2020, so, be sure to apply.
There are many ways to get funds for your business, grants can be a great way to get started, though. These grants can all be helpful to get your business off the ground. Many people do not know about several of these grants and how they can help. Let’s get the word out. Have you applied for any of these grants? Let us know in the comments below.
Alyson Pittman is a contributing writer for WBD and a JR marketing associate for Excite Creative Studios, an Atlanta-based creative agency.
Alyson graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. She was in multiple organizations at KSU where she held leadership positions. As a part of the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Alyson held the Social Coordinator position and planned/promoted large events.