A vast opportunity for financial assistance is available to women through women grants. The federal government, local community organizations, and foundations have the same mission of offering women the opportunity to flourish by providing women grants to promote entrepreneurship, educational obtainment, and training. The federal government is somewhat limited on what is offered in the form of women grants, but foundations offer a flexible funding source for women. There are still a few government grants for women available. It is important to remember that women can apply for ALL types of government funding, since everyone is allowed to apply regardless of gender, race, etc.
The federal government does still offer grants for women to increase the number of women specific areas. The grants for women also extend to businesses. To encourage women entrepreneurship within the United States, the federal government decided to offer an incentive, grants for women, to those that hold over 51% ownership in a company. Before a business can apply for women grants, a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) application must be filled and approved by the appropriate government agency. Many women business owners do not apply for women grants due to the amount of paperwork involved with registering as a WBE. This process can be challenging and lengthy. Once the registration is completed, the challenge is identifying the grants.
For assistance with women grants that deal with business startup or expansion, contact the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA does not give out women grants directly to small businesses or individuals, but they are willing to assist you with identifying grants for women, financing, planning, and a variety of other needed activities. You will need a completed business plan before you will qualify for any federal or state grants.
The important thing to remember is most grants are not just for women. You may receive additional consideration for being a woman, but others may be allowed to apply. Many times the woman will receive additional points during the scoring process of the grant application. For all grant opportunities, the best website to visit is www.grants.gov. This website serves as a search engine for individuals looking for federal grant opportunities, since all federal agencies streamline their grants through this system.
Foundation grants are definitely the best funding source for women needing funding for non-business-related needs. Foundation grants can provide funding based upon the financial donor’s restrictions. Thus, the wide variation of giving priorities found in foundations. The best source for information on foundations providing women grants would be the library or a state-wide foundation listing publication.
It is quickly becoming harder to obtain women grants. Grants for women are becoming more widely sought, thus more competitive. With this in mind, make sure to follow all the guidelines and to write the application for your women’s grant compellingly and accurately.