Grant Money for Women

Identifying grants for women is by no means an easy task particularly as it relates to business initiatives. Grants for education, especially in fields traditionally dominated by men, are growing in numbers, and within certain specialties, such engineering and biotechnology, women’s associations now offer competitive educational grants to ensure that women gain access into these technical fields. Traditional fields for women such as nursing and teaching continue to offer grants for women, but often allow for male applicants as well, because men are entering into these fields in increasing numbers. It is important to note that such educational grants, when offered by associations that target specific fields, are highly competitive, and are not always need-driven. This means that such grants are merit-based, and can be a singularly significant source of funds for women entering a rigorous technical or scientific field. Many grants, while providing a certain amount for undergraduate work, are geared more toward advanced degrees, and this should be kept in mind. Women in non-traditional fields hoping to receive advanced degrees do well to identify those women associations directly related to their particular field of inquiry, and actively pursue garnering grant monies through them. While undergraduate studies are expensive enough, advanced studies are even more costly, and demand greater amounts of time in order to identify grants.

Furthermore, women with PhDs. have additional opportunities for grants, namely fellowships. Some fellowships are offered by institutes of higher learning, research facilities, corporations that conduct in-depth research into technological development, and the federal government offers fellowships for very select research projects.

Women-owned businesses are among the fastest growing businesses in the United States, and women entrepreneurship is at an all-time high as a result. Consequently, women need access to grants that will enable them to not only start-up enterprises, but expand existing businesses as well. Grants for women-owned businesses can take many forms from simple applications offered by the Amber Foundation to the Women’s Financial Fund, to the grant offered by the Eileen Fisher Company, and Jones of New York. Grant amounts vary as do specific requirements. By way of example: the Eileen Fisher Grant requires that the business be wholly-owned by a woman meaning that it is 100% owned by a least one women, if not more. Some grant specifications state that the woman must own at least 51% of the business, and other criteria can apply depending on the grant itself.

Women seeking grants need to conduct extensive research. Research is the key here, and it will take time and patience. Suggestions for research include: focus on the key area of education or business initiative. If a woman wants to be an engineer, identify women associations that support women entering the engineering field. They exist, and several have grants that help fund a woman’s education. If unsure, visit the Financial Aid Office of the school. If a woman wants to start a business, particularly a non-traditional one, begin the search, and do not stop until the funding sources are identified.


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