Small Business Grants for Women

Women entrepreneurship is on the rise! And this is not just a consequence of the economic downturn in the global economy, although it certainly has been an impetus. Many women realizing that to get ahead means moving ahead have decided to start small businesses thus forging new enterprises that are helping change the face of their communities. Educational opportunities have provided a further impetus to women entrepreneurship thereby allowing women to own and operate biotechnology companies, engineering and architectural firms, and consulting businesses.

Of course, to start a business requires capital. Funding for any kind of business enterprise is difficult, and with loans becoming increasingly hard to obtain without sufficient down payments, the need to identify grants is required.

Small business grants for women exist. Many companies – Jones of New York, Eileen Fisher, the Echoing Green Fellowship Grant – are among the many that offer small business grants for women. Some of these grants require that the woman wholly own the business, others want 51% woman ownership, and still others require a 50% ownership. What all this actually means is that companies that say they support women initiatives do, in fact, support them, and want to ensure a woman’s success.

Make no mistake, though. Small business grants for women are highly competitive, and the competition is fierce. Consequently, once a grant has been identified, it is important to review the grant application carefully. Consider each question, reflect on it, and consider the answer diligently. Although some grants for women businesses are fairly straight forward, others are much more complicated, and require more time to complete. Create the needed space to complete the application, put it aside for at least a day, and then re-read it prior to submission. Make sure that the answers to the questions have been answered completely ensuring that there are no grammatical or syntax errors. Ensure that goals and outcomes identified for the business are both concise and measurable.

Identifying grants for women-owned businesses requires an understanding of the role of the federal government, and the state where the business is located. Many states offer tax incentives for women-owned businesses, and these incentives should be thoroughly explored, and well-understood. These incentives have assisted numerous women in achieving their dreams of business ownership. While some argue that tax incentives are not technically a grant, they provide sources of revenue that should not be overlooked in developing long-range business plans and objectives. Many incentives are connected to employment training and retention: such incentives allow women-owned businesses to prosper, and reduce unemployment rates, too!

The federal government provides numerous opportunities for women. To harness the power of federal funding means to appreciate what is funded versus what is not funded. If, a woman-owned business can partner with a non-profit job training program where the business offers the facilities and on-the-job-training, and the non-profit identifies candidates, such public/private partnerships are proving to be highly successful at obtaining favorable funding from the federal government.

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