Raising capital is a big part of being an entrepreneur. It has been seen that female entrepreneurs have a harder time trying to raise funds for their businesses in comparison to their male counterparts. Women-led businesses face a harder time trying to prove their credibility in the market.
Therefore, many of them depend on grant money to make their businesses profitable. Numerous grants are available for female entrepreneurs, which we will explore today.
Today’s economy is extremely dynamic, and raising money to cover numerous costs is very important to stay in business. While established businesses can depend on net profits to operate, smaller and newer businesses are at a disadvantage. They need several startup financing options to get through the first few slow quarters.
Why do Female Entrepreneurs Face Funding Issues?
Statistics from loan markets suggest that women are 5% less likely to receive business loans than men. This is also true for women who apply for government-supported loans from the Small Business Administration. And if women manage to secure a loan receive less credit than their male counterparts. Female entrepreneurs have struggled to get creditworthiness in the market, which is essential for any business to grow. Grants available for female entrepreneurs are also not high enough in number.
So, why are women at a disadvantage when it comes to funding? There is no definite answer to this, unfortunately. Some scholars suggest that women have a harder time trying to prove their credibility, while others say that fewer women apply for loans and grants. This is why women’s assistance programs exist to make sure that female entrepreneurs do not have to face this disadvantage in a competitive market.
A grant is essentially free money that does not need to be repaid, unlike loans and credit card debt. This is why competition to get grants is very high. For startup companies to become profitable, grants can be very helpful. Let us look at some of the grants available for female entrepreneurs in the USA.
Grants Female Entrepreneurs can Apply for
Several women empowerment grants are available to ensure female entrepreneurs can remain afloat in the competitive market and scale their businesses. Some of the popular ones have been discussed below.
1. Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)
This grant-building program is offered to female veterans or wives of veterans and offers two low-cost entrepreneurship training programs. The sponsor for the grant is the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. It is not exactly a grant, but it offers numerous skills which otherwise are very expensive to learn the direct way. The courses under V-WISE are as low as $25- $75.
Moreover, it offers excellent networking opportunities with businessmen and women, mentorship, training with expert instructors, and plenty of accelerated courses. By utilizing this grant-building program, female entrepreneurs can learn invaluable business skills that will help them in the future.
2. IFundWomen Universal Grant Program
This foundation gives small businesses owned by women various grants as it partners with various other organizations. They accept applications for all kinds of grants directly through their website. Their total grant pool is over $8M. This is a wonderful program to look into, considering that they offer numerous grants to various women-owned small businesses every year. This is one of the top grants available for female entrepreneurs.
This is a database for funding opportunities solely for female entrepreneurs. They also have information about various kinds of grants available- public, private, federal, and so on. Funding options are available for many industries, but not all of these are specifically for business owners. Their website offers all the details regarding this. If you are looking for grants for female entrepreneurs, this is a good place to begin.
4. Belle Capital
Belle Capital aims to cease the gap that exists concerning funding opportunities between men and women. This is an investment firm that focuses on women-led businesses. While female entrepreneurs have been acing business deals and sometimes making more money than male entrepreneurs, there still exists a very unfortunate discrimination between them regarding funding. Belle Capital works to make grants available for female entrepreneurs so that this gap can be closed little by little. You can visit their website to learn more about their work.
5. Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program Grants
The Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program chooses fifty women annually as Foundation Fellows. They are awarded $5,000 to apply for business education and are exposed to numerous professional development and networking opportunities. They are also introduced to potential investors interested in financing their companies.
This is among the best grants available for female entrepreneurs in the USA. The qualifying requirement is to be a female identifier with majority stakes in a business that is led and/or owned by women. The business in question has to generate at least $75,000 in profit in the previous fiscal year and has to be for-profit. The Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program is widely recognized for funding many female entrepreneurs and setting an example for other organizations.
6. Ms Foundation for Women
The Ms Foundation for Women has numerous awards and grants available for female entrepreneurs who are engaged in businesses that deal with the advancement of women and girls. Awards have been granted to businesses that worked on preventing domestic violence, advocating reproductive rights, promoting affordable childcare and maternity leave options, and so on. The foundation not only offers to fund but also offers special mentorship programs, networking opportunities, professional support as well as outreach programs.
7. 37 Angels
Female angel investors have formed this organization which invests in businesses owned and operated by women. This organization also recognizes the disadvantage that comes with grants available for female entrepreneurs and how there are lesser funding options for them and aims to bridge this gap. 37 Angels have been known to offer grants as high as $150,000 to advance the cause of female entrepreneurship, as well as offer financial advices for them.
8. Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
Cartier has been awarding 21 women every year with the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award since the year 2016. Cartier’s fund for women is largely publicized by the company as well. Every year, the winners receive personal business coaching, mentorship, media coverage, business workshops, and investor meetings to advance their businesses. In addition to this, the prizes range between $30,000 to $100,000. You can visit Cartier’s website to learn more about the grant and how to apply for the same.
Be sure to check out the above grants available for female entrepreneurs when looking for funding. These are very reliable and have been around for a long time, and have funded many women-owned and operated businesses for many years.
These grants are usually available nationwide, but in some cases, there may be variations for states or specific regions. It is also a good idea to look into the SBA loans, and government grants for female entrepreneurs since the SBA has always stood for advancing female entrepreneurship.
Q1. What is the US strategy for women’s economic security worldwide?
The USA aims to dismantle systemic barriers to ensure women participate fully in the economy and be part of the workforce.
Q2. How can we guarantee the economic empowerment of women?
Economic empowerment can be achieved through access to rights and freedoms, education, healthcare, equal earning opportunities, and equal political participation.
Q3. What elements can affect the economic freedom of women?
Elements such as age, inaccessibility to capital, healthcare, and education are some of the biggest barriers standing in the way of the economic empowerment of women.