Among the many small business grants out there, some are open to specific groups of people, including women, to encourage more small business owners.

Why Small Business Grants for Women are Necessary

Launching a small business can be quite the undertaking, whether you’re starting a new venture for the first time or have many years of experience in your industry. Of course, securing startup capital is most often necessary, but depending on what type of financing you apply to and qualify for, it can also be expensive.

While women own about 29 percent of all small businesses in the U.S., it can still be more difficult for them to secure small business financing. Fortunately, there are small business grant opportunities geared specifically toward those who face more financial, social and political challenges gaining their footing in the business world, such as women and minorities.

Small business grants are an excellent resource for women business owners, since these awards are essentially free money that you don’t have pay back, unlike other financing options like small business loans and credit cards. Because these grant options are targeted for women business owners specifically, makes them an excellent source of capital for female entrepreneurs because they will be an even better fit than typical business grants.

As you might expect, small business grants are in high demand as many small business owners seek financing. Small business grants for women are few and far between, and the ones that do exist can be quite competitive. As women entrepreneurs have become a stronger presence in the business landscape, the number of grants specifically limited to women has started to dwindle. However, there are still a few grant programs that focus solely on women. But if you know where to look and understand the benefits available, you’ll be better equipped to earn the funding you’re looking for.

Federal grants: Some federal government grants for small-business owners are designated for specific purposes, such as research and development projects, or for businesses in specific geographic areas. Government grants typically must be used for purposes other than startup costs or day-to-day expenses.

Small Business Administration (SBA): It might also be worth look into SBA loans for women: affordable business loans for female small business owners. The SBA has always been a champion of women-owned small businesses, and they have the most extensive resources available for female entrepreneurs. The SBA sponsors about 100 Women’s Business Centers nationwide, designed to help women entrepreneurs with business development and access to capital. Some, such as the California Capital Financial Development Corp., lend money directly, while others help you find small-business grants and loans that you may qualify for.

Private grants: Some private organizations and businesses offer national grant programs for women small-business owners. A few to consider are: Amber Grant, Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant, the GirlBoss Foundation Grant, and more. Each application requirements and process varies, so spend some time researching online before you apply.