Over the past decade, the number of businesses owned by women has exponentially grown and there are more and more women every day seeking for capital to finance their business. The good news is that there are number of grants available out there for women starting a business in all fields. These grants help women to successfully start or grow their businesses and realize their entrepreneurial dreams. Most grant opportunities are not well advertised, and if you don’t look at the right places, the process can be really time consuming.
The best place to start the search is the Internet. There are numerous opportunities designed specifically for women business owners. Many sites with the focus on helping female population succeed in entrepreneurship are looking specifically for women to give grants to. Probably one of the best resources for entrepreneurs looking for funding when starting a small business is Grants.gov, a site that keeps a listing of available government grants. Federal government offers different grants for women. Most grants are available for women starting a business, buying a business, or those who want to grow an existing business. Women already in business can use the grant to hire new employees, buy new equipment or buy a new property.
The local Small Business Association (SBA) office can also be helpful in finding the right business grants.They can provide help at every stage of development and give advice on how to write a proposal. The SBA helps the Women’s Business Centers around the country provide grants and other services to women entrepreneurs. The Women’s Business Centers have offices in every U.S. state and territory.
Great resources for women business owners are organizations that support women in business. These kinds of organizations usually offer various grants for women who are starting their own business or those who wish to grow already existing business. Among the most popular organization are the National Association of Women Business Owners and Business and Professional Women.
When applying for a grant you need to prepare a business plan that among other things includes a market analysis, the objectives of the company, the mission and cost and profit projection. Business plan is a good addition to the grant application as granting organization can get a better insight of the company and its chances to succeed.
Other important thing is the grant proposal which is intended to help the review committee better understand the need for the grant and the business itself. It contains information on how the community will benefit if the particular woman receives the grant, and what her business will do for promoting a women-owned businesses in general. Grant proposals need to be written professionally and be easy to understand. For this reason many women hire professional writers to write the grant proposal for them.
At the end, make sure to submit your grant early so that it arrives on time to the granting agency. After submitting the grant, contact the agency to confirm it arrived on time and check if there is any additional information you can provide.