As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, we're focusing on the United Nations' theme this year, "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow." To advocate for gender equality and honor our female-identifying AP users, we’ve rounded up a list of grants and resources for women-owned businesses. Learn how to pitch that great idea, network with fellow female entrepreneurs, and get the financial assistance you need to change the future for the better!
Amber Grants for Women
These grants are in honor of Amber Wigdahl, a bright young woman who passed away at the age of 19 before being able to fulfill her business dreams. Each month, The Amber Foundation grants $10,000 to a woman-led small business, and at the end of the year, one of the 12 recipients is selected to receive an additional $25,000. There’s an application fee of $15, but applications are accepted on a rolling basis so you can apply anytime!
Hello Alice was created to help you start and grow your company. It’s the world’s first 100% virtual accelerator. Focused on serving underrepresented business owners, this machine-learning technology can match you with opportunities and resources near you.
Galaxy of Stars
This non-profit 501(3)(c) organization offers a $2,900 Galaxy Grant exclusively for women and minority entrepreneurs. Providing an online network full of tools and resources, Galaxy of Stars is supported by Shark Tank’s Daymond John. It only takes 30 seconds to apply, and applications close on the last day of March!
The United States Small Business Administration
If you’re located in the United States, check out what the United States Small Business Administration has to offer. In addition to loads of information on how to run and operate a small business, this site also offers resources for disaster relief and provides opportunities for lender matches, 7(a) loans, 504 loans, microloans, investment capital, and various grants. For March this year, they even have a special page dedicated to Women’s History Month, go check it out!
National Association for the Self-Employed
The National Association for the Self-Employed provides a comprehensive benefits package to its members that’s full of resources; scholarships; and discounts on health insurance, legal help, office supplies, website design, and much more! They also make sure that your voice is heard in D.C. when it comes to small business laws that affect you.
Cartier Women’s Initiative
This international entrepreneurship program is open to women-run and-owned businesses in a sector with a “sustainable social and or environmental impact.” Your application to the Cartier Women’s Initiative must be written in English, and they only accept businesses that are “early stage” and “for-profit”; more info can be found on their FAQ page. The next call for applications to this program opened May 16th, 2022, and closes July 15th, 2022 so get your applications in!
FedEx Small Business Grants
This small business grant contest by FedEx has a grand prize of a $50,000 business grant and $7,500 in FedEx Office print services, a second-place prize of a $30,000 business grant and $5,000 in FedEx Office print services, and ten third place prizes of a $15,000 business grant and $1,000 in FedEx Office print services. It should be noted that since this is a contest and not necessarily a grant with a traditional application process, there’s a voting period during which the 12 recipients are selected. This contest is closed for the year, but check back in 2023 and start developing your campaign strategy now!
37 Angels is a resource for women-led startups looking for investors. Their main mission is to close the gender gap in startup investing by providing business clarity through education, transparent communication, and empathetic advice from experts. They offer 2 boot camp options, both taught by founder Angela Lee, who is a professor of venture capital at Columbia Business School. To become a member of their network, you must submit an online application, complete an interview, and meet specific income requirements. Their annual membership is $4,500 for the first year (which includes the cost of the boot camp) and drops to $3,000 annually in subsequent years. More information can be found on their FAQ page, or click here if you’re ready to apply!
Tory Burch Foundation
This fellowship program provides a year-long program featuring virtual education and intensives to help your business, a $5,000 grant, an online community for networking, and a trip to the Tory Burch offices in New York City. This program is only open to English-speaking United States residents who are at least 21 years old prior to the application date. You must be a female founder and/or business owner who owns all or a majority (51%+) of your business. In addition, you must own and/or operate a “for-profit” business in its “early stages” that are projected to make at least $75,000 in revenue, though considerations are being made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a great opportunity for a budding entrepreneur!
Women Founder’s Network
This network aims to provide female founders with capital, visibility, and mentorship. Their mission is to increase the number of women-led companies that get venture capital funding. Their site features virtual networking events, membership opportunities, and their Fast Pitch Competition. The competition winners receive a pitch coach, a financial mentor, a one-on-one meeting with a potential investor, and a ‘Dolphin Tank’ where you can refine your pitching skills in an interactive discussion with an expert panel dedicated to helping you grow as an entrepreneur.
Ad Astra Ventures
Ad Astra offers a variety of accelerator and boot camp programs for female founders and female co-founders alike. Their goal is to even the playing field for diverse thinkers who prioritize mission over profit. Based in San Diego, California, they offer 3 application periods throughout the year for budding founders or operating founders who are looking for a business boost. Their programs provide a “rigorous and intense” curriculum. Graduates of their accelerator program each receive an investment of $20,000 from Ad Astra.
For some of these grants, the application process can be extremely competitive. The money may need to be used for a specific purpose or in a specific way. Don’t let that deter you from applying, go after your dreams! Be sure to visit each grant and program’s FAQ page to get all the information you need to apply or become a member of these communities!
For more tips on financial literacy and financial health check out Annuity's Women & Financial Literacy!