Have you decided to pursue your dream and start your own business? You’ve come up with a great idea, created a killer business plan, are ready to launch but aren’t sure where to get the capital. During these tough times, you don’t have to do it on your own. There are numerous grants available for women, and specifically for minority women, which should not be passed up.
Not sure where to begin? CitySaheli did some digging to help you find the funding to pursue your venture.
The US government gives millions of dollars a day in grant money and is a great place to start your search for capital. Federal grants are available to women for various reasons, which include bettering the status of women in business, the arts, or in the fields of science and technology. Federal grants typically require an application, a stated goal and a promise that the funding will be used solely for the purpose for which the grant was created. Here are some great resources to get started:
The Economic Development Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, aids women entrepreneurs in obtaining grants, loans and other tools for success.
SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives) is an excellent source of information on small grants and loans and offers free classes and workshops on a variety of business aspects.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (or SBA) provides loans to women entrepreneurs and keeps readers up to date on grants offered by the government and partners of the SBA. The SBA also helps the Women’s Business Centers around the country provide grants and other services to women entrepreneurs. The Women’s Business Centers have at least one office in every U.S. state. Check out the SBA official site as well as your local SBA chapter.
Grants.gov and WomanEntrepreneur.com have grants that are specifically created for minority women. You can obtain applications for many of the grants directly on these sites.
Private and Corporate Grants
Private and corporate funding is typically available in the form of grants or scholarships. Private grants are funded by groups or individuals with a personal interest in promoting certain kinds of activities through their generosity. Often a private organization is set up as a foundation with a board of directors and possibly a committee that handles grants and awards.
See if your college or graduate school offers private grants. You can also find grants that are offered by wealthy well-known individuals. Individuals who provide private grants include Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, Bill Cosby and Martha Stewart. Also, don’t forget to go to the Chamber of Commerce to look up businesses and organizations that provide minority business grants for women.