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Grants for Business Women

Updated on March 7, 2008

There are grants specifically geared towards helping women achieve their career goals, from helping them return to school to providing funds for a start-up business. You can find these grants on both a national and a local level, but it usually takes a bit of research.

Your first stop should be your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. They should have information available, or resources listed, to help you find the assistance you need. Each program has different requirements for the women they help, but you should be able to find something that will work for your situation.

Social Networking

Another way to find out about the grants and resources available to you is by networking. You can meet women who have been in similar situations at career fairs, business fairs, and by joining local business groups. Find out if your city has a Women’s Commission, and attend meetings. Even if attending these events doesn’t directly move you towards achieving your goals, it will help you meet the people who can offer you guidance.

For example, I attended a conference last year put on by the Seattle Women’s Commission. While there, I met local women who have used city and national grants to start their own businesses. I also met a group of women who are trying to put together an organization whose sole purpose would be offering support and guidance to women staring their own businesses. Although the group is not yet active, it will be—and they have my name and contact information.

Women’s Opportunity Awards

You can find organizations that will help you improve your education, skills, and employment prospects. Many organizations offer grants to help recipients work towards their goals of running their own businesses.

Some of the grants offered help women:

  • Start their own business
  • Expand upon their existing business
  • Attend college to earn a degree or certificate, and receive employment training
  • Pay off debt

Although there are over $360 billion dollars in grant money available each year, fewer than 15% of women in the United States apply for grants. These grants are made available for a reason – to help you! So, it is time for you to take advantage of them, and do what you need to do to achieve your goals. With just a bit of research, you can easily find a grant that will meet your needs.

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    • Mary Tinkler profile image

      Mary Tinkler 

      10 years ago from Gresham

      Great article. Yes it does take a bit of digging, but you've posted some good resources here.

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