Academic Scholarships for Female Entrepreneurs

Female student walking to university building with cherry blossoms.

Getting an education these days comes at a high cost; it's becoming increasingly important to further one's schooling to compete for jobs at the best companies.

Georgetown University researchers predict that by 2020, 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree and 30 percent will necessitate some college or associate’s degree.

For those who aim to go into faster growing occupations, such as STEM or healthcare, the expectations are even higher. To meet these requirements, students are accumulating record amounts of student debt — an issue that disproportionately affects women.

As women still face hefty barriers to enter many high-paying professions, financial and professional support can play an integral role in facilitating success. The following list includes the details of seven academic scholarships that help women get the diplomas they need to get the jobs they want.

1. Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Each year, Zonta awards approximately 32 regional scholarships with a value of $2,000 and six international scholarships with a value of $8,000 to support women pursuing undergraduate or master’s degrees in business management. The goal is to increase the number of women occupying leadership positions in the business world.

More than $1.3 million in scholarship money has been awarded to 564 recipients across 57 countries since the program’s conception in 1998.

General Requirements

  • Must study at an accredited institute or online in a business-related field
  • Must reside or study in a Zonta district or region
  • Must be enrolled from the second year of an undergraduate program to the final year of a Master’s program at the time the application is submitted

Who It’s Right For

Competitive candidates are those who have demonstrated “outstanding potential” in their respective fields. Additionally, the scholarship is geared toward those who aspire to be leaders and influencers in business.

2. C200 Scholar Awards


C200 Scholar Awards has given $1.68 million in scholarships to over 13,000 students. This scholarship aspires to broadly support and advance all women interested in business — at any point in their professional careers.

Women can apply to scholarships reaching up to $10,000. Recipients are also granted access to the C200 Scholar Network, a tool for networking and learning.

General Requirements:

  • Must be enrolled in an MBA program at a school hosting a Reachout
  • Has demonstrated outstanding leadership potential, integrity, and spirit
  • A commitment to giving back and supporting other women

Who It’s Right For:

This scholarship is right for women at all points of their professional development. C200 engages with women at the early stages of their careers through Reachouts at high schools and universities, as well as more experienced entrepreneurs through a Protégé Program for female entrepreneurs with revenues ranging from $5 to $15 million.

3. Fresh Start Scholarship

The Fresh Start Scholarship is designed to financially support women seeking to continue with their education after a temporary pause. More than just paying scholarship money to colleges at the beginning of each semester, this program offers mentors who help with networking and career development.

General Requirements:

  • Citizenship or permanent residency in the U.S., specifically applicants must be residents of Delaware or currently employed in Delaware for the past year
  • At least 20-years-old with a G.E.D or high school diploma. Additionally, must be admitted to an accredited Delaware college at the undergraduate level (two or four-year degree program)
  • Must have a break of two years either after high school or during college studies

Who It’s Right For:

According to the website, this scholarship is meant for women “whose lives would be improved if only they could complete their education.” The Fresh Start Scholarship is particularly suitable for those who have previously encountered financial or personal challenges but want to take control of their lives and create better futures for themselves.

4. AAUW Local Scholarships

AAUW’s mission stems from the unfortunate reality that while student debt is rising, women are still subject to unequal compensation and as a result, can be de-incentivized from furthering their education. Hence, AAUW aims to close the funding gap in higher education through local scholarships ranging from $500 to $10,000 that are available in 18 states.

General Requirements:

  • The requirements vary by state, but predominantly stipulate enrollment in an accredited high school or college

Who It’s Right For:

This scholarship is a good fit for any ambitious young woman who wants to further her education but needs financial support.

5. Women’s Enterprise Foundation Scholarships

Women’s Enterprise Foundation (WEF) Scholarships are only available for budding female entrepreneurs in the greater Phoenix area. Scholarship recipients are granted year-long membership and sponsored attendance to a variety of events with revered local organizations.

Alternatively, WEF offers bi-annual grant opportunities through which businesses can receive a maximum of $2,500 to help with specialized educational training and business development.

General Requirements:

  • Must be a resident or employee in the greater Phoenix (AZ) area
  • Applicants must own 51% or more of their business and must have been in business for one year (for scholarships) or two years (for grants)

Who It’s Right For:

Any women in the greater Phoenix area who wants a little extra support in getting their business up and running. It is designed for women who have already launched a business.

6. HERLead Fellowship

HERLead selects 30 applicants to partake in its program, which involves a four-day conference in New York City, in addition to personalized mentorship and leadership training. After the program, fellows receive grants to create a social impact project and put their new skills to the test.

General Requirements:

  • Enrollment in the 10th or 11th grade at a high school in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or Canada

Who It’s Right For:

Young women who are not only looking to reshape their own futures but who are seeking to help improve the world at large. HERLead prioritizes those who are concerned with making a global impact — and in turn, those who are willing to take the wheel and direct global initiatives.

7. Tobi Cares Scholarship

Los Angeles-based online clothing company, Tobi chooses one winner each year for its $3,000 scholarship. The scholarship money is intended to go toward the cost of tuition.

Additionally, there is a fashionable flair in that the lucky winner also receives $200 worth of Tobi store credit in order to match their success with style.

General Requirements:

  • Must be enrolled or enrolling in an undergraduate program at a U.S. four-year college or community college
  • Only incoming freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors can qualify

Who It’s Right For:

The scholarship is for women who want to be leaders or influencers in their community. Considering the fact that Tobi is fashion-focused, the scholarship is likely better suited to those with an interest in clothing or personal style.

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