Top Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

Top Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

There are many financial assistance opportunities available for new businesses that are geared toward helping female entrepreneurs. These may come in through grants, non-profit organizations, government funding, and more.

If you’re starting a business or would like to grow your current one, check out these valuable resources. It’s comforting to know that there’s support out there and that you don’t have to go at it alone.

Amber Grant For Women

The WomensNet started a female entrepreneurship fund back in 1998 to honor nineteen-year-old Amber Wigdahi, who died at a young age before realizing her goals.

The organization selects a winner every month to award $2,000 to female-owned businesses. This is a great resource since there are twelve winners every year; unlike other funds that select an annual winner.

There is an additional $25,000 reward given to one of the initial twelve winners and you can vote on their website to select your favorite company for the final round.

Here is what they will be interested in finding out about you and your business if you choose to apply:

  • Your name
  • Business name
  • Website
  • Email
  • What your business is about
  • What got you started and how
  • Your future vision
  • Current business challenges

Entry fee: $15

In 2019, the application deadline is September 30, 2019.

Cartier Women’s Initiative

Cartier is not only a powerhouse when it comes to fine jewelry and other accessories, but they also provide a significant funding opportunity for female entrepreneurs.

This joint partnership between Cartier, McKinsey & Company, and INSEAD business school started in 2006 and aims to support women who have started establishing their business ideas and turned them into profit.

Here are the criteria for your business to qualify and enter:

  • Established and functional business model
  • Growth phase (1-5 years)
  • Majority owned by founders
  • Business should already generate revenue for 1 year
  • Should not have more than $2 million dollars in “dilutive” funding
  • Business should meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by addressing social, economic, and environmental issues
  • Female leadership and ownership (CEO, General Manager, Director)
  • Owner or Director must own a large portion of the business relative to other stakeholders
  • Entrant must be 18 years old (US) or of legal adult age in the residing country, at the time of application deadline
  • Proficiency in English (verbal and written); fluency in communicating complex ideas with native speakers
  • A 3 to 4 hours per week commitment of virtual communication, January-April
  • One week of in-person workshops in early May (TBC)
  • Must be able to adhere to submittal deadlines

The Girlboss Foundation

The Girlboss Foundation launched in 2014 with a mission to provide support and empowerment for female entrepreneurs. The organization awards $15,000 biannually to fund projects for individuals chasing their dreams in the following areas: arts, music, fashion, and design.

Essentially, entrepreneurs must possess creativity, innovation, and an understanding of business. As an added bonus, winners will receive exposure through the Girlboss online community, which is full of like-minded women within the creative industries.

To be eligible for the Girlboss grant, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Identify as female
  • Be a U.S. resident
  • Own a creative business

Here is what they will be interested in finding out about you and your business in the application:

  • Basic contact information
  • Title and description of your project
  • Your future vision and goals
  • Any additional information you want Girlboss to know
  • Project submission by mail or link

Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program

American fashion designer Tory Burch launched her foundation in 2009 as a way to help women in business overcome common obstacles. The Tory Burch Foundation provides mentorship and networking, entrepreneurial education, and access to capital.

The foundation’s Fellows Program is a unique opportunity offered to women entrepreneurs. Fellows will receive a $5,000 grant, in addition to workshops at the Tory Burch offices and one year of free access to an online network to connect with other women entrepreneurs and find further resources. Also, out of the 50 Fellows chosen, a few will have the opportunity to pitch their business to industry experts.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be 21 years or older
  • Be a legal U.S. resident
  • Be a woman entrepreneur who owns a majority stake in the business

Note that nonprofits, idea-stage ventures, and subsidiary businesses are not eligible for the program.

Here is what they will be interested in finding out about you and your business in the application:

  • Your business plan
  • A personal statement
  • A resume
  • If you take social responsibility
  • Your future vision

Halstead Grant

Beginning in 2006, The Halstead Grant specifically helps women artists and entrepreneurs in the jewelry industry. This year, a winner receives $7,500 in startup capital, $1,000 in-merchandise, and additional industry recognition.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Be a woman jewelry entrepreneur who works primarily in silver

Here is what they will be interested in finding out about you and your business in the application:

  • A portfolio of your designs
  • Detailed answers to 15 business questions

Eileen Fisher Award

The Eileen Fisher brand is committed to helping environmentally conscious female entrepreneurs. Their goal is to award a total of $200,000 annually to qualifying applicants. The distribution of funds will range from $5,000 to $30,000 per business.

They’re looking for women who can help other women in the following ways:

  • Help women increase participation in decision-making skills
    - Nonprofits and applicable programs need to show that they stand by an environmental cause
  • Train women and girls in climate change adaptation, mitigation, and advocacy
    - Nonprofits and applicable programs must provide knowledge, tools, and access to create climate change resiliency and/or advocate for new relevant policies.
  • Get women interested in creating a sustainable economy
    - Nonprofits and applicable programs must create an environment where women will aspire to achieve leadership positions that will provide environmental solutions

Here are the exact criteria organizations will need to apply:

  • Be an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
  • Provide direct services
  • Address one or more of the above key points
  • Program’s mission focuses primarily on individuals who identify as female
  • Executive leadership reflects the demographics of the program’s beneficiaries
  • Program has been generated by and/or co-designed with the communities it serves
  • Able to provide financial statements for one full year of operations
  • Able to complete an application and participate in an interview in English

*While organizations must be IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofits, there is no geographic restriction on the programs for which they are applying.

Non-eligible organizations:

  • Organizations that promote the views of a specific political party or religion
  • Organizations without executive leaders who identify as female
  • Organizations that do not involve beneficiaries in program design and operations
  • Organizations whose primary purpose is grant-making
  • Event sponsorships
  • Capital campaigns

To learn more about this fund, visit the Eileen Fisher website. Applications are accepted from May to June. Stay tuned for next year’s application process!

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