7 Best Grants for Women Entrepreneurs in 2024

An entrepreneur.

There are many ways to secure money through financial opportunities available to help women in business. For female entrepreneurs, these may come in through business grants, loans, nonprofit organizations, federal government contracts, investors for woman-owned businesses, and more.

If you’re starting a business or would like to grow your current one, check out these valuable resources that offer everything from small business grants for women to networking opportunities. It’s comforting to know there’s support out there and you don’t have to go it alone.

Top Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

Lack of funding is a challenge many women in business face; however, applying for grants is one way to overcome this common obstacle. We’ve provided a list of the best small business grants for women entrepreneurs.

1. Amber Grant For Women

Grant Amount: $10,000-$25,000

WomensNet started the Amber Grant for Women, a female entrepreneurship fund, back in 1998 to honor 19-year-old Amber Wigdahi, who died at a young age before realizing her goals.

There are several grants awarded by WomensNet. The first is its Monthly Amber Grant, wherein the organization selects a winner every month to receive $10,000 in grant money for a woman-owned business. Because there are 12 winners every year, unlike other funds that select an annual winner, this grant provides more funding opportunities.

Secondly, WomansNet awards a $10,000 Monthly Startup Grant to businesses in the “idea stage.” It also awards a $10,000 Business Category Grant to Amber Grant applicants within a different industry each month.

Finally, one of the businesses previously selected for any of the monthly grants will receive a $25,000 Annual Amber Grant. Businesses must be located in the United States or Canada and be at least 50% women-owned to apply.

2. The Red Backpack Fund

Grant Amount: $5,000

The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has helped many women throughout the years by providing women business owners with funding opportunities. Given the difficulty experienced by many entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic, this foundation created The Red Backpack Fund in partnership with GlobalGiving to help businesswomen during this difficult time. It awards $5,000 grants to 1,000 women-owned businesses nationwide throughout different months.

If selected, grant winners also receive annual, free access to 80+ MasterClasses that include Sara Blakeley’s business training course.

To apply for this grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Majority women-owned small businesses with annual revenues of less than $5 million
  • Majority women-owned nonprofits with annual revenues of less than $5 million
  • Must have at least one paid employee
  • Must have fewer than 50 individuals on staff
  • Businesses must be in good standing
  • Businesses must be incorporated as a legal entity
  • Businesses must be able to demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing hardship

3. Cartier Women’s Initiative

Grant Amount: $30,000-$100,000

Cartier is not only a powerhouse when it comes to fine jewelry and other accessories, but also provides a significant funding opportunity for female entrepreneurs through its Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI) grant program.

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

Grant amounts for North America-based businesses range from $100,000 for first-place winners to $60,000 for second-place winners and $30,000 for third-place winners. Winners also receive access to the CWI Loan Fund of up to $200,000 as well as access to a robust fellowship program with training, mentorship, and other opportunities.

To apply for this grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have an established and functional business model
  • Be in the growth phase (one to five years)
  • Be majority owned by founders
  • Business should already generate revenue for one year
  • Should not have more than $2 million in “dilutive” funding
  • Business should meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by addressing social, economic, and environmental issues
  • Must have female leadership and ownership: chief executive officer (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 (United States) 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 three- to four-hour per week commitment of virtual communication (January to April)
  • One week of in-person workshops in early May (TBC)
  • Must be able to adhere to submittal deadlines

4. Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program

Grant Amount: $5,000

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 each year, a few will have the opportunity to pitch their business to industry experts.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • 21 years or older
  • A legal US resident
  • 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.

5. Halstead Grant

Grant Amount: $7,500 plus $1,000 in merchandise

Beginning in 2006, The Halstead Grant specifically helps women-owned businesses and artists in the jewelry industry. Grant winners receive $7,500 in capital, $1,000 in merchandise, and additional industry recognition. Plus, the organization awards four runners-up $1,000 in business grants. To be eligible to apply, you must be a woman jewelry entrepreneur who works primarily in silver.

6. FedEx Small Business Grants

Grant Amount: $20,000-$50,000

While the FedEx Small Business Grants program isn’t geared specifically toward women-owned businesses, it is still an excellent grant funding opportunity for small business owners. The grand prize is a $50,000 grant awarded to the top application. In addition, nine finalists receive $20,000 grants.

To apply for this grant, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a valid FedEx shipping account for a minimum of six months
  • Have fewer than 99 employees
  • Have been actively utilizing your FedEx shipping account

7. Small Business Innovation Research & Small Business Technology Transfer Grants

Grant Amount: $306,872-$2.1 Million

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Grants (STTR) programs are offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). While these business grants aren’t only offered to women-owned businesses, they still offer an excellent funding option for high-tech businesses owned by women.

To apply for these grants, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Organized for profit with a place of business located in the United States
  • More than 50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are US citizens or permanent resident aliens
  • No more than 500 employees

For the STTR grant program, you also must meet the following criteria:

  • Be located in the United States
  • Be a nonprofit college or university, a domestic nonprofit research organization, or a federally funded research and development (R&D) center

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