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Best Grant and Funding Programs for Women-Owned Businesses

by Fahad Saleem

Women are quickly making their way into businesses around the globe. According to a study, there are more than 9 million women-owned businesses in the US alone. While crowdsourcing and venture capital are the spirit of the modern day startup ecosystem, raising funds and getting grants for women-owned businesses is still a daunting task full of impediments. Recently, several cases have shown that banks tend to reject business loans to women-owned businesses, citing the businesses as “risky”. However, there are ample opportunities for business grants and funding sprouting up in the US and around the world. There are special organizations and departments for businesses which offer special grants and funds to women-owned business provided they come up to the expected stipulations and basic criteria. Here are some of the best options women-owned business could use to get grants and funding.

Minority Business Development Agency

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is an agency of the US Department of Commerce, specifically set for minority and women owned businesses. You can visit the agency’s website to learn about the criteria to apply for grants. There are many regional offices of this agency and the whole process is easy and transparent. The track record shows that a lot of businesses owned by women have succeeded in getting grants from MBDA.

The Eileen Fisher Grant Program

The Eileen Fisher Women Owned Business Grant Program offers a plethora of options for women-owned business. Five grants are given annually. If you plan to apply for Eileen Fisher grant program, make sure that you satisfy their basic criteria for the grants. Last year, this organization gave a total of $125,000 in grants to women-owned businesses. For a business to be eligible for the grant, it must be based on innovation, societal well-being, growth prospects and strong idea base.

Huggies Mom Inspired Grants

Huggies Mom Inspired grants are for those companies which make products for moms, women. This grant could offer loads of cash for your startup if your idea is unique and nifty.

FedEx Grant Program

FedEx Think bigger grant program offers a total grant of worth $75,000. The program is based on a voting basis in which the candidates for grants come in front of judges and present their ideas.

InnovateHER 2015 Women Business Challenge

InnovateHER2015 is a grant program by US Small Business Administration, which offers grants $30,000 to the three winners of the contest every year. You can apply for the competition with a unique idea. This is one of the best options for getting grants for women-owned businesses.

Walmart’s Women Economic Empowerment Program

Walmart, in collaboration with major banks and companies around the world, has scaled up its grant program for women economic independence, according to which, more than $40 billion grants are pledged for the women owned business around the world over the period of next five years.

Google’s Small Business Grant Program

Google and Chase partnered to start a grant program for small business and pledged $3 million. Last year, $150,000 was given in grants. The successful candidates were also invited to visit Google’s headquarter, given Chromebooks and $2,000 coupons.

Before you apply to any grant program, make sure that you are eligible to for their stipulations, and your business has a unique, innovative and strong idea.

Image: Zillow

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