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  • Writer's pictureAndrej Nedeljkovic

Free Grant Money for Women-Owned Businesses

For women entrepreneurs seeking capital to fund and grow their startups, small business grants offer an advantage over traditional business loans. Unlike loans, which must be paid back with interest, grants are essentially a gift of free money – albeit one you’ll have to work for.

The competition for small business grants is high, and it takes considerable time and effort to apply, but should you succeed in securing one, you won’t be expected to pay the money back.

Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

Whether you’re looking to supplement your existing funding and financing options, or you need the startup funds to get your idea off the ground, these grant programs for women-owned businesses are a great place to start.

WomensNet Grants

Every month, WomensNet awards $10,000 to three women-owned businesses, as well as a two $25,000 annual grants, which are given to previous monthly grant winners. The Advisory Board members also have the ability to award Mini Grants throughout the year. To be considered for all of the grants, you only need to complete a single application, and the website offers free grant tips and FAQs. Learn about WomensNet Grants

Cartier Women’s Initiative Regional Awards

Each year, the Cartier Women’s Initiative provides regional awards to early-stage, women-run and women-owned businesses around the world who are leveraging business to meet at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The top three business from each region receive grants in the amount of $30,000 for third place, $60,000 for second place and $100,000 for first place, as well as fellowship coaching, mentoring, and training. Learn about the Cartier Women’s Initiative Regional Awards

IFundWomen Grants

IFundWomen is a funding marketplace for women-owned businesses offering a monthly Pay-It-Forward crowdfunding grant, as well as access to small business grants from corporate partners like American Express, Neutrogena and Visa. You can browse all available grants and apply directly, or join the free IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database and they’ll match you to partner grants and send you an email with an invite to apply.

SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant

SoGal Foundation has teamed up with several corporate sponsors to provide $10,000 and $5,000 cash grants to Black and multiracial women or nonbinary entrepreneurs who have a legally registered business with a scalable, high-impact solution or idea, and plan to seek investor financing. Awardees also receive help navigating the fundraising environment, as well as lifetime support from the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams. Learn about the Black Founder Startup Grant

FedEx Small Business Grant

While not exclusively available to female entrepreneurs, the FedEx Small Business Grant is fair with its distribution of funds to both women and men, and voting for the grant winners is open to the public. In 2022, FedEx awarded three grand prize winners $50,000 and seven first place winners received $20,000. Winners also received FedEx Office print services credit. Learn more about the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

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