As women entrepreneurs we have awesome, amazing, and creative business ideas that could better serve our communities. A lot of us have already launched our business or idea, but some have hit a huge roadblock because in order to reach your ultimate goal and vision for your business you lack the proper funding to fully execute your idea. Well guess what?! There are tons of companies, organizations, foundations, investors, and women (and men) who believe in investing in the future of other women.
I always say that you can not go through entrepreneurship alone and this here is a prime example.
Can you raise the money you need by yourself for your business?
I believe 110% that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to and work at consistently. However, how long will it take you to raise $1M in capital or $500,000 or $100,000 by yourself?
Uncertainty lies there right?
We have to get out of the mindset that we have to do everything ourselves. That we should be the only investor in our business. There is a higher chance that giving someone equity in your company can take you further than you could have ever imagined.
You watch Shark Tank right?
Yea. Perfect example.
As women it is so difficult for us to set our pride to the side and ask for help. This scarcity mindset prevents us from reaching and exceeding our fullest potential in life.
The excuse of “I don’t know where to start or what to do.”
“I don’t know if anyone will believe in my dreams.”
Well guess what, you won’t know until you put yourself out there and take the risk. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about. Risks.
You will never know if your idea will work if you never try. You will never know if you will land that investor you need if that investor doesn’t even know that you and your idea exists.
The excuse of “I don’t think that I qualify.”
“My business plan isn’t finished yet.”
Guess what? The only opportunities you don’t qualify for are the ones you disqualify yourself from. And if you wait until you have everything together, figured out, and perfect you have honestly waited too late.The only opportunities you don’t qualify for are the ones you disqualify yourself from. Click To Tweet
I can sit here and tell you soooooooooo many times when God has granted me opportunities that I didn’t qualify for. There have been many times where I have read the requirements for a specific opportunity that I didn’t qualify for, but still applied.If you wait until you have everything together, figured out, and perfect you have honestly… Click To Tweet
My freshman year of college I was determined to obtain an accounting internship. Only to learn that after attending my first Fall college career fair, companies won’t hire you as an intern until you have at least completed your junior year.
Why? Because your junior year is the first year you are admitted to the College of Business and you have taken your intermediate accounting classes.
But ambitious little ole me said screw that requirement, “I’ll be the first to get an internship as a freshman.”
Guess who still went to the Winter career fair handing out resumes?
Guess you was in the face of almost every recruiter when they came to campus for events and presentations?
Guess who was in the face of all Big Four accounting firms her freshman year?!
Guess who had office visits with 3 of the Big Four 4 accounting firms?! As a freshman!
Guess who landed an internship with 1 of the Big Four accounting?! As a freshman!
Yep. That would be ME!
Guess who got invited back their sophomore year to intern again?!
Guess who got invited back to intern again her junior year?!
Guess who didn’t take their first accounting class until her sophomore year?!
Guess who didn’t take her first intermediate accounting class until her junior year?!
I didn’t qualify as a freshman, but I believed. I had faith. I was determined. I didn’t give up. I spoke into the atmosphere what I wanted, worked for it, and it returned back to me. And that is what I want you to do.You can achieve success if you: Believe in yourself. Have faith. Be determined. Never give up. Click To Tweet
In addition, I want you to:
- Shift your mindset
- Replace negativity with positivity
- Start where you are and with what you have
- Go after what you want by any means necessary
If you don’t get selected, GREAT! God has a better opportunity waiting for you, but you have to keep pushing through if you want to see your dreams come into fruition.
If you don’t get selected, GREAT! That experience has prepared you for the next opportunity.
But wait. What if you do get selected? You will never know until you take the first step of applying and believing.
So be bold. Believe in yourself. Realize that you don’t have to have every single thing together, but you have to put yourself out there, have faith, and believe that your wildest dreams and ideas will come true.
So that funding and capital that you need is sitting right below. I’ve listed some business grants that you can apply for to help you reach the ultimate goal for your business, idea, or brand. Good luck! I’m rooting for you! #ToTheTopWeGoCheck out The Best Small Business Grants for Women Entrepreneurs bit.ly/bestbizgrants Click To Tweet
SBIR is a highly competitive program that focuses on helping increase commercialization and stimulating technological innovation, products, and services for entrepreneurs. Federal agencies with Research & Developments budgets that exceed $100M are required to allocate approximately 3% of their R&D budget to the SBIR program.
Enactus is available in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, India, China, and Mexico. $1,500 is granted to up to 65 teams for them to complete their project. Grand prizes range from $1,000 to $5,000. Requirements include application to the Entrepreneurial Training or Workforce Development project. As an entrepreneur your team must empower women entrepreneurs in your country to create or improve their business plan or provide skills, training, resources, or mentorship that will help improve areas they are struggling within their business or serve as a foundation during the launch of their business.
Application Deadline: Mid-October each year
Innovate HER is hosted through the SBA and awards the top 3 businesses $10,000, $20,000, and $40,000 who have innovative products or services that impact and empower women and their families.
Applications are accepted each year at the end of December and close mid-June.
2017 Deadline: June 23
The Amber Grant awards women entrepreneurs $500 each month and $1,000 annually. Requirements simply include you sharing your business idea and what you need funding for.
Application fee: $7
Application Deadline: End of each month
The EILEEN FISHER Women-Owned Business Grant awards women owned businesses who have been in operation for at least 3 years with revenues less than $1 million. $100,000 in grants are awarded to up to 10 women owned and led businesses annually.
Applications are typically accepted for a full month between April-May.
2017 applications are accepted May 1-May 31
The Fellows Programs assists women entrepreneurs who have been in operation for 1-5 years grow and scale their business. Must generate revenues of $25,000-$500,000 annually. Fellows receive 1 year fellowship, $10,000 grant for business education, 3-day workshop at NYC headquarters, and participate in pitch competition to receive $100,000 investment.
Application open mid-September and close early November
2016 deadline: November 10
Fedex awards business owners who have been operating for at least 6 months, registered with the Secretary of State in the state the business resides, must be in good standing as of date of submission, not franchised, not under bankruptcy, and must have between 1-99 employees on payroll. A total of $120,500 will be granted amongst 20 winners.
Applications are accepted mid-February to mid-March each year
#GirlBoss Foundation awards female creative entrepreneurs financial grants to help them become a #GirlBoss and succeed in their future. Awards are granted biannually in the amount of $15,000 per recipient. Must live in the U.S., be at least 18 years old, and a female in design, fashion, music, or arts.
Application deadline June 30, 2017
Open Meadows Foundation provides grants to women owned organizations that promote gender, racial, and economic justice for women and girls. A max of $2,000 is granted to each organization.
Applications are accepted each year January 1-February 15 and July 1-August 15
Halstead sponsors jewlery grant awards to up and coming designers and jewelry makers. 1 winner will receive $7,500 cash, $1,000 supplies, trip to Arizona, media/press, and more. Top 5 finalists will receive $500 and Top 10 $250.
2017 deadline is August 1
The Urban Excellence Community Grant founded by Caleb Brown awards creative entrepreneurs who want to grow their business in their communities $1,000 and 500 hours of business consulting. Businesses must serve urban areas, operating for less than 3 years, and must have intentions on hiring full-time, part-time, or interns within the year of funding.
Applications are due the 15th of each month
Tap the Future is helping entrepreneurs transform their ideas and passions into successful businesses through a live pitch competition. Semifinal judge includes Daymond John of Shark Tank and Founder of FUBU. 5 semifinalists will receive $20,000 and the grand prize winner will receive $100,000.
2017 applications are accepted February 9 to April 14
The initiative helps early-stage women entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. Must be at least 18 years old, operating for 2-3 years, for-profit, and have an original business concept. Winners receive $100,000, mentoring, media visibility, and more.
Applications open each year in April/May
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment provides entrepreneurs with the tools, skills, capital, education, support, and network to create jobs and economic opportunity. Must be a small business owners or co-owner, operating for at least 2 years, revenues over $150,000, and minimum of 4 employees.
Learn more about Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women here
Go ahead and bookmark this post and as I find more grant opportunities I will add them to this post. If you have any other grants you know about, share them in the comments.
Share this post with a woman who’s looking to get to the next level in her business. Remember there is enough success out here for us all to win. A win for one is a win for all of us. Be the ladder that we all need.