Women are the growing face of business given that 30% of all U.S. businesses–9.4 million in total–are owned by women. Of which, 14% are controlled by black women who are generating $52.6 billion in combined revenues and employing 297,500 workers. With the number of women starting businesses continuing to skyrocket, the greater the need for access to capital to help grow and scale these businesses. Yet, women entrepreneurs continue to get shortchanged when it comes to getting bank loans, venture capital, and angel investments. To help ease this barrier, there are a number of grants available to small businesses.
Here are seven grants black women business owners should consider:
The InnovateHER Innovating for Women Business Challenge is sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership. Three winners are awarded $30,000 in prize money for businesses with products and services that have an impact on the lives of women and their families.
Intuit host a competition that gives away $25,000 small business grants to businesses based on votes. The average award is $5,000, but there are larger grand prizes depending on each year’s focus. The program has given away over $1 million since inception. Check the site frequently to see when is the next round.
Share your small-business story and enter for a chance to win the top prize–$25,000. There’s also one $15,000 winner and eight $7,500 winners. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
This business plan competition is a great way for new entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to win capital for their companies in the form of prizes ranging from $5,000 to as much as $200,000 or more. This competition is aimed especially at minority entrepreneurs and is sponsored by MillerCoors.
The MBDA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that assists minorities and women in establishing and growing their businesses. On its site, you can research grants and access links to state agencies that work with women-owned businesses for funding opportunities.
This program allows business owners to apply for financing a particular small business need. Worth up to $4,000 each, past recipients used their growth grants to purchase computers, hire part-time help, and create marketing materials.
Awards $500 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $2,000. The application is relatively simple: Applicants must explain what your business is and describe what you’d do with the grant money. The foundation’s advisory board chooses the winners, looking for women with passion and a good story.