A Guide To Business Grants For Female Entrepreneurs In Canada
May 11, 2018
Maybe youve taken inspiration from the likes of Mandy Rennehan, CEO of FreshCo, and other powerful Canadian business women and now you want to start a business and be your own boss. Theres just one major obstacle in your way: Money.
So how can you get your dream off the ground and find business grants for female entrepreneurs?
Lets back up a step. Youve come up with an amazing idea for a product or service that will change the market, but youre not sure what comes next. How exactly does one start a business?
Turns out its pretty easy!
Tips For Applying For Grants
All grants have terms and conditions that give a detailed breakdown of eligibility. Read them before applying. Its important to know which grants you actually qualify for versus the ones you dont.
Remember that most grants will want to know these things:
- Why did you create your business and when
- Revenue from the previous year
- Your backstory
- A breakdown of how youll allocate the funds
Utilize Google Docs or your notes app to have those core responses saved. Itll make the process of filling out applications a bit easier. In addition, many will ask for a video, usually under 2 minutes of why youre applying for the grant and how itll help your business. You should store a video or two with these responses so that you dont have records for every grant application.
Keeping a spreadsheet of the grants youre applying to will also help. Itll help to keep track of due dates, grant types, grant amounts, and the intended hear back date.
As a woman entrepreneur, you want to do whatever it takes to succeed. It may well be worth your time and energy to research grants to get the funds you need to grow.
The Amber Grant For Women
Named in honor of Amber Wigdahl, who passed away at a young age before realizing her business dreams, the Amber Grant provides two amazing monthly grants.
Wait, theres more. WomensNet, the organization behind the Amber Grant also provides:
- Nonprofit grant: $10,000 awarded quarterly
- Awarded twice yearly and offers hands-on marketing help to a selected women-owned business.
- Mini grants: up to $2,000 given throughout the year.
Best of all, the application process is fairly simple you only need to fill out one application to be considered for all of these different grants.
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Sogal Black Founder Startup Grant
- Submission Dates: Applications are currently live. Grants are issued on a rolling basis, so there isnt any particular date you need to apply by.
- Entry Requirements: Open to anyone who self-identifies as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur, has a legally registered business that provides a scalable, high-impact solution, and plans to seek investor financing.
SoGal Black Founder Startup Grants is a project offering $10K and $5K grants to black female and nonbinary entrepreneurs. These grants are made possible through a partnership of SoGal Foundation, Winky Lux, bluemercury, twelveNYC, Twilio, Walmart.orgs Center for Racial Equity, and other sponsors. Its not clear how often these grants are issued the most recent grant winners listed on the website are from 2020, but the website says grant applications are still open.
Additional Business Resources For Women
Women in business have more opportunities than ever before. With these grants, you have a little more ammunition to reach the next level in your business adventure. If you are looking for additional grant opportunities, be sure to read our list of grants for small businesses for a general audience.
Keep in mind that business isnt all about grants. While they help, remember to focus on your revenue, bottom line, and business credit score to keep other borrowing and capital opportunities available to you and your business. Here are additional resources that could help you grow your business.
Don’t Miss: Forsyth County Small Business Grants
Where Can You Find Loans For Single Mothers To Start A Business
There are quite a few resources available to help out single mothers. One example is SingleMom.com where you can find info on financial aid for education and small business loans and grants for women. The SBA also operates a number of Women’s Business Centers in nearly every state where you can find training, counseling and other resources to start and grow your business.
Shes Next By Visa For Black Women Entrepreneurs
Visa continues to fight against the disproportionate barriers that Black women have to face to start their own businesses. To qualify for the Shes Next program, you must be a Black woman business owner and have been in business for at least two years. You must be a B2C company with at least $24,000 in revenue. Location restrictions also apply.
Also Check: Small Business Grant For Veterans
Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program
- Submission Dates: The 2022 submission deadline was November 2021 you can apply for the 2023 cohort in .
- Entry Requirements: This program is open to women-run, for-profit, early-stage, revenue-generating businesses operating in the US.
- Website: toryburchfoundation.org
Each spring, up to 50 finalists of this women-owned business grant competition are selected for a $5,000 grant to be used for business education. The finalists also receive a one-year Tory Burch Fellowship and a free five-day trip to Tory Burch Offices in NYC over the summer.
The free trip includes a workshop, networking opportunities, and a Pitch Day event where a select group of finalists will have the chance to pitch their business to industry influencers. Note that the $5,000 grant cannot be used for purposes other than business education.
Small Business Grants For Women: Moms Minorities Veterans And Disabled
Entrepreneurial ladies, are you looking for a list of small business grants for women starting a business? This list of business grants, with links to applications and guidelines sites, will help you start up your new women-owned business.
Men, keep on reading because many of these grants are not exclusively for women. You too could be eligible for one of these business grants to start your business.
In the fast-changing modern market, entrepreneurs need access to new funds for new product ideas, research funds, and raw materials and inventories.
While large businesses that have fared well can rely exclusively on their own profits to reinvest. However, to grow, all businesses need loans to endure rough business quarters. This is particularly true for smaller businesses.
Though it can be challenging enough for startup businesses to become profitable, small companies led by women are at a disadvantage.
Data from the loan market indicates that female entrepreneurs are 5 percent less likely for conventional small business loans. This tendency also pertains to women who apply for the government-supported loans of the Small Business Administration.
Normally, women who manage to secure a loan also receive smaller amounts than male borrowers. This means that companies with female owners struggle to receive credit, which is an essential part of becoming competitive in any market.
Need help calculating your startup costs?
Read Also: Hud First Time Home Buyer Grant
Womens Enterprise Centre Business Loans For Women
Rather than going to a traditional lender to finance your business, why not try applying to the Womens Enterprise Centre to access one of their loans?
Youll get better terms, and theyre far more likely to take the risk on you. In fact, chances are youll qualify for financing with them when you dont qualify with the banks!
And when you take advantage of their financing for women in business, youll also get free business advice, skills training, and mentorship. Its this combination that has their recipients 50% more likely to succeed after 5 years than those who finance with regular lenders.
If you qualify, you could get financing of up to $150,000 , flexible repayment options, and up to 5 years to pay.
Are you a woman who owns and controls at least 51% of your company and a Canadian and British Columbia citizen or permanent resident older than 19? You probably qualify then, but heres a list of what else theyre looking for:
They Contact You To Promote The Grant
If you receive a phone call, email, or letter telling you youre eligible for a government grant, its a scam. Federal agencies never contact business owners to encourage grant applications.
Some private funders, such as the Ms. Foundation, do contact organizations with requests for grant proposals.
Also Check: How To Apply For Ida Grant
Female Founder Office Hours
Need advice about how to scale up your start-up or are you searching for a source of funding that can help you grow faster? At the Female Founders Office Hours event, hosted at Founders Factory in West London, you can benefit from one-to-one sessions where you will receive tailored advice about your start-up.
This year, more than 100 female founders will be taking part from across the UK. They will have the opportunity to meet four investors and discuss their tech business idea, ask for advice and pitch for investment.
Fearless Strivers Grant Contest
The Fearless Fund invests in women of color-led businesses and holds a contest specifically for black women-owned businesses. The Fearless Strivers Grant Contest will award eleven $10,000 grants to small businesses across the country along with digital tools and mentorship opportunities to help bolster business.
Recommended Reading: How Are Stock Grants Taxed
Amber Grants For Women
The Amber Grant is a monthly $10,000 grant. Additional smaller grants may be awarded as well. One of the 12 monthly recipients will be awarded an additional year-end grant of $25,000 in December. Women can apply at the Amber Grants for Women website, and winners are picked from a judging panel from WomensNet.
This grant started in 1998 when a 19-year-old young woman named Amber passed away before reaching her entrepreneurial dreams. The grant is designed to help women reach that same goal in her honor.
How to Apply
The application process for the Amber Grant is simple. The site asks for information about your business and what you would do if awarded the money. There is a $15 grant application fee, though you may request a waiver.
Go Through Business Matrix Exercises
If youve already created a business plan, chances are, youve come across these popular frameworks. Getting these frameworks accurate the first time is difficult. We suggest asking the right people to look over your business plan and matrix. Even if you dont have to include a business plan in your grant proposal, you should still go through these exercises to better understand your business and environment.
- The most common business matrix include the Ansoff Matrix, Porters 5 Forces, PESTEL Analysis, and SWOT Analysis
Read Also: Grants To Start Up Business
The Red Backpack Fund
The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has helped many women throughout the years by providing women business owners with funding opportunties. Given the difficulty experienced by many entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Red Backpack Fund has been created in partnership with GlobalGiving to help businesswomen during this difficult time. They will be awarding $5,000 grants to 1,000 female entrepreneurs nationwide throughout different months.
If selected, this opportunity comes with annual, free access to 80+ MastercClasses including Sara Blakeley’s entrepreneurship class. You can learn more about Sara Blakely here.
To apply for this grant, you must meet the following criteria:
- Majority women-owned businesses with annual revenues less than $5M
- Majority women-owned nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5M
- Must have at least one paid employee
- Must have less 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
National Association For The Self
- What it is: These grants are awarded to any small business owner who is a NASE member and can demonstrate a specific need for the money.
- How to apply: Apply online at NASE website.
- Potential benefits: Multiple grant prizes of $4,000 each
The National Association for the Self-Employed runs a grant program that is available only to their roughly 50,000 members. To become a NASE member, youll have to pay $120 per year for a basic membership. NASE offers members networking and mentorship resources, discounts on business products, and legislative advocacy.
In exchange for membership, members are also offered exclusive access to grants and scholarships. Since 2006, NASE has offered nearly $1 million in grant money to members.
To qualify for their Growth Grants programâin addition to being a NASE memberâyou must demonstrate a specific business need that could be aided by the grant.
You must also show how the grant will improve your businesss overall growth and success and include a resume and business plan.
3. Amber Grant
- What it is: A small business grant for women business owners created in honor of a young woman who died before she could fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams.
- How to apply: Tell your story and pay a $15 application fee.
- Potential benefits: The program awards one $10,000 grant to a woman business owner each month. One winner will also be awarded an additional $25,000 at the end of the year.
Read Also: Bank Of America First Time Homebuyer Grant
Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Grants: $500 $1500
Formerly Money for Women, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund makes project grants to feminist writers and visual artists. It doesnt fund business projects, but if youre self-employed as an artist or writer, you can use these grants to support your work.
The fund accepts applications annually in January, and the categories rotate each year: nonfiction, poetry, fiction, visual art, and mixed genre. Grantees find out if they received the grant around June.
Your project must use intersectional feminism as a central focus, be highly original, and be well underway by the time you apply. Cisgender or transgender women artists can apply.
Grant Programs For Minority And Women Business Owners
Layton & Co., Inc.Layton & Co., Inc.Association of GhostwritersWomensNet.net
- 5 Creative Financing Tools to Kickstart Your Business – September 5, 2019
Grant programs offering free money are hard to come by, which is why many entrepreneurs frequently end up applying for small business loans or try crowdfunding to start or expand their companies. However, many organizations have recently created grants in an effort to assist companies that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Some of the grants are earmarked for businesses in certain industries, others for entrepreneurs in certain cities or states, and some are grants for minority women entrepreneurs, or to benefit business owners who identify as female and who are socially or economically disadvantaged. And while some may be one-time offerings, theyre worth investigating to see if you qualify.
Funded by the Boston Celtics, Vistaprint and the NAACP, grants of $25,000 are being given to Black-owned businesses in New England on a rolling basis, and will remain open until all funds have been dispersed.
Specifically, these grants are being offered to Black-owned small businesses with 1 to 25 employees based in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, or select areas of Connecticut.
Applicants must demonstrate the impact their small business has on their greater community, and interested entrepreneurs can apply here.
Also Check: Grants To Build Affordable Housing
Starting A Business In Three Easy Steps
Whats In A Name? Sounds simple enough, right? But think about the name of your business carefully. You want it to be easy to remember, indicate what your business is and attract attention at the same time.
After you have brainstormed some potential names for your business, find some people that can give you honest feedback on what they think about the name and what they think your business is based on that name.
Location, location, location Depending on whether your business offers a product or service, you may need a brick and mortar location, an office or maybe youre just working from a home office.
Factors to keep in mind when choosing a location include the demographics of the neighbourhood, the cost of rent and legal considerations like the accessibility rules in Ontario.
Get Registered The last step is registering your business. Once youve decided on the type of business youll operate as, you need to register that business.
And thats it, youve created a business!
Now comes the next major challenge: Finding the financial resources to run your business.
How Likely Am I To Win A Grant
Your odds of winning a grant vary depending on the grant program and its requirementsbut know that grants are very, very competitive. Everyone wants free money, after all.
So youre competing with loads of other women business owners as you try to get a grant. And with all that competition, you have no way of knowing whether or not youll actually get the grant. In contrast, business loans usually have clear criteria that make it possible to predict whether or not youll get approved.
Put simply, you cannot count on getting grant funding for your business. You should be pleasantly surprised if you get one and not hopelessly disappointed if you dont.
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