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Unlocking Opportunities: A Guide to Amber Grant for Women Entrepreneurs

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Grants are a vital source of funding for female entrepreneurs aiming to start or expand their ventures, making the pursuit of opportunities like the Amber Grant crucial in the landscape of women business ownership. The Amber Grant, established with the aim to support women business owners, serves as a beacon of hope, empowering them to break through the barriers traditionally faced in the business world. Forwomen-owned businesses, securing a grant not only alleviates financial pressure but also grants them a vote of confidence in their entrepreneurial journey.

Navigating the complex world of startup grants, including grants for women-owned businesses in 2024, demands a strategic approach. This article will delve into the array of grants available, from the Amber Grant to other essential programs like the EmpowHER Grant and the She’s Connected by AT&T. By outlining the eligibility criteria, offering tips for a successful application, and sharing inspiring success stories, it aims to serve as a comprehensive guide for women business owners seeking to leverage these opportunities to fuel their business growth and success.

Understanding Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

Grants for women entrepreneurs are pivotal in providing the necessary capital to start or expand their ventures. Understanding the nature and sources of these grants can significantly impact the success of applications and the effective utilization of the funds. Here’s a breakdown of key aspects:

  • Sources of Grants:
    • Private Corporations: Many businesses offer grants to support women entrepreneurs as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives.
    • Organizations: Various non-profit organizations focus on empowering female entrepreneurs through financial support.
    • Federal Government: The U.S. government provides grants to promote small business growth, with specific programs targeting women-owned businesses.
    • State/Local Resources: Local governments and community organizations often have grant programs aimed at supporting local businesses, including those owned by women[1].
  • Nature of Grants:
    • A women’s small business grant is essentially free capital provided to support business ventures led by female entrepreneurs. Unlike loans, these grants do not need to be repaid, making them an attractive funding option. However, it’s important to note that they are considered taxable business income by the IRS[1].
    • Grants can be used for a variety of business-related purposes. This flexibility allows recipients to allocate funds where they are most needed, whether that’s for hiring new employees, purchasing equipment, product development, or expanding facilities. The ability to direct funds towards these critical areas can significantly bolster a business’s growth and sustainability[2].
  • Eligibility and Application:
    • Financial aids are available from government agencies, private institutions, and non-profit organizations. Each grantor may have specific eligibility criteria focusing on different aspects of the business or the entrepreneur’s background[2].
    • The application process for these grants can vary widely, from simple online forms to detailed proposals. Understanding the specific requirements and preparing a compelling application is key to improving the chances of receiving a grant[2].

In essence, grants for women-owned businesses provide a financial lifeline that can help bridge the gap between aspiration and achievement. By leveraging these opportunities, female entrepreneurs can gain the crucial support needed to navigate the challenges of the business world and steer their ventures towards success.

The Importance of Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

The significance of grants for women entrepreneurs extends far beyond mere financial assistance. These grants play a pivotal role in shaping a more inclusive and equitable business environment:

  • Promoting Gender Equality: Grants are instrumental in leveling the playing field in the business world. By providing women with the resources they need to succeed, grants help to address longstanding issues of gender inequality and the gender pay gap. This support not only benefits individual women entrepreneurs but also contributes to a broader societal shift towards gender equality in entrepreneurship[2][3].
  • Economic Growth and Social Impact:
    • Boosting the Economy: Women entrepreneurs, with the aid of grants, can significantly boost their bank accounts, which in turn, unleashes economic growth. This financial boost helps in expanding businesses, creating jobs, and increasing spending in local economies[3].
    • Focusing on Sustainability: Government grants often prioritize businesses that have a strong social impact, promote sustainability, and aim to uplift underserved communities. This focus ensures that the benefits of entrepreneurial success extend beyond the individual business owner to society at large[3].
  • Networking and Community Development:
    • Access to Resources and Networks: Grants do more than just provide financial support; they open doors to valuable resources, networks, and opportunities for increased visibility. This access can be transformative, enabling women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses more effectively and efficiently[4].
    • Giving Back: Many grants encourage or require recipients to contribute to their communities, whether through job creation, supporting the local economy, or philanthropy. This aspect of grants fosters a culture of giving back and ensures that the benefits of grant funding have a ripple effect, touching lives beyond the direct recipients[4].

In summary, grants for women entrepreneurs are a critical tool in the quest for gender equality, economic growth, and social impact. They provide not only financial support but also access to a wealth of resources and opportunities that can help women-owned businesses thrive.

Navigating the Challenges

Navigating the challenges of securing funding and overcoming industry biases is a significant hurdle for women entrepreneurs. Despite these obstacles, women business owners demonstrate resilience and innovation. Here’s a closer look at the challenges they face and how they persevere:

  • Funding and Financial Challenges:
    • A significant 66% of women entrepreneurs report difficulty in securing the funding they need, often operating in low-growth industries, which exacerbates fundraising challenges[5].
    • In 2021, nearly half (48%) had to cut into their own pay to retain employees, highlighting the financial sacrifices made to sustain their businesses[5].
    • Despite representing a substantial portion of venture-backed startups, female founders received only 2% of venture capital in 2022, underscoring the stark gender disparity in funding[5].
    • Women of color, in particular, face even greater financial challenges, earning significantly less on average ($24,000 vs. $142,900) and being denied business-related relief funds 2 to 3 times more often than their white or male counterparts[5].
  • Loan and Credit Disparities:
    • Women are more likely to receive shorter-term loans and higher interest rates, with women of color not being riskier borrowers but still receiving lower loan amounts and higher interest rates[5][6].
    • Biases against female business leaders further diminish women entrepreneurs’ chances of receiving loan approvals, despite their proven resilience and ambition[6].
  • Overcoming Industry Biases and Stereotypes:
    • Women entrepreneurs often face negative stereotypes, family obligations, and lack of access to solid network connections, yet they remain undeterred by the fear of failure[6].
    • They are early adopters of new digital technologies, have a global focus, and tend to stick with their businesses longer than their male counterparts, showcasing their innovative and ambitious nature[6].
    • Success stories of women like Kaci Kai, Amber Ferrell-Steele, Angela G. Solomon, and Brandy Wykes illustrate the diverse challenges faced in male-dominated industries and the unique opportunities they’ve found. From navigating the alcohol industry to making informed decisions in a male-dominated field like Krav Maga, these women highlight the importance of resilience, self-belief, and the supportive network of other women[8].

Despite these challenges, resources such as business counseling, training programs, and networking opportunities are available to support women-owned businesses. These resources provide valuable advice and support to entrepreneurs as they work to establish and grow their ventures, proving that with the right support and determination, women entrepreneurs can overcome obstacles and succeed in their endeavors[7].

Sources of Grants for Women Entrepreneurs

For women entrepreneurs seeking funding, several sources offer diverse grants to support their ventures. Understanding the variety of grants available can significantly enhance the chances of securing the necessary funding. Here’s a breakdown of key sources:

  • Federal and State Programs:
    • is the go-to database for federally sponsored grants, including those aimed at small businesses, making it a valuable resource for female entrepreneurs[1].
    • TheSmall Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are designed to provide grants to small businesses contributing to federal research and development projects. These programs are particularly beneficial for businesses engaging in innovative and technological advancements[1].
    • State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) andState Business Incentives Database offer financial assistance and incentives, including grants, to small businesses at the state level. These programs are crucial for women entrepreneurs looking to expand their operations or break into new markets[7].
  • Development and Training Support:
    • Women’s Business Centers andSmall Business Development Centers provide not only free business consulting but also assistance in finding financing options. These centers are instrumental in guiding women entrepreneurs through the complexities of starting and growing their businesses[1].
    • TheProgram for Investors in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME) focuses on offering grants to microenterprise development organizations. These organizations, in turn, provide training, technical assistance, and coaching to disadvantaged small-business owners, including women entrepreneurs[1].
  • Specialized Grants and Competitions:
    • FedEx Small Business Grant andNational Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants are examples of corporate-sponsored grants that award significant funds to small businesses annually. These grants often require detailed applications but can provide substantial financial support to the winners[9].
    • Women Founders Network Fast Pitch Competition andThe Red Backpack Fund are unique opportunities for women-owned businesses to compete for cash prizes and grants. These competitions not only offer financial rewards but also increased visibility and networking opportunities[9].

By exploring these sources, women entrepreneurs can uncover a wealth of opportunities to secure the funding they need to grow their businesses. Each source offers distinct advantages, from federal and state financial assistance to specialized training and competitive grants, providing a comprehensive support system for female-led ventures.

Where to Find Grants

In the journey to secure funding for their ventures, women entrepreneurs have a variety of resources at their disposal to find relevant grants. Two notable platforms that cater specifically to the needs of female entrepreneurs are:

  • IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database
    • This platform is designed to match women entrepreneurs with grant opportunities from enterprise partners. It simplifies the search process by aggregating numerous grant listings in one place, making it easier for women to find grants that align with their business goals and sectors. The database is continuously updated, ensuring access to the latest funding opportunities available to women business owners.
  • Fundid Blog
    • The Fundid Blog serves as a valuable resource for women entrepreneurs looking to navigate the complexities of grant applications. It offers a wealth of articles covering various aspects of the grant process, including:
      • Tips on grant writing to enhance the chances of success.
      • Strategies for finding grants that are a good fit for specific business needs.
      • Guidance on the application process to streamline submissions and avoid common pitfalls.

These platforms not only provide access to financial resources but also equip women entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools necessary to successfully apply for grants. By leveraging these resources, women can increase their chances of securing the funding needed to grow their businesses and make a significant impact in their industries.

Eligibility Criteria for Applying to Grants

To navigate the application process for grants effectively, understanding the eligibility criteria is paramount. The criteria vary widely across different grants, each tailored to support a specific demographic, industry, or business stage. Here’s a breakdown of key eligibility requirements for various grants, including the Amber Grant, to guide female entrepreneurs:

  • General Eligibility Criteria:
    • Applicants must be female entrepreneurs aged 22 years or older, with a registered and operating business in the United States[14].
    • A self-reported credit score and agreement to a third-party background check are mandatory[14][15].
    • The business must not be more than three years old[15].
    • For the Amber Grant, the business must be at least 50% women-owned[17].
  • Specific Grants and Their Criteria:
    • Amber Grant: At least 50% women-owned businesses with a clear plan for utilizing the grant[18].
    • FedEx Small Business Grant Contest: For-profit business with less than 99 employees and a valid FedEx business shipping account[18].
    • Cartier Women’s Initiative Award: For-profit women-owned business in operation for 1-6 years with a positive impact[18].
    • Fearless Strivers Grant: 51% black women-owned businesses with a minimum of $50,000 annual revenue[18].
  • Additional Considerations for Certain Grants:
    • Mother-Owned Businesses: Must be a mother-owned business, with a mother as CEO, President, or business owner. Companies should have under $5 million in annual revenue with at least two employees. A short video describing the company, target market, and why they should receive the grant is also required[16].
    • Specialized Industry Grants: For example, the FoundHer Program targets for-profit businesses structured as an LLC or Corporation, 50% owned by women, based in Hawaii, under 3 years in business, and in specific industries such as Tech, Food, Fashion, Keiki/Education, and Health/Wellness[18].
    • Legal Residency: Eligible applicants must be legal residents of the 50 U.S. & DC, 18 or older, the sole or majority owner of a female-owned small business with 50 or less full or part-time employees[19].

Understanding these criteria can significantly enhance an applicant’s chances of not only being eligible but also crafting a compelling application that aligns with the grantor’s objectives.

Tips for a Successful Grant Application

To enhance the likelihood of a successful grant application, women entrepreneurs should consider the following strategies:

  • Preparation and Presentation:
    • Grant-Specific Information: Ensure the application includes personal and business information, a clear business idea, and a detailed plan for the use of grant money[17]. Tailor your proposal to meet the specific requirements of the grant, providing clear, concise information about your woman-owned business and a detailed business plan[7].
    • Compelling Pitch: Craft a compelling pitch that highlights the unique aspects of your brand and the opportunities it presents. This should be well-articulated, demonstrating the potential impact of the grant on your business[23].
    • Organized Application: Make sure your application is well-organized, easy to read, and includes specific examples and evidence of how the grant will aid your business’s growth and success. All proposed activities and impacts should be clearly outlined and measurable[7].
  • Networking and Mentorship:
    • Building Connections: Engage with other female founders, join industry-specific organizations, and attend relevant conferences and workshops. These activities can open doors to funding opportunities and valuable mentorship[23].
    • Leverage Relationships: Utilize connections with individuals working in organizations that fund grants, successful female business owners, and previous grant winners. Having a mentor can also be invaluable as you navigate the complexities of funding your brand[23].
  • Strategic Application Approach:
    • Eligibility and Alignment: Confirm that you meet all eligibility criteria before applying. Study the funder’s goals and review past grants to align your business vision and approach with their mission[1][25].
    • Budgeting and Detailing: Be precise in budgeting, itemizing what the grant money will be used for and how much. This approach helps avoid inaccuracies or irregularities in the proposal[25].
    • Utilization of Resources: Consider seeking professional assistance for document preparation if needed. The Amber Grant, for example, recommends reviewing their detailed advice about applying[22]. Also, explore funding opportunities provided by local councils or agencies that support women in business[16][23].

By adhering to these tips, female entrepreneurs can significantly improve their chances of securing grant funding. Remember, the process involves more than just filling out an application; it’s about clearly communicating your business’s potential impact, demonstrating alignment with the grantor’s mission, and effectively leveraging your network and resources.

Applying for Grants: Best Practices

When applying for grants, especially for women entrepreneurs, it’s crucial to navigate the application process effectively. Here are the best practices to consider:

  • Simplified Application Process:
    • The Amber Grant offers a straightforward application, avoiding long or complicated forms, which makes it accessible for many applicants[24].
    • Submitting one application automatically makes the applicant eligible for all grants related to their business, streamlining the process significantly[24][26].
  • Comprehensive Documentation:
    • Required Documentation:
      • Personal and business identification numbers
      • Financial documents
      • Detailed abstract or proposal
      • Budget
      • Applicant’s CV or resume
      • Professional or personal references
    • The application process typically involves registration, grant selection, application, and review, ensuring that all necessary information is provided for a thorough evaluation[1].
  • Exploring Various Funding Sources:
    • Local Business Support: Seek out local business support first, as these resources can provide both guidance and funding tailored to the needs of women entrepreneurs[27].
    • Crowdfunding: Consider crowdfunding as a finance strategy. This approach draws funds through multiple sources, diversifying the financial backing and reducing reliance on a single lender[27].
    • Angel Investors and Seed Accelerators:
      • Research and network with angel investors; some are specifically looking for female-owned businesses to support[27].
      • Utilize seed accelerators and industry organizations interested in assisting women aiming to become business owners and CEOs[27].

These practices not only enhance the chances of a successful grant application but also encourage female entrepreneurs to explore a variety of funding sources. By following these steps, applicants can navigate the complexities of the grant application process with greater ease and confidence.

Success Stories: Women Entrepreneurs Who Leveraged Grants

Success stories of women entrepreneurs who have leveraged grants to boost their businesses highlight the transformative power of financial support. These narratives not only inspire but also provide valuable insights into the practical benefits ofgrants for women-owned businesses.

  • EmpowHER Grantees:
    • Tatiana Freeman, Tina Arroyo, and Stephanie Blanchard are notable examples of women who have successfully utilized the EmpowHER Grant to advance their ventures[14]. Their stories underscore the grant’s role in empowering female entrepreneurs across various sectors.
  • Government Grant Recipients:
    • Sarah’s catering business and Lisa’s online boutique selling handmade jewelry are prime examples of how government grants specifically for women-owned businesses can serve as a catalyst for growth. Sarah used the grant to kickstart her catering business, while Lisa invested in a professional website, marketing strategies, and inventory for her boutique[10].
  • Innovative Entrepreneurs:
    • Mary Kay Ash, Arlan Hamilton, Bethany Yellowtail, Turia Pitt, Rea Ann Silva, Sara Blakely, Jane Lu, and Ursula Burns represent a diverse group of women who have broken barriers and achieved remarkable success in their respective fields. From starting a cosmetics empire with a $5,000 investment to launching a venture capital firm focusing on underrepresented founders, their journeys are testament to the impact of initial financial support and relentless pursuit of their goals[28][29].
  • Amber Grant Awardees:
    • Recent recipients such as Stephanie Dean of StepStitches and past awardees like Lisa Oberst of Womads have demonstrated how the Amber Grant can facilitate significant business milestones. In 2023, the Amber Grant awarded 13 grants, directly benefiting up to 380 women and indirectly impacting approximately 60,000 individuals, showcasing the far-reaching effects of these grants[24][30].
  • Global Impact:
    • Giving Joy’s initiative of awarding 73 grants in 21 countries and within the US, with each grant positively affecting an average of 15 direct beneficiaries and an additional 500 indirect beneficiaries, illustrates the global influence of grants for women entrepreneurs. Their support for projects like Farida’s Spice and the Rural Women & Girls Empowerment Forum (RWEFO) highlights the diverse areas where women are making a difference through entrepreneurship[16][17].

These examples vividly illustrate the significant role grants play in supporting women entrepreneurs from various backgrounds and industries. By providing the necessary financial boost, grants help women overcome initial hurdles, scale their businesses, and contribute positively to their communities and economies.

How to Utilize Grants Effectively in Your Business

Effective utilization of grants can significantly propel the growth of women-owned businesses. Here are strategic ways to leverage these funds for optimal impact:

  • Growth and Development:
    • Grants can catalyze small firms’ growth, making them a pivotal tool for women entrepreneurs aiming to scale their businesses. The infusion of grant funds can lead to increased capacity, expansion into new markets, and the enhancement of product or service offerings[31].
    • Allocating grant money towards capital investment can yield tangible assets that not only improve operational efficiency but also increase the business’s value. This strategic investment can cover purchasing new equipment, upgrading technology, or expanding facilities[31].
  • Financial Leverage and Performance:
    • Receiving a grant can serve as a vote of confidence, making women entrepreneurs more attractive to banks and other lenders. This increased credibility often results in higher bank loans, providing additional capital for business endeavors[31].
    • The positive correlation between grant funding and business performance is evident through improved metrics such as turnover and value-added. These enhancements contribute to the business’s long-term sustainability and profitability[31].
  • Strategic Allocation:
    • Utilizing grants to cover childcare and business consultancy costs addresses two critical constraints: time and information. By alleviating these pressures, women entrepreneurs can focus more on strategic business activities and decision-making[31].
    • The cost-benefit analysis underscores the efficiency of grants as a policy tool. The increase in value-added generated by the grant outweighs the scheme-related costs, demonstrating the grants’ tangible benefits to the business and the broader economy[31].

In summary, grants offer a multifaceted advantage to women entrepreneurs by providing the financial support necessary for growth, enhancing their credibility in the financial market, and allowing for strategic investments that bolster business performance. These benefits are particularly pronounced among more experienced entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of leveraging grants effectively to maximize their impact[31].

Types of Grants Available

For women entrepreneurs seeking financial support, the landscape of available grants offers a diverse array of opportunities tailored to different business needs, stages, and sectors. Here’s a breakdown of some notable grants:

  • Startup and Business Growth Grants:
    • Amber Grant: Provides a $10,000 grant monthly, with the added opportunity for two recipients to receive $25,000 Year End Grants, fostering the growth of women-owned startups and established businesses[24].
    • FedEx Small Business Grant: Offers a grand prize of $50,000, with additional grants of $20,000 for nine businesses, supporting small businesses across various sectors[9].
    • Barclays Small Business Big Wins: Presents a $60,000 grand prize, with $40,000 and $20,000 for the second and third places respectively, encouraging innovation and growth among small businesses[9].
  • Specialized Industry Grants:
    • L’Oréal Inclusive Beauty Fund Grant: Awards forty $10,000 grants to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the beauty industry, particularly those owned by women of color, to foster diversity and inclusion[9].
    • Halstead Grant: Specifically for businesses in the silver jewelry industry, offering a $7,500 startup grant along with $1,000 in jewelry merchandise and additional prizes, supporting both men- and women-owned businesses[9].
  • Microgrants and Reimbursement Programs:
    • Giving Joy Grants: Provides microgrants between $250 and $500 to women over the age of 18, supporting small-scale projects and business needs[9].
    • EmpowHER Grant: Offers up to $25,000 in reimbursement for business-related expenses, aiding female small-business owners in covering essential costs[9].

These grants represent just a fraction of the funding opportunities available to women entrepreneurs. Each grant has its unique set of eligibility criteria and application processes, designed to support various aspects of business development, from startup to expansion, and across different industries. By leveraging these grants, women business owners can gain the financial support needed to bring their innovative ideas to fruition, expand their operations, and make a significant impact in their respective fields.

Amber Grant

The Amber Grant, initiated by WomensNet in 1998, stands out as a beacon of support for women entrepreneurs, aiming to honor the memory of Amber Wigdahl who couldn’t realize her business dreams. Here’s a closer look at the specifics of the Amber Grant and how it propels women towards achieving their entrepreneurial goals:

  • Grant Offerings and Application Details:
    • Variety of Grants: Six different grants are available, ranging from a few hundred dollars to $25,000, catering to various stages and needs of women-owned businesses[17].
    • Application Process: A straightforward application reviewed monthly, with winners announced by the 23rd of the following month. An application fee of $15 applies, making the process accessible to many[17][24].
    • Eligibility: Open to women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada. The grants include a $10,000 monthly grant, with one of the monthly winners receiving an additional $25,000 at the end of the year. Businesses in the idea phase or with minimal sales can also qualify for specific grants[25][30].
  • Community and Support:
    • Facebook Community: A vibrant community on Facebook where hundreds of women apply for the grant each month, fostering a supportive network for applicants[17][22].
    • Advisory Board: The recipients are determined by an advisory board, including notable figures like Marcia Layton Turner and Jama Hernandez, ensuring a fair and comprehensive review process[36].
    • Resources and Inspiration: WomensNet does not only offer grants but also provides valuable business advice, application tips, and inspiring stories of past winners on their blog and through various media outlets[24][30][36].
  • Impact and Reach:
    • Financial Support: WomensNet awards at least $30,000 every month in Amber Grant money, significantly impacting the growth and sustainability of women-owned businesses[24].
    • Yearly Awards: In addition to monthly grants, three $25,000 Year End Grants are awarded, making a substantial contribution to the winners’ business ventures[24][36].
    • Categories and Opportunities: The grants cover diverse business categories, including Skilled Trades and Health & Fitness, ensuring a wide range of businesses can benefit. This approach highlights the commitment to supporting underrepresented sectors[30].

The Amber Grant exemplifies a tangible effort to reduce the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs, offering both financial assistance and a supportive community to navigate the challenges of business ownership.

The Papaya Grant

The Papaya Grant emerges as a significant opportunity for female entrepreneurs, launched by Papaya Reusables to celebrate International Women’s Day and honor Women’s History Month. This initiative underscores the commitment to supporting women in their entrepreneurial endeavors, especially those who are at the stage of starting or expanding their businesses. Here are the key details about the Papaya Grant:

  • Grant Overview:
    • Award Amount: $10,000 to one recipient[37].
    • Purpose: To support a female entrepreneur in starting or expanding her business[37].
    • Launch: In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month[37][38].
  • Application Process:
    • Eligibility: Open to all US-based female entrepreneurs[37][39].
    • Application Period: Through March 31st, 2023, at 12am EST for the current cycle[39].
    • Requirements: Completion of an online application form and submission of a short video describing the applicant[39].
    • Selection Criteria: Evaluation based on entrepreneurial challenges faced, the brand’s larger mission, and the intended use of the grant[39].
  • Future Opportunities:

The Papaya Grant not only provides financial assistance but also emphasizes the importance of a supportive community and resources for female entrepreneurs. By focusing on the unique challenges and missions of women-owned businesses, Papaya Reusables aims to foster growth and innovation within this sector.

Giving Joy Grant

The Giving Joy Grant, established by Joy Kolin in 2018, is a testament to a hands-on approach to supporting women entrepreneurs across the globe. With Kolin’s extensive experience in international development, the grant aims to empower women by providing them with the critical resources needed to kickstart or enhance their ventures. Here are the key aspects of the Giving Joy Grant:

  • Grant Details:
    • Amount: Offers one-time microgrants ranging from $250 to $500[9][32].
    • Eligibility: Open to women over the age of 18 from any country and across any trade or industry[9][32].
    • Application Period: For the upcoming cycle, applications are accepted until April 30, 2024[32].
    • Restrictions: Funds cannot be used for purchasing merchandise, stock, advertisements, or marketing for personal use[32].
  • Program Highlights:
    • Global Impact: Since its inception, the Giving Joy Grant has awarded 62 grants in 19 countries and within 10 US states, demonstrating its wide-reaching influence[32].
    • Application Volume: Reflecting its popularity and the need for such grants, the program received 4,119 applications from over 70 countries in its most recent call for applicants[32].
    • Additional Support: Beyond financial assistance, Giving Joy provides mentorship to grant recipients, enhancing the value of the awarded funds[32].
  • Organizational Structure and Philosophy:
    • Nonprofit Status: As a 501(c)(3) Massachusetts-based nonprofit, the organization ensures that every dollar donated goes directly to funding grants, maximizing the impact of contributions[32].
    • Tangible Impact: Giving Joy takes pride in documenting and quantifying the tangible impact of their grants, showcasing the real-world difference made by their support[32].

The Giving Joy Grant embodies a commitment to strengthening and inspiring women’s entrepreneurship worldwide. Its focus on providing microgrants and mentorship, coupled with a global reach and a tangible impact, makes it a valuable resource for female entrepreneurs seeking to make their mark in various industries.

EmpowHER Grant

The EmpowHER Grant is designed to support female entrepreneurs in the United States, focusing on businesses that are not more than 3 years old and aim to address social issues either directly or through their business model. Here’s a breakdown of what applicants need to know:

  • Eligibility and Application Process:
    • Targeted at female entrepreneurs who are 22 years old or older[32].
    • Businesses must be in operation for no more than 3 years[14].
    • The application is open year-round, with a quarterly review process[14].
    • A detailed business plan and budget must be included in the application[15].
    • The deadline for application submission is December 31[41].
  • Grant Details:
    • Offers up to $25,000 in reimbursement for business-related expenses[9].
    • Funding is distributed as reimbursement, requiring proof of payment for business expenses[14].
    • Applicants can request up to $25,000 in business support[14].
  • Support and Evaluation:
    • Applications are evaluated based on the business plan, potential impact, and the founder’s commitment[14].
    • Grantees must submit a final report and participate in a wrap-up conversation at the end of the grant period[14].
    • Provides access to financial, marketing, leadership, and sector professionals for advice on business focus, next steps, and long-term planning[42].

This grant not only offers financial support but also connects recipients with a network of professionals to guide them through their entrepreneurial journey, making it a valuable resource for women looking to make a social impact through their businesses.

Ladies Who Launch

Ladies Who Launch (LWL) is a global community committed to the advancement of women and non-binary small business owners. This organization stands out for its comprehensive support system, focusing on four crucial pillars: Inspiration, Education, Funding, and Community[43]. Here’s a breakdown of what LWL offers:

  • Grant & Mentorship Launch Program:
    • $10,000 Grant: Provided to support businesses in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector[21].
    • Education and Mentorship: Six months of education, mentorship, and community networking, catering to businesses with annual gross revenue between $100,000 and $499,000[21].
    • Application Details: Applications for the 2024 awards open in February 2024, with a focus on empowering women and non-binary small business owners[32].
  • Educational Resources and Opportunities:
    • FUND Bootcamps: Aimed at teaching how to assess, acquire, and leverage funding opportunities[21].
    • Grants Database: Helps businesses find suitable funding opportunities[21].
    • Launch Program: A 6-month business education program for 20 selected businesses in the United States, offering $200,000 in total cash grants. This program includes high-quality educational resources, advisory services, mentorship support, WBENC certification access, and amplification across LWL programming[44].
  • Community and Networking:
    • Online Community: Access to an invite-only LWL online community for networking and support[45].
    • Partnerships: Supported by partners like Ann Taylor, The Home Depot, and United Airlines, providing additional resources and visibility for participating businesses[44].

Ladies Who Launch not only provides financial support through grants but also emphasizes the importance of education, mentorship, and community. Their programs are designed to elevate and empower women and non-binary entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools and resources necessary for success.

Kitty Fund Mompreneur Business Grant

The Kitty Fund Mompreneur Business Grant, initiated by Founders First CDC, is specifically designed to support mom entrepreneurs who run employer-based small businesses. Here’s a detailed look at what this grant offers:

  • Key Features:
    • Target Audience: Aimed at mother-led businesses with at least two employees, highlighting the focus on supporting small, employer-based ventures[47].
    • Grant Amount: Provides $1,000 grants to 25 selected mompreneurs, contributing a total of $25,000 to support the growth and maintenance of their businesses[47][50].
    • Purpose: The fund aims to empower mom entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary capital to navigate and thrive during challenging economic times[48].
  • Eligibility and Application Process:
    • Application Timeline: For the year 2023, applications opened on March 21 and closed on April 17. For 2024, the application window is set to open in March, offering a narrow yet opportune timeframe for applicants to prepare and submit their proposals[49][50].
    • Restrictions: Funds are designated for specific business-related expenses, excluding activities like public election campaigns, assisting terrorist activities, or any actions violating the law or public policy[50].
  • Support and Community:
    • Empowerment: The Kitty Fund is supported by women-owned businesses, creating a network aimed at empowering fellow mom-led ventures. This collective support system underscores the importance of community and mutual upliftment in the entrepreneurial journey[47].
    • Tribute and Inspiration: Named in honor of Catherine “Kitty” Abrams Tadlock Webster, the mother of Founders First CDC CEO Kim Folsom, the fund celebrates the strength and resilience of business-owner moms. This personal touch adds a layer of inspiration and connection to the grant, motivating applicants with the legacy of perseverance and dedication[48].

The Kitty Fund Mompreneur Business Grant stands as a testament to the power of targeted financial support, empowering mother-led businesses to not only sustain but also expand their operations. With its clear focus, supportive community, and tribute to a legacy of strength, the Kitty Fund offers a unique opportunity for mompreneurs seeking to make a mark in the business world.

She’s Connected by AT&T

She’s Connected by AT&T is a distinctive grant opportunity tailored for women-owned small businesses across the US and DC, aiming to empower female entrepreneurs and inspire the next generation of business leaders. Here are the key details about the program:

  • Grant Details:
    • Grand Prize: $20,000 for the business, one year of AT&T service including a new device[19].
    • Additional Grant: A $2,500 grant is also available for female entrepreneurs[9].
    • Full Support: Winners receive full support from the She’s Connected by AT&T platform[20].
  • Eligibility and Application Process:
    • Age Requirement: Must be 18 or older[19].
    • Business Ownership: The sole or majority owner of a female-owned small business[19].
    • Employee Count: Must have 50 or fewer full or part-time employees[19].
    • Location: Business must be located within the US or DC[19].
    • Contest Period: Entries accepted from June 22, 2023, to August 31, 2023[19].
    • Application Details: More information and the application form are available at[53].
  • Program Highlights:
    • Ambassadors: Featured ambassadors include notable athletes like Mallory Swanson, A’ja Wilson, Kelley O’Hara, and Arike Ogunbowale, underscoring the program’s commitment to elevating women in sports and business[19].
    • Visibility and Distribution: The program focuses on increasing visibility and distribution of women in sports, media, and entertainment, improving access, increasing representation, and deepening investment in these areas[52].
    • Community Efforts: Aims to highlight and support women entrepreneurs and small business owners, fostering community efforts for women[19].
    • Participation Requirements: Winners must participate in a production day and one branded event, with travel provided if necessary[19].
    • Use of Name and Likeness: By participating, applicants agree to allow AT&T to use their name and likeness, as well as their small business’ name and likeness, which will be shared across social media with paid promotional support[19].

This initiative by AT&T not only provides significant financial support but also offers a platform for women entrepreneurs to gain visibility and access to valuable resources, thereby fostering growth and community among women in business and sports.

IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database

The IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database stands as a pivotal resource for women entrepreneurs seekingfunding opportunities. Here’s a breakdown of its key features and benefits:

  • Application Process:
    • Free to use, making it accessible to all women entrepreneurs regardless of their financial status[56].
    • Takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, ensuring a quick and efficient application experience[57].
    • The application form collects essential information such as first name, business email, gender identity, whether the applicant identifies as a person of color, and the state the business is in, enabling a tailored grant matching process[57].
    • Upon submission, applicant information is stored in IFundWomen’s UGA Database, ensuring applicants are considered for future relevant grants[57].
  • Benefits and Opportunities:
    • Matches applicants with relevant brand grants, increasing the chances of securing funding[55].
    • Offers priority access to new funding opportunities and resources from the IFundWomen community, keeping applicants ahead in the funding game[56].
    • Successful partnerships with leading brands like Visa, Caress, Johnnie Walker, and more have facilitated the deployment of $170M in grants to entrepreneurs, highlighting the platform’s effectiveness and broad reach[56].
  • Additional Support and Resources:
    • Features a comprehensive suite of tools and services beyond grant matching, including coaching plans, private coaching sessions, workshops, and a workshop library[56].
    • Facilitates connections through various channels such as The Blog, IFundWomen of Color, IFundWomen Alumni, and The Network, fostering a supportive community for women entrepreneurs[56].
    • Supports funding for startups across diverse ownership types, including AAPI-Owned, Black-Owned, Latinx & Hispanic-Owned, and Queer-Owned businesses, ensuring inclusivity and diversity in grant allocation[56].

This detailed overview underscores the IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database’s role as a grant marketplace specializing in funding and coaching for women-owned businesses. Entrepreneurs can submit a single application and be matched with various enterprise partners’ grants that align with their business, making it a valuable asset in the pursuit of business growth and success[9].

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Throughout this comprehensive exploration of grant opportunities for women entrepreneurs, we have unveiled an array of supportive measures designed to propel women-led ventures towards sustainable growth and innovation. From the foundational Amber Grant to the impactful EmpowHER Grant, each program offers unique avenues for financial support, mentorship, and community building. These grants not only provide the monetary boost necessary for scaling operations and breaking into new markets but also affirm the broader commitment to fostering gender equality and empowerment in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

As we reflect on the narratives of resilience, ambition, and success shared by grant recipients, it becomes clear that these funding opportunities are more than just financial lifelines; they are catalysts for creating an inclusive and vibrant business landscape. Women entrepreneurs, thereby, are encouraged to leverage these resources to not only achieve their business goals but also to inspire the next generation of female leaders. The journey towards entrepreneurial excellence, while challenging, is significantly bolstered by the support and recognition embodied in these grants, marking a promising path forward for women in business.


1. Is there a fee to apply for the Amber Grant?
Yes, there is a $15 application fee required for each Amber Grant application. It’s important to note that applications are considered on a monthly basis, and thus, do not carry over to subsequent months. However, there are exceptions for businesses that fit into specific categories recognized by WomensNet.

2. Can you explain what the Hello Alice grant is?
Hello Alice is an organization that has distributed millions of dollars in grants to thousands of small businesses over the last two years. It is dedicated to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit in America, aiming to assist individuals in starting and expanding their businesses. In 2022 alone, over a thousand individual businesses and business support organizations received grants from Hello Alice.

3. How can I apply for an Amber Grant?
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4. What is the origin of the Amber Grant?
The Amber Grant was established in 1998 by WomensNet, making it one of the first online entities to provide grants specifically for women-owned businesses. The grant is named in honor of Amber Wigdahl, who passed away at the age of 19 before she could fulfill her entrepreneurial ambitions. The grant continues her legacy by supporting other women to achieve their business goals.


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