Getting a business up and running can be a nerve-racking experience, especially for women entrepreneurs who have never before experienced this challenge. First, they must determine the potential buyers for their products and services. Then, they must find the perfect location for their new enterprise and make a list of the supplies necessary for operational purposes. Finally, they must find a way to finance the entire operation without selling their souls. While this sounds like the toughest aspect of any business start-up, it does not have to be. Women entrepreneurs can find many sources of free funding if they are willing to spend the time locating it and filling out the required applications.
Starting a Business | Women’s Financial Fund:
Even though a woman must pay a $15 membership fee to apply for the grants offered by through this fund, there is no further application fee. United States citizens who are 18 or older may apply for grants ranging $100 to $5,000 to help finance a new small business or make improvements to an existing one.
Starting a Business | Amber Foundation Grant Program:
Accessed at www.WomensNet.net, this group gives money to women entrepreneurs who have developed online or home-based business ventures. The grants are in amounts up to $1,000 and are available for smaller needs and incidentals that come with running a small business. Recipients usually pass on this monetary gift to other ladies in the future as their business grows and they become financially able to do so.
Starting a Business | The Eileen Fisher Business Grant Program for Woman Entrepreneurs:
This large program provides five grants of $12,500 annually to women because start-up money is difficult to get in these economic times. The money is awarded to women entrepreneurs with business plans that incorporate social consciousness with creativity and sustainability.
Starting a Business | peaChic Grant:
Women who own a business or any business owner who has a business that focuses on women may pay a five dollar application fee to apply for one of these seasonal $500 grants. The application is located at the site, and a peaChic Grant panel judges applicants.
Starting a Business | Chicago Foundation for Women:
The money for the grants offered by this foundation comes from two sources: the Sophia and Bayrach Fund or the Strategic Response Fund. The money awarded can be $7,500 or more, but the funds must be given to women entrepreneurs who reside within the city of Chicago.
Grant applications do take time to fill out and can sometimes be quite frustrating, but once women have gathered all of the pertinent information, several can be completed in a few hours. Just as with anything in life, the odds of getting the money needed for a business will be significantly greater when a woman invests appreciable time and energy into the application process. If making application to 20 grant programs results in one source of funding, then completing 40 applications is likely to generate at least one more.
Jennifer Lewis writes for a site that has information on women’s scholarships and grants, including MBA scholarships for women. She strongly believes that women with great business ideas should seek funding to help them launch their own businesses.