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46 Small-Business Grants for Women

From the federal government to economic development agencies, here's a list of business grants for women.
By Randa Kriss, Sally Lauckner
Last updated on June 19, 2024
Edited bySally Lauckner

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⏰ Estimated read time: 20 minutes

Business grants for women can help you grow your business for free, as opposed to small-business loans or other types of debt-based funding that you must pay back. But competition for small-business grants is fierce, and it takes considerable time and effort to win them. 
If you’re up for the challenge, though, grants can be a great way to fund your new or existing business. Here are places women entrepreneurs can look for small-business grants and other free financial resources.

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Private small-business grants for women

Some private corporations and organizations offer business grants for women. Here are some to consider:

1. Amber Grant

Every month, WomensNet awards three $10,000 Amber Grants to women-owned businesses. One grant is given to a startup, one is for businesses in specific, rotating categories (the June category is business support services, and the July category is animal services), and the final grant is for general small businesses. At the end of each year, monthly grant winners are eligible to receive one of three $25,000 annual grants.
The application is relatively simple: Explain your business, describe what you’d do with the grant money and pay a $15 application fee. The foundation’s advisory board chooses the winners, looking for women with passion and a good story. Businesses operating in the U.S. and Canada are eligible.
Because there’s no time in business requirement, companies seeking startup business grants for women may want to prioritize the Amber Grant.

2. IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database

IFundWomen is a grant marketplace that specializes in funding and coaching for women-owned businesses. You can submit one application and when IFundWomen adds a grant from an enterprise partner, it will match the partner’s grant criteria to applications within the database.
If your business is a match, you’ll receive a notification and invitation to apply. Previous grant partners have included companies like Visa, Neutrogena and American Express.

3. HerRise Microgrant

HerRise Microgrants are offered by the Yva Jourdan Foundation, the nonprofit arm of HerSuiteSpot, an organization that provides business coaching and training to women of color entrepreneurs. $1,000 grants are awarded each month and applications are accepted on a monthly basis. To be eligible, your business must be at least 51% woman of color owned and you must have less than $1 million in gross revenue.

4. Corporate Counsel Women of Color Entrepreneur Grant

Businesses that have been in operation since at least Jan. 1, 2020 may be eligible for a CCWC Women of Color Entrepreneur Grant. Five businesses will be selected to receive $2,500 grants. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

5. Galaxy Grant

This grant program, which is presented by Hidden Star, a nonprofit organization, is open to women and minority small business owners. Winners can receive a grant of $2,750. The application deadline is June 30, 2024.

6. She's Connected by AT&T

She's Connected by AT&T is open to U.S.-based small-businesses that are women-owned and have fewer than 51 employees. The grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 grant and a year of free AT&T service alongside a new device. Four runner-up businesses will receive $5,000 microgrants. Applications for this year's cycle are open from March 31 - July 10, 2024.

7. Giving Joy Grants

Women over the age of 18 are eligible to apply for a grant from Giving Joy. Winners will receive microgrants between $250 and $500, which can be put toward launching a business or nonprofit, or expanding an existing business or charity organization. There are two application windows for this year: The first runs from Jan. 1 - April 30 and the second from June 1 - Sept. 30, 2024.

8. EmpowHER Grants

Female small-business owners who are at least 22 years old may be eligible for an EmpowHER grant from Boundless Future Foundation. Your business must have been established within the last three years in order to be eligible. Grant funding is awarded as reimbursement of up to $25,000 for business-related expenses. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis; the next deadline is Sept. 2024.

9. Her Village Grant

Another program offered by the Boundless Future Foundation, Her Village Grant it is open to nonprofits that support female entrepreneurs. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $30,000. The next application window runs from July to September 2024.

10. Pennsylvania / New Jersey Job Creators Grant

Small businesses owners in the Pennsylvania/NJ area may be eligible for the Job Creators Grant from Founders First CDC. This grant is open to businesses run by women, veterans, people of color, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs or those located in a low-to-moderate income area. Twenty-five business owners will be awarded $4,000 grants. The application deadline is June 25, 2024.

11. Texas Rural Woman Grant

The Texas Rural Woman Grant program is open to women-owned, rural small businesses in Texas. Hosted by Texas Woman's University, the program is restricted to specific counties in the state. The application window is open from May 28 - July 5, 2024. This year, 10 grants of $5,000 each will be awarded.

12. StartHer Grant

Another program offered by Texas Woman's University's Center for Women Entrepreneurs, the StartHER grant awards $5,000 to 25 Texas-based businesses. Businesses must be at least 51% women-owned to be eligible. Applications for the next cycle will be accepted from Sept. 3 - Oct. 4, 2024.

13. High Five Grant for Moms

The Mama Ladder organization offers an annual small-business grant specifically for moms. This grant, called the High Five Grant, is designed to support women caregivers with children of all ages, including first-time expecting moms, stepmoms and foster moms.
Entrepreneurs can submit an application online and share the story behind their business on social media. Finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges and then a public vote will determine the top three winners. The top business receives a $10,000 grant, the runner-up receives a $5,000 grant and the third-place finalist gets $2,500. Five additional businesses receive $1,000 honorable mention grants. Applications will be open from Sept. 1 - 30, 2024.

14. Olga Loizon Foundation Grant

Michigan-based women small-business owners may be eligible for this grant from the Olga Loizon Foundation. As part of the grant application, you must provide a business plan and a written statement demonstrating financial need. Grants of up to $10,000 are available.

15. Ignite: A WBDC Grant

Connecticut businesses that are at least 51% women-owned may be eligible for this Equity Match Grant offered by the Women's Business Development Council. Grants between $2,500 and $10,000 will be awarded toward specific projects that will contribute to a business's growth and profitability. Applicants must provide a minimum match of 25% for any awarded funds. The next round of funding will be announced in summer 2024.

16. Southern California Job Creators Grant

Small business located in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial or San Diego counties may be eligible for this grant from Founders First CDC. Ten small businesses will receive $5,000 grants. To be eligible, your business must be founded by someone in one of the following categories: women, veterans, LGBTQ+ or people of color. Preregistration is now open, and the full application launches on Oct. 15, 2024.

17. Brown Girl Jane x SheaMoisture Grant

Presented by SheaMoisture and Brown Girl Jane, a wellness and beauty brand, this grant is open to Black and women-owned beauty or wellness businesses. Grants between $10,000 and $25,000 are awarded. Applications for the next cycle will open in fall 2024.

18. Publish Her Business Impact Grant

Businesses that are 100% owned by women of color are eligible to apply for this program, which is a partnership between Publish Her — an independent publisher — and BankCherokee. To be eligible, your business must have been established for at least one year and generate at least $50,000 in revenue. One business will win a $5,000 grant. The application window for the 2024 cycle has not yet been announced.

19. Women of Color Grant Program

Organized by the Tory Burch Foundation and the Fearless Foundation, the Women of Color Grant Program awards $10,000 or $20,000 grants to 75 businesses owned by women of color annually. The application submission window for the 2024 cycle has not yet been announced.

20. DWEN US Dream Tech Contest

Sponsored by Dell Technologies, this annual contest is open to women-owned small businesses. To be eligible, you must first join Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network. The first-place winner will receive $40,000 worth of Dell Rewards Points. Second- and third-place winners get $15,000 and $5,000 in Dell Rewards Points, respectively. Deadlines for the 2024 cycle have not been announced.

21. Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship

The Tory Burch Foundation offers an annual year-long fellowship program for 50 women business owners. In addition to educational resources and networking opportunities, the fellowship awards a $5,000 grant to each participant and access to 0%-interest Kiva loans. Applications for the current cycle have closed, and fellows will be selected in spring of 2024.

22. Enthuse Foundation Pitch Competition

Started in 2019, the Enthuse Foundation's Annual Pitch Competition is open to female entrepreneurs. Participants pitch their business at an in-person event. Ten winners receive a $2,500 grant. Applications for the 2024 round of funding closed in April, and the winner will be announced in June.

23. Fund Her Future

Fund Her Future, a grant program from Block Advisors by H&R Block, is open to women business owners nationwide. One grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 grant, while four additional small businesses will get $12,500 each. Winners will also receive a year of free small business services, including bookkeeping, payroll and tax support. To be eligible your business must be at least 51% woman-owned. Applications closed in May and winners will be notified on June 30, 2024.

24. Dream Makers Founders Grant

A collaboration with the Fifteen Percent Pledge, the Dream Makers Founders Grant offers $25,000 grants to five female small-business owners. To be eligible, your business must employ between two and 10 people, generate revenue between $100,000 and $1 million and at least 51% female owned. You must also be a member of the Fifteen Percent Pledge's Business Equity Community. Applications closed in April 2024, and finalists will be announced in August.

25. BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program

Presented as a collaboration between BMO Bank and Deloitte, the BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program is open to small businesses that are at least 51% women-owned and are located in one of 24 states. Additional eligibility requirements include that your business must have been in operation for at least two years, and your annual revenue cannot exceed $5 million. Fifteen female entrepreneurs will receive $10,000 grants. The 2024 application window closed in May and winners will be announced in September.

26. FoundHer Accelerator Program

The FoundHer accelerator program focuses on Hawaii-based women entrepreneurs. Accepted participants to the six-month program will receive $20,000 grants, a $4,000 care stipend, weekly educational workshops, and monthly learning and networking retreats. Businesses must be early-stage, for-profit and at least 50% Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander-owned to qualify. The application window is currently closed.

27. Stacy's Rise Project

A collaboration between Stacy's Pita Chips and Hello Alice, Stacy's Rise Project awards $25,000 to 10 small businesses, with preference given to women-owned businesses in the food and beverage industry. Eligible businesses must generate annual revenue between $25,000 and $1 million. Additionally selected recipients are required to participate in a 16-week virtual mentorship program. The application window is currently closed.

28. Waves of Change Grant

Women of color entrepreneurs with early-stage businesses that generate less than $50,000 in annual revenue may be eligible for the Waves of Change Grant. Described primarily as a "service-based grant," in which experts will donate their time and services to help recipients grow their business, the grant may also offer a stipend to cover operating costs for one year. Applications are currently closed.

29. Veteran Woman Grant

Women veteran entrepreneurs who are located in Texas may be eligible for this annual business grant offered by Texas Women's University. Each year this program awards $5,000 grants to five female veteran-owned businesses. Applications for the 2024 cycle are currently closed.

30. The Kitty Fund Mother-Led Business Grant

Launched in 2020, the Kitty Fund Mother-Led Business Grant offers $1,000 grants to businesses founders who identify as mothers. Your business must have between two and 50 employees, be U.S.-based and have revenue of $5 million or less. The 2024 application cycle is currently closed.

31. Small Business, Big Dreams: Women in Business Challenge

BankUnited's Small Business, Big Dreams: Women in Business Challenge is open to women entrepreneurs in New York or Florida. Additional eligibility requirements include being a for-profit business that has no more than 20 full-time employees and an annual revenue of no more than $3 million in 2021 and 2022. One grand-prize winner will be awarded $15,000, a second-place winner will receive $5,000 and third place will get $2,500. Applications are currently closed.

32. Women Founders Network Fast Pitch Competition

In its 12th year, the Fast Pitch Competition from the Women Founders Network is open to U.S. businesses started by women. To be eligible, your business cannot have raised more than $750,000. Selected participants pitch their businesses in person and winners receive $25,000 grants. Applications have closed for the 2024 cycle.

33. Cartier Women's Initiative Awards

Every year, Cartier awards three grants to women-owned businesses in nine different regions around the world. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards program is designed to support early-stage businesses that are focused on a range of social, economic and environmental development issues.
The first-place business is awarded a $100,000 grant, second place receives $60,000 and third place gets $30,000. Winners also receive executive coaching and the opportunity to participate in a variety of training workshops. Applications for the 2024 cycle are now closed.
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Additional private business grant options

Although these options aren’t specifically for women, they’re good small-business grants to consider for any entrepreneur.

34. National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant

Every quarter, the NASE awards up to $4,000 to up to four small businesses via its growth grants. These funds can be used for a variety of business needs, including marketing, advertising and hiring employees.
To apply for this grant, you must be a NASE member in good standing for at least three months. Annual members can apply at any time.

35. The Freed Fellowship Grant

Each month, a small business owner can receive a $500 micro-grant from the Freed Fellowship. Monthly grant recipients are also eligible for a $2,500 annual grant. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. While this grant is open to all small business owners, women and minority entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.

36. CO - 100

This annual grant from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is open to all small business owners. To be eligible, your business must have been in operation for at least one year, you must have fewer than 250 employees and your gross revenue for both 2022 and 2023 must have been below $20 million. One grand-prize winner will receive a $25,000 grant, and 10 additional businesses will receive $2,000 grants. Applications are now open until July 8, 2024.

37. Fast Break for Small Business

Administered by Accion Opportunity Fund and funded by LegalZoom, the NBA and the WNBA, the Fast Break for Small Business grant program awards $10,000 grants to 150 small businesses. To be eligible, your business must have been in operation for at least three months and have generated less than $1 million in annual revenue. The application window is open from Feb. 15 - Sept. 13, 2024.

38. Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant is an annual award for entrepreneurs looking to break into the silver jewelry industry. The winner receives a $7,500 startup grant, as well as $1,000 in jewelry merchandise. Five finalists and semi-finalists also receive $250 or $500 and help with promoting their businesses.
Both men- and women-owned businesses are eligible for this small-business grant. To apply, you must answer 15 business-related questions and submit a design portfolio. Applications for the 2024 cycle closed in May.

39. Amazon Business Small Business Grant Contest

Amazon Business's annual grant contest is open to all small-business owners. This year, one grand-prize winner will receive $25,000, four finalists will receive $20,000 grants and 10 semi-finalists will get $15,000 grants. To be eligible, you must have an Amazon Business account (it's free to create), and annual revenue of $1 million or less. Applications for the 2024 cycle closed in May.

40. EBay Up & Running Grant

Fifty eBay business sellers will receive $10,000 grants from the eBay Up & Running grant program. To be eligible, you must have been an eBay seller with a rating of "Above Standard" or "Top Rated" since at least Dec. 1, 2023. Previous grant recipients are ineligible. Applications closed in June 2024.

41. Bizee Fresh Start Business Grant

The Bizee Fresh Start Business Grant (previously known as the Incfile Fresh Start Business Grant) is open to entrepreneurs who are just starting their business. To be eligible you must be a U.S. resident who is at least 21 years of age. Each cycle, one winner will receive a $2,500 grant, as well as free business formation services from Bizee. Grants are awarded three times per year and 2024 deadlines are expected to be announced soon.

42. FedEx Small Business Grant

FedEx offers an annual small-business grant program. This year, one grand-prize winner will receive $50,000 and nine additional businesses will be awarded $20,000 grants each.
The application requires an explanation of your business, how you’d use the money, photos of your business and — this part is optional — a short video explaining your business. To be eligible, you must operate a for-profit business with fewer than 99 employees and at least six months of operating history. Applications for this year's cycle closed in April.

43. Backing Small Businesses

Now in its third year, the Backing Small Businesses grant program is a collaboration between American Express and Main Street America. This year, the program is awarding $10,000 grants to 500 small businesses nationwide. Of those winners, 25 businesses will be selected to receive $30,000 Enhancement Grants. Applications closed in April 2024.

Federal government small-business grants for women

Some federal government grants for small-business owners are designated for specific purposes, such as research and development projects, or for businesses in rural areas. Government grants typically can’t be used for startup costs or day-to-day expenses.

44. Grants.gov

Grants.gov is a database of federally sponsored grants, including grants for small businesses. Although these grants are not exclusive to women-owned businesses, this database is a great place to start if you’re looking for free financing.
To apply, you must obtain a Unique Entity ID for your business (a 12-character alphanumeric identification number), register to do business with the U.S. government through its System for Award Management website and create an account at Grants.gov.
To view grants specifically for small businesses, filter the results on the left side of the page under “eligibility.”

45. Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs

The SBA facilitates these two competitive programs, which provide grants to small businesses that contribute to federal research and development. Eleven federal agencies — including the departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services — post business grant opportunities on their websites. You can search current grant opportunities on the SBIR website.
To qualify, you must operate a for-profit business with no more than 500 employees and meet other eligibility requirements.

46. Program for Investors in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME)

Although the SBA coordinates some grant programs, the agency doesn’t typically offer grant funding directly to small businesses. With the PRIME program, however, the SBA provides federal grants to microenterprise development organizations so that they can offer training, technical assistance and coaching to disadvantaged small-business owners.
These grants are available to nonprofit, private, state, local or tribal-run organizations, including those that focus on working with women-owned small businesses. The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, for example, was awarded a $200,000 grant in 2022.

State and local resources for women

Because federal small-business grants are limited in number and often very competitive, you may have better luck seeking out grants for women at the state and municipal levels. You’ll have to do your own research to pinpoint specific grant programs in your area, but here are some places to help you get started:

Women’s Business Centers

The SBA sponsors more than 100 Women’s Business Centers nationwide, designed to help women entrepreneurs with business development and access to capital. Some, such as the California Capital Financial Development Corp., lend money directly while others help you find small-business grants and loans that you may qualify for.

Economic Development Administration

Every state and many cities have economic development resources focused on promoting strong local economies. For example, New York has several economic development districts, such as the Lake Champlain - Lake George Regional Planning Board, which helps local businesses access state and federal funding.

Small Business Development Centers

There are hundreds of SBA-sponsored Small Business Development Centers around the country, typically housed at colleges and universities. SBDCs offer free, one-on-one business consulting, such as help with developing a business plan, researching markets and finding financing — including grants, business loans and crowdfunding.
Some SBDCs offer training on certification programs like the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program and Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certifications. These programs can help businesses level the playing field when competing in the public and private sector.

Minority Business Development Agency Centers

The MBDA operates a network of business centers across the country that are designed to help minority business owners access capital, secure contracts and develop financial strategies. Your local MBDA business center can work with you to identify the right financing options for your business, including federal, state and private small-business grants.
The MBDA also runs the Enterprising Women of Color Initiative, or EWOC, to support minority women in their business endeavors. The EWOC provides access to resources, events and other opportunities for women minority-owned businesses.

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Alternatives to small-business grants

Finding and applying for business grants can be difficult, as well as time-consuming. If you don’t qualify for certain grants — or simply want to explore other ways to fund your women-owned business — here are some avenues to explore:
  • Best small-business loans for women: Compare SBA loans, online term loans, lines of credit, microloans and learn about other available resources for your business.
  • Crowdfunding for business: Tap into the power of the internet to raise money for your business and promote your company’s product or service.
  • Small-business credit cards: Compare dozens of cards and find the best choice for financing your everyday business purchases — and earn rewards in the process.
  • SBA microloans: Work with a nonprofit financial institution to apply for these government-backed loans, which can be a good choice for new or very small businesses.

Fund your dreams with a small-business loan

If grants aren't available for your business right now, check out NerdWallet's picks for the best small-business loans and compare your options.