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Published 30 May 2023
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Business Grants for Women – UPDATED

There are several business grants for women available in the UK to help entrepreneurs kickstart or grow their companies. Read on to find out what they offer and how to apply.

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There are several business grants available for women in the UK that could help entrepreneurs enhance their companies.

Here, we explain what active business grants for women are on offer currently and how much you could claim. 

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What is a business grant?

Business grants are sums of money that can be claimed for specific purposes, such as kick-starting a company or helping it grow.

Often, grants do not need to be paid back. However, they can sometimes be partially or conditionally repayable, so it is important to understand the terms of the grant before applying.

While the schemes mentioned below are specifically aimed at helping women entrepreneurs, don’t overlook other small business grants that may be more widely available across the UK. It is worth checking out grants for businesses in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Small business grants for women

The following is a selection of the business grants for women available at the time of writing:

Anita Borg Institute For Women and Technology

The 2023 Abie Awards are now closed. 2024 nominations will open in the future.

Eligible regions: Worldwide

Sectors: Technology and computing


Amount: Varies depending on award

Details: The Abie Awards celebrate women working in the technology and computing sectors. For 2023, the organisation gave out five awards: Technical Leadership, Student of Vision, Social Impact, Educational Innovation and Emerging Technologist. The cash prizes on offer vary by award and year.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

Applications for the 2024 awards close on 30 June 2023.

Eligible regions: Worldwide, including Europe

Sectors: Enterprises focused on strong and sustainable social or environmental impact


Amount: Varies depending on awards

Details: The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, founded in 2006, are for women-run and women-owned businesses targeting social and environmental causes. The awards are global, and are broken down into regional awards (including Europe), as well as thematic awards for science and technology, diversity, equity and inclusion, and impact. The size of the grant awarded is determined by finishing in first, second or third place, and is delivered in US dollars.

Diamond Education Grant

2024 applications will open towards the end of 2023.

Eligible regions: Asia, Europe, Caribbean 

Sectors: Women returning to work following an employment break


Amount: Varies

Details: The Diamond Education Grant is awarded to women looking to update their skills after an employment break, or wanting to acquire new skills to improve their opportunities for promotion and employment. The grants are intended for helping towards the cost of course fees, books and equipment.  

Global Fund for Women

Eligible regions: Outside the United States

Sectors: Enterprises focusing on advancing gender justice


Amount: Flexible cash grants 

Details: The Global Fund for Women aims to provide support grants to cover the costs of social justice work. These grants can be used for a variety of reasons including operating expenses such as rent, salaries, communication and travel. You can also apply for crisis grants that can be used to fund response action to climate and natural disasters. 

Female Founders Fund

Eligible regions: Worldwide

Sectors: B2B, Consumer, Fintech, Healthcare


Amount: US$500,000 to $750,000

Details: The Female Founders Fund invests in early-stage businesses owned by women. It aims to support the next generation of transformational technology companies owned by female entrepreneurs. Companies must have at least one founder as part of the founding team who is a woman. Applications can be submitted at any time during the year and the review process takes roughly four to six weeks on average. 

Other forms of business funding 

Applying for a loan could be another way to help finance your business. However, keep in mind that – unlike a business grant – a business loan will be repayable and with interest on top.

There are a variety of business loans that could help to provide funds for business owners, including:

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