Business Grants for Women

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.

Brean Horne Published on 20 June 2022.
Business Grants for Women

Business grants are sums of money that can be claimed for specific purposes such as kickstarting or growing a company and don’t need to be repaid. There is a range of business grants 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.

Women in Innovation Awards

Eligible regions: UK-wide

Sectors: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Amount: £50,000

Details: Launched in 2016, the Women in Innovation Awards is an annual competition that aims to support businesses with a project that makes a significant contribution to a pressing social, environmental or economic challenge. It’s open to women who are founders, co-founders or senior decision-makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year. There are at least 20 winners each year, and successful applicants receive £50,000 and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support. The next application round will open in August 2022.

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. The 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.

Cartier Women’s Initiative

Eligible regions: Worldwide

Sectors: Any

Amount: US$100,000 for first place, US$60,000 for second place, US$30,000 for third place

Details: Founded in 2006, this annual international entrepreneurship programme aims to help women-owned businesses with a strong and sustainable social or environmental impact. As well as winning cash grants, the top three successful applicants will get access to bespoke training on financial development, mentoring and leadership. Applications for the Cartier Women’s Initiative 2023 will close on 30 June 2022.

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 female founder as part of the founding team. Applications can be submitted at any time during the year and the review process takes roughly four to six weeks on average.

While these grants are specifically aimed at helping female entrepreneurs, don’t overlook other business grants that may be more widely available.

» MORE: Discover other small business grants in the UK

Business loans for women

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:

Shopping around for a loan that best suits your business’s needs is a great place to start. You could compare business start-up loans and business finance options for your company using our comparison tables.

Image source: Getty Images

About the author:

Brean is a personal finance writer at NerdWallet. She covers a range of financial topics and has written for consumer titles including Which?, Moneywise and The Motley Fool. Read more

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