The Federal government does not extend direct small business grant for woman entrepreneurs. State and local governments might extend such grants. There are also private initiatives to support women through small business grants.
For example, the private funding agency, Womens Finance.com, announces grant offers to women. They extend small amounts ranging from $100 to $5000 to new and existing businesses owned by women.
Government programs usually seek to create employment and economic prosperity in poor neighborhoods and among disadvantaged groups. If you are a woman entrepreneur, you should look around your locality first for any grant assistance.
While small business grant for woman entrepreneurs might help a woman to set up her small business, it cannot ensure continued success of the enterprise. In fact, the time spent in searching for grants and then complying with the formalities could divert her attention from matters that are key to success.
Read US Government Small Business Grant article for a clearer look at grants and how to approach this source of funding.
Women’s Business Centers
Federal small business grant for women actually goes to non-profit organizations that set up Women’s Business Centers. These centers provide all round assistance to women entrepreneurs. This includes help in developing business plans, finding funds, management training and mentoring support.
It is this kind of training and guidance that could really help women to set up and run successful small businesses. The business plan would indicate the total funding needs and any small business grant for women would only be one source for the funds.
Small Business and Women
Women face some peculiar difficulties in small business. While you might be instinctively aware of these, you might not have consciously looked at the specific problems. Actually, attention to these might be more important for your success than a small business grant for women.
Traditionally, a woman’s place was considered to be with family at home. Many male decision makers still hold this view, sometimes without being consciously aware of it. This affects decisions to give loans, extend trade credit and place orders. Denied these essential requisites, women find it difficult to run successful businesses.
Even now, women have to spend more time on family responsibilities. Pregnancy and nursing of infants, for example, place high demands on their time. Lenders might feel that women would not have adequate time to spend on the business to make it a success.
Lenders might also feel that loan payment defaults are more likely where the woman borrower’s main source of income consists of alimony, child support payments or public assistance.
There is also the male belief that women are not naturally as gifted or hard working as men, and consequently incapable of running a successful business.
Even though the Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination illegal, it continues in real life. For example, lenders might give other, plausible sounding, excuses to prove that they are not discriminating.
In this situation, it is not an initial small business grant for woman that is needed, but continuing support in the form of training, information and counseling. That is what women’s business centers provide.
Office of Women’s Business Ownership
Shortened as OWBO, this office announces grants for setting up Women’s Business Centers. Organizations with the staff, equipment, facilities and resources needed to establish such centers can apply for these grants. These grants require matching funding from the organization, and would be available for a period of five years.
As a woman, you can either access the Online Women’s Business Center or go to the nearest center for personal support. All states and territories have Women’s Business Centers that provide planning, funding, technical, marketing and counseling support to small business women.
The centers might be able to get you government contracts, and interest bearing loans for executing the contracts. Seeking these kinds of assistance is likely to be more significant for your success than the search for a small business grant for woman.
Successful Small Business
Setting up and running a small business involves attending to many different things as discussed in the articles at this Web site. When you have identified a small business idea that suits your background and inclinations, and that also has a viable market, you could get any small business grant for woman and other kinds of funding from local sources. The counselor at the Women’s Business Center would point you to the right sources.