32 Small Business Grants for Women in 2020

Scaling / June 18, 2020 / Emily Chioconi

Okay ladies now let’s get information! Beyoncé puns aside, if you’re an entrepreneur either starting or growing your company, there is a lot of information available to help you get a grant for your small business. So much information, actually, that it’s a bit overwhelming!

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Without putting you to sleep, a small business grant is funding given to a business to be used toward furthering your goals. There are different types of grants, and they are generally distributed by governments, foundations, corporations, or trusts. Depending on where you are and if you qualify, there are different types of grants you can apply for.

Taking advantage of small business grants for women can help you cover business expenses, grow your company faster, and give you some more room to invest in things like employees, equipment, and marketing.

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It’s definitely worth doing a bit of research to get the extra help you need to really get your business going! That said, trying to sift through the many details and options available plus figuring out if you’re eligible – all while you’re also trying to run a business – is daunting and can feel pretty frustrating.

To make things easier, we’ve collected some available small business grants for women in North America to help you find the best grants for you and your company! Scroll down for grants in the US, and keep on scrolling further if you’re looking for Canadian grants!


USA

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These are just some of the grants and funding available in the U.S. right now. Remember to also look for options available by the state you live in as well as Business Centres in your area for more potential options! If you’re looking for Canadian small business grants for women, keep scrolling further down!

Grants.gov

Grants.gov is your one-stop-shop for everything grants! Not only can you search for existing grants, but you can also learn about how grants work, the terminology you need to know, find the forms you need, and even apply!

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA works with several organizations to provide grants for small businesses and they also offer a lot of other resources and support you can take advantage of! You can also use their search tool to find a Women’s Business Center in your area, which can help you find different grants, as well.

Challenge.gov

Challenge.gov is run by the U.S. General Services Administration and lets you compete for grants with other innovators to come up with concepts, ideas, and solutions that the government can invest in. You can look through the different challenges they offer and see if your business provides a solution they’re looking for.

SBIR.gov

Small Business Innovation Research, also powered by the SBA, aims to fund research and development for small businesses or startups in science and technology. You can search to find out what they’re looking for and how you can help with however you’re innovating.

GrantsforWomen.org

As the name suggests, Grants For Women will help you find grants and funding made specifically for investing in women. They also have a great blog with a lot of tips and help for understanding types of grants available.

The Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations was created to fund people working for justice, democratic governance, transparency, and human rights. They give thousands of grants every year in areas like journalism, information and digital rights, higher education, and much more.

The Eileen Fisher Women in Environmental Justice Grants

This is a grant program created to address climate change and that, “globally, women and girls are the most vulnerable to climate change and hold the firsthand experience to solve it.” If your business aligns with one or all of their key points for change, they award grants between $10,000 and $40,000 every year.

FedEx Small Business Grant

Every year, FedEx awards 12 small businesses with grants up to $50,000 to help power entrepreneurs and small business growth. Prizes also include up to $7500 in FedEx Office print and business services!

The Girlboss Foundation Grant

This is a semi-annual grant awarded to female entrepreneurs exclusively in design, fashion, music, and the arts. Each grant winner will receive $15,000 in funding, as well as exposure through the Girlboss platform and community.

National Association for the Self-Employed

The National Associate for the Self-Employed (NASE) is a nonprofit trade association that awards $4,000 per month in growth grants to small businesses. This funding can be used for varying business needs, like recruiting, marketing, and advertising.

Open Meadows Foundation: Grants for Projects that Benefit Women & Girls

Open Meadows Foundation offers grants to small and startup businesses that promote gender, racial, and economic justice. The projects must be designed and implemented by women and girls, reflect the diversity of the community served, and have limited financial access to receive the grant.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

The Cartier Women’s Initiative is an entrepreneurship program that empowers women entrepreneurs. It’s available for women-run and women-owned businesses from anywhere in the world that are working to make a sustainable social and environmental impact. The grants range from $30,000 to $100,000.

The Tony Burch Foundation’s Fellows Program

The Tony Burch Foundation’s Fellows Program is a 1-year fellowship offering a 5-day trip to the Tony Burch offices for workshops and networking, a $5000 grant, and an opportunity to pitch your business!

The Amber Grant for Women

The Amber Grant was created by WomensNet in honour of Amber Wigdahl, who passed away at the age of 19 without the chance to reach her entrepreneurial dreams. This grant offers $4000 every month to female entrepreneurs who still have the opportunity.

The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio Grants

The Women’s Fund aims to invest in and amplify social change for women and girls. This year, they’ve committed $335,500 to their grant partners!

The Patrina Foundation Grants

The Patrina Foundation exclusively supports girl’s and women’s social and educational non-profit programs in the New York Metropolitan area and surrounding counties. In 2018 alone, they awarded more than $450,000 to the 43 organizations that improve the lives of girls and women!

The Boston Women’s Fund Grants

The Boston Women’s Fund (BWF) is a foundation that supports community organizations and initiatives run by women and girls that work to promote racial, economic and social justice. The BWF awards at least one multiyear grant of $10,000 a year for 5 years and 5 one year grants of $15,000!

The Chicago Foundation for Women Grants

The Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW) offers grants that range from $15,000 to $150,000 to organizations and programs that work in economic security, freedom from violence, and health. CFW exclusively supports organizations within the Chicago metropolitan area and programs can be local, regional, or, sometimes, statewide.

Ms. Foundation Grants

Ms. Foundation for Women supports businesses at all levels who work on a variety of initiatives like policy changes, economic justice, services to under-served communities, and access to health care for women and girls. Apart from funding, they strive to cultivate leaders, strengthen communities, and build momentum.


Canada

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If you’re living in Canada, remember to also look for options available by the province you live in as well as Business Centres in your area for more potential solutions!

Pitch for the Purse

The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) offers Pitch for the Purse to address access to capital for women entrepreneurs. The program is divided into four sections to educate and mentor entrepreneurs along the way with Pitch Training, Semi-Finals, Mentorship, and Pitch Finale.

The Amber Grant for Women

The Amber Grant was created by WomensNet in honour of Amber Wigdahl, who passed away at the age of 19 without the chance to reach her entrepreneurial dreams. This grant offers $4000 every month to female entrepreneurs who still have the opportunity.

The Canada Job Grant

The Canada Job Grant (CJG)is a funding program from the Canadian government that aims to reduce the costs of training to new and existing employees. The Canada Job Grant offers more than $194 million annually. Each province has a specific program available, so remember to search by your area!

The Canada Media Fund (CMF)

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is a non-profit corporation that offers $353 million in funding every year to support Canadian television and digital media industries. They aim to foster, promote, develop and finances Canadian content. 

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

The Cartier Women’s Initiative is an entrepreneurship program that empowers women entrepreneurs. It’s available for women-run and women-owned businesses from anywhere in the world that are working to make a sustainable social and environmental impact. The grants range from $30,000 to $100,000.

Women in Trade – Export Development Canada (EDC)

Export Development Canada (EDC) works to help Canadian women-owned and led businesses to achieve success. They can assist with insurance options to protect your exports, capital, and financing solutions for your business.

Woman entrepreneur – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

The BDC works with organizations to support and uplift women-owned businesses – you can use their resources to network, learn, and ask questions of their expert advisors. They also offer flexible financing to help you grow your business with loans.

Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

The BDC Capital Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund is a venture fund that invests in women-led technology companies. Apart from direct investments, they also work to provide mentorship, networking, and tools to help women-led businesses succeed.

MaRS Discovery District StandUp Ventures

StandUp Ventures invests during the seed-stage in enterprise software, digital health, and cleantech companies based anywhere in Canada with at least one woman in a C-level leadership position in the business and an equitable amount of ownership.

​PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise

PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise is a non-profit that offers programs and services to women in Ontario who want to start or grow a small business. Their options cover getting started, scaling your business, and networking and resources with conferences, workshops, and events for continued development.

Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada

The National Association of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada offers networking, financing, and business skills development. Among financial resources, they also work to support women entrepreneurs who innovate and are looking for continuous improvement.

Startup Canada and Evolocity Financial Group Women Entrepreneurship Fund

Startup Canada in partnership with Evolocity Financial Group invests in women-led companies in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). They aim to help women start and grow their businesses with grants of $4,000 to $5,000 grants to support operations or growth opportunities.

Communitech Fierce Founders

Communitech aims to help you start and grow your tech-driven business with access to investors, funding, expert advice, and networking – among many other learning and development opportunities!


Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to grow your small business, there are many ways to get extra support, whether financial or otherwise, that you can take advantage of! Running your own business comes with a variety of challenges, from funding and budgets to hiring and marketing, but there’s help out there to make your entrepreneurial journey a little easier. For daily tips to help you with running your small business, follow @dayliteapp on Instagram!

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