Women entrepreneurs in today’s business world

I am a woman who is starting a candle making business. I know there are federal grants & loans for minorities (women minority). How do I tap into some of these grants and or funds?
Thanks

One Response to “How do I get a federal grant for starting a business (Women owned)?”

  • imisidro says:

    It is hard to find grants to start a business. Unlike the myths that some perpetuate, federal government and even private foundations hardly give grant money for starting a for-profit business.

    One possible exception is for companies developing or exporting agricultural goods, including food and forest product. Another exception could be the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbir/index.html , which fund the research and development of technological innovation that meets specific government needs.

    Your best bet actually will be from the states if they offer grant programs for women (or any other special interest groups — minorities, women, disabled, veterans, etc). Or check with non profit organizations, particularly women organizations if they offer grants. Examples include

    Iowa Women’s Foundation http://www.iawf.org/
    New Mexico Women’s Foundation http://www.nmwf.org/guidelines.html

    Even SBA does NOT give out grants. From the SBA website http://www.sba.gov/mostrequesteditems/CON_FAQ2.html

    “The U.S. Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. (See http://www.sba.gov/financing for more information) While SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments.”

    Nonetheless, you can go to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) http://www.cfda.gov and Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov – these are two sites created by the federal government to provide transparency and information on grants. Browse through the listings and see if you can find any grant that would support a for-profit venture.

    Here is a listing of federal grants for small businesses. See if there is any available for individuals for starting a business — THERE’S NONE.
    http://12.46.245.173/pls/portal30/CATALOG.BROWSE_BENEF_RPT.show

    Most of the federal grants are given to specific target groups with specific requirements (e.g. minority business owners involved in transportation related contracts emanating from DOT – Grant#20.905 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Short Term Lending Program

    Grants are also often given to non profit groups or organizations involved in training or other similar activities (grant 59.043 Women’s Business Ownership Assistance that are given to those who will create women’s business center that will train women entrepreneurs

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