As an entrepreneur, I know first-hand how confusing it can be to start a business and to find small business grants for women. After all, it’s not like changing a car tire where there are step-by-step instructions for successful installation. Starting a business is confusing because each business is unique in its requirements. Probably the biggest hurdle when starting a business is getting capital. Now, we all know, the possibility of getting a loan exists, but are there Free Government Small Business Start Up Grants for Women?
The truth is, despite what you’ve heard, the Federal government rarely hands out free money to women who are starting a small business. It’s not a sexist thing. They rarely do it for men, either. Even if you are the exception, in many cases you basically end up working for big brother – ultimately defeating the purpose. Now, you can do research to see if your company qualifies as one of the rare exceptions for government funding, but I would encourage you to use that time to pursue other private companies and organizations that may be able to help. Here are a few I’ve come across:
So, now that you have a few resources to pursue for grant money, let’s talk a bit about how to receive the grant money. First of all, just because you are a woman starting a small business, or a man for that matter, you won’t automatically qualify. With any grant program, you must first prove that you need money and why you need it. Furthermore, there are two standard, required documents you will need to get your grant request off the ground: a grant proposal and a letter of appeal
Simply put, the grant proposal, simply explains to the organization what you are wanting the grant money for. A student, for example, requesting grant money for college, has a viable need and reason – college education. Your reason needs to be clear and evident. The letter of appeal is simply an abbreviated version of the grant proposal. For grant requests under $2,500, a letter of appeal will probably suffice. You’ll want to contact each organization to find out what they want specifically included in either the grant proposal or letter of appeal.
So, once you have your potential sources for grants and know how to approach them, make sure you satisfy their requests thoroughly and, most importantly, make sure you follow up. Persistence can be key. Now, whether or not you get your grant money, there are some inexpensive ways for you to promote your business online.