Grants for Women Starting a Business in 2022

6 months ago / by Melanie Fourie
Grants for Women Owned Businesses
Image credits: Darina Belonogova via Pexels

Unlike small company loans and other forms of debt-based finance, which must be repaid, business grants for women entrepreneurs are effectively free money. Grants for small businesses are hard to come by, and rightfully so, since the competition is high. However, if you’re prepared for the task, grants might be an excellent source of capital for your start-up or established company. We’ve compiled a list, inspired by recommendations on Nerd Wallet, of the best options for women business owners to get this type of funding for their ventures!

Various Grants for Women Owned Businesses

FedEx Small Business Grant 

FedEx presents yearly grants of up to $50,000 each to ten small enterprises. The overall prize fund for the 2022 competition was over $300,000. The prize money may be used for everything FedEx Office offers, including printing and other business needs.

You’ll need a summary of your company, a breakdown of how you intend to put the funds to use, some images, and (optionally) a short film to accompany your application. Businesses must be for profit, have less than 99 workers, and be in operation for at least 6 months to qualify.

National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant (NASE)

Monthly growth grants of $4,000 are distributed by this non-profit trade group to small firms for use in expanding their operations.

You must have been a paid-up member of NASE for at least three months before applying for this award. Anyone may join as an annual member at any time.

Apply for a Halstead Grant

Every year, new business owners who have an innovative idea for the silver jewellery market may apply for the Halstead Grant. The winner will get a $7,500 start-up grant and $1,000 worth of jewellery. Each of the 5 finalists and semi-finalists will get $250 or $500, respectively, as well as marketing support.

This incentive for small enterprises is open to either men or women. The application process consists of answering questions pertaining to the company and submitting a portfolio of your design work. Every year, on August 1st, the application deadline rolls along.

The Fearless Strivers Grant Contest

Together with Mastercard, the Fearless Fund sponsors the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest, which awards cash prizes of $10,000 to companies founded by Black women. Winners also get one-on-one guidance from a Mastercard small-business mentor and access to digital tools to help them launch and maintain a web presence.

The Fearless Fund hosts both a nationwide grants program and local competitions in various cities. This small company award is only available to U.S.-based companies with 50 or fewer workers and annual revenues of $3 million or less.

The SoGal Black Founder Start-up Grant

Businesses such as Bluemercury, Twilio, and others support the SoGal Foundation in order to provide startup funds to Black women and Black nonbinary business owners. The available grant amounts are $10,000 and $5,000.

Grantees may always reach out to the SoGal Foundation for help, and they get fundraising tips with an eye toward securing investor funding. The SoGal website accepts applications on a rolling basis, so you may submit yours whenever it’s convenient for you.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

In nine different locations, Cartier gives out three grants annually to companies run by women. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are given to promising start-ups that address a wide variety of problems in the realms of social, economic, and environmental development.

First place receives a $100,000 reward, second place receives $60,000, and third place receives $30,000. The winners also have access to a selection of training sessions and executive coaching.

The  IFundWomen Universal Grant Application Database

When it comes to grants and business mentoring, IFundWomen is the place to go. Once a grant is added by an enterprise partner, IFundWomen will automatically match the partner’s award requirements to applications in the database.

If your company is a good fit, you will be contacted and given the chance to apply. Visa, Neutrogena, and American Express are just some of the firms that have provided funding in the past.

The Amber Grant

Each month, the Amber Grant Foundation gives $10,000 to a different female-owned company. One of the twelve grant recipients receives an extra $25,000 at the conclusion of each calendar year. There are many more types of awards available from the foundation at different times of the year.

The process of making an application is straightforward: In addition to the $15 application fee, you’ll need to provide details about your firm and explain how you’d use the grant money. Winners are selected by the advisory board of the foundation, who search for inspiring women with compelling stories. In addition, there is no time commitment required, making this a viable choice for women seeking business funding from the outset. Companies based in the United States or Canada qualify.

The Minority Business Development Agency Centers

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) runs a system of business centers around the nation to assist minorities in gaining access to funding, contracts, and financial planning. Find out more about federal, state, and private small business grants from the experts at your neighbourhood MBDA business center.

The MBDA also sponsors the Enterprising Women of Colour Initiative (EWOC) to help minority women succeed in business. Minority women entrepreneurs may get support and networking opportunities via the EWOC.

The Women’s Business Centers

More than a hundred Women’s Business Centers exist around the country thanks to funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Others, like the California Capital Financial Development Corp., assist in locating potential sources of funding in the form of grants and loans for small businesses.

SBDCs, or Small Business Development Centers

Many colleges and universities host one of the hundreds of Small Business Development Centers around the nation that are funded by the Small Business Administration. SBDCs provide free, individualized business advice, such as assistance with creating a business plan, doing market research, and securing capital via sources including grants, loans, and crowdsourcing.

The New York Small Business Development Center, for example, provides resources like the 8(a) and Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification to firms owned by minorities and women in order to assist them compete on a level playing field in the public and private sectors.

The Economic Development Administration

Strong local economies are a priority for governments at the federal, state, and municipal levels. One such economic development district in New York is the Lake Champlain – Lake George Regional Planning Board, which works to increase the availability of state and federal funds for locally owned and operated enterprises.


While the SBA does act as a coordinator for a number of grant programs, it does not normally provide grants to companies directly. The SBA’s PRIME program, on the other hand, allocates government money to microenterprise development groups so that they may give training, technical help, and mentoring to underprivileged microentrepreneurs.

Non-profit, private, state, municipal, and tribally governed organizations, including those whose mission is to aid women-owned enterprises, are eligible to apply for these funds. In 2021, for instance, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation received a grant of $200,000.

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs

The SBA administers two grant competitions that reward small firms for their contributions to government R&D. More than a dozen government departments and organizations advertise available grants to businesses on their own websites. The SBIR website has a searchable database of active grant opportunities.

You need to be the owner or operator of a for-profit firm with less than 500 workers and fulfil additional criteria before applying. is an online resource that compiles information on available government funding opportunities, such as those aimed at small enterprises. This resource is a good starting point for finding free funding, and it’s not limited to grants for women-owned companies. A Unique Entity ID (12-character alphanumeric identification number) is required, as is registration with the U.S. government’s System for Award Management and a account. By utilizing the qualifying filter on the left, you may narrow down the results to grants that are appropriate for small firms.