Last year, female founded startups received less than 1.9% of all VC funding — a devastating statistic showing the challenges women face when trying to access capital to grow their businesses. This year, in honor of Women’s History Month we’ve compiled a list of 5 grants and financial opportunities available for women-owned or female-founded businesses.
It’s time to ensure more women-owned businesses can access critical funding and support to start and scale their organizations.
The Amber Grant
- The Amber Grant is a grant program that was founded by WomensNet in memory of Amber Wigdahl, a young woman who died before realizing her business dreams. The grant program provides financial support to women entrepreneurs to help them achieve their business goals.
- Every month, at least $30,000 is awarded through the Amber Grant, and the program has expanded to include marketing grants, business category grants, and year-end grants.
- To apply to the $10,000 monthly Amber Grant, applicants need to fill out a simple form with information about themselves and their business idea, grantees are announced the following month on the 23rd.
- IFundWomen is a grant marketplace that focuses on providing funding and coaching for women-owned businesses. Applicants can submit one application, and when an enterprise partner adds a grant, IFundWomen matches the partner’s criteria with applications in their database. If a business is a match, they receive a notification and an invitation to apply.
- The IFundWomen BOTOX® Cosmetic grant program gives 20 women entrepreneurs $25k, coaching, and mentorship to close the Confidence Gap. Honorees also join the IFundWomen Method Crowdfunding Accelerator to fuel their ambitions and drive long-term impact.
- Applications are accepted until April 7, 2023 at 11:59pm PT.
Women Founders Network
- The Women Founders Network (WFN) is a group educating women and girls on starting a business and investing. Their Fast Pitch competition offers mentoring, coaching and sponsorships as part of the overall program. Aside from the $40,000+ in cash grants available for distribution, there is a cash investment potential from investors who attend the pitch.
- The HerRise Micro-Grant is a financial assistance program that provides $500 grants each month to women of color who are creating innovative solutions that benefit their communities. The grants can be used for various business needs, including equipment, marketing materials, and website creation.
- Interested applicants can apply when the 2023 applications open soon.
- Fearless Fund invests in high growth, scalable, women of color-led ventures across the U.S. Although they do not specialize in a particular industry, organizations are often sought out that will benefit most in value and scale from their team’s General and Limited Partners. Those interested in pitching can apply at any time so long as they meet the following criteria (*please note that the Fearless Fund will not initially invest over $3M and ask for 10% ownership of portfolio companies):
- At least one woman of color co-founder with significant equity in the company
- Led by a high quality, resilient management team with at least one full-time founder
- Have a sustainable competitive advantage
- Established C-Corporations (or LLCs on path to incorporation)
- Ability to scale rapidly and achieve strong returns for investors
- Funding ask should be in line with the company’s stage of growth
- Fearless Fund invests in Pre-seed, Seed and Series A stage deals