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Small Business Grants for Women in America

Susan L Reid

Are you a small business owner looking for a grant to start up your business?

Have you had any luck finding one?

HelpIf you've been having difficulty finding all those mythical millions—nay billions—of federal grant dollars, join the crowd. Tens of thousands of women search the Internet each month looking for small business grant money, and tens of thousands of women give up, feeling frustrated, disheartened, and baffled by money-promising scam sites which lead nowhere.

The fact is that the grant money is not there. At least, not the way it used to be.

During Lyndon Johnson’s presidency (1963-1969), grant money was plentiful. However, successive administrations and congresses re-grouped, re-categorized, and generally restricted the monies and limited the organizations that were eligible for grants. Currently, the few grants that are available to small business start-ups are for highly specialized fields and for minorities.

Don’t give up hope, though! All is not lost. Golden Egg

Funding opportunities for women starting up small businesses do exist. You just need to know where to look.

Eight Strategies for Finding Small Business Start-up Money

  • Visit to find out if your business purpose fits within federal grant guidelines.
  • Search for information on the Small Business Administration’s website,
  • Contact the Rural Development Administration (USDA RDA) if your business is in a rural area.
  • Take advantage of any assistance or information offered to small business owners by your state, county, or city government.
  • Ask owners of similar businesses how they funded their start-ups.
  • Look for larger companies, organizations and foundations that share your purpose.
  • Consider a loan-grant combo.
  • Google: “small business start-up grant”, + “your type of business”.

Websites with Grant Information

1. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

This is an excellent site for all your small business needs. Plus, as a bonus, there are many local SBA offices around the country where you can go and talk with a real live person.

a. Finance Start-up page

This page gives a list of grant and loan programs, though not the grants or loans themselves.

b. Local Resources

On this page, you can search for your nearest SBA.

c. To be eligible for small business grant or loan monies, the business must meet the size standards determined by the SBA as of May 2009.


On this site you can find and apply for federal grants. For small business start-up loans, redirects you to That's because the federal government works through agencies like the SBA when funding money for small business start-ups.

3. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)

Here you will find a listing of all Federal programs available to government, public, and private entities.

4. Rural Development Administration

The RDA provides assistance to businesses starting up in rural areas. Assistance usually comes in grant-loan combos, or just low interest loans.

Websites with Information on How to Get Grants:

1. small business grants from states

This site gives a link to each state's economic development agency.

2. Startup Nation

This is a nice, clean, easy-to-follow and understand website for small businesses starting up.

a. This article, "Grants to Start a Business: Hidden Trove of Small Business Start Up Capital" has some great, if simple, information.

b. This page is helpful for finding funding.

Other Funding Resources for Women:

1. National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC)

This is an investment company that funds small businesses. It is venture capital but is well known, recommended, and considered safe.

2. National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC)

This is an association that funds ethnically diverse businesses. It is also venture capital but is thought to be secure.

3. Woman Owned

This link contains a very good article on women-owned small business funding.

4. Count Me In (for Women’s Economic Independence)

Here is an online community with events and funding for women-owned businesses. A minimum of two years in business and $250,000 in revenue are required to apply for financial assistance.

5. Women’s Funding Network

This network is a collection of organizations that fund women's solutions.

6. Breaking through Barriers (formerly American Association of University Women, (AAUW)

This association for the advocacy of women's equality that provides funding for outstanding women.

7. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

This branch of the SBA funds small, high-tech and innovative businesses.

Money BullseyeGrants for women starting up businesses in America are hard to come by, especially if you don't know where to look. If you've been searching to no avail for small business grant money or have thrown up your hands in frustration because of all the scam sites that lead nowhere, don't give up yet! Funding opportunities for women small business owners do exist.

Follow the information and links in this article to discover how and where you can get grants and funding for your small business start-up.

Copyright © 2009 by Susan L. Reid

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it:

Copyright ©2009 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Intuitive small business start-up expert Dr. Susan L. Reid is the award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success, and business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up home-based business for the very first time.

If you are feeling both excited and overwhelmed at the prospect of starting a business and haven’t a clue where to begin, help is a click away. Get your free PDF copy of “Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion” at

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