Money and Business. Ten Organizations Serving Women-Owned Businesses

It is no surprise that women-owned businesses are on the rise and going strong. According to The 2018 State of Women-Owned Business Report Commissioned by American Express, the number of women-owned businesses increased a dramatic 31 times between 1972 and 2018, rising from 402,000 (4.6% of all firms) in 1972 to 12.3 million (40% of all firms) in 2018.  Yet, financing remains the largest concern, particularly for entrepreneurs in early stage businesses.  

Below are ten organizations that support women-owned businesses worth checking out. 

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with the organizations below. To the best of our knowledge these resources have excellent reputations. However, we encourage you to do your own due diligence before engaging with any organization.

For Women Owned Businesses 

SBA and Women’s Business Center (WBC)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides more than 100 Women’s Business Centers located throughout the US to help women start and grow their small business. These educational centers are run by the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership with the goal of supporting women entrepreneurs. Click here to find the local chapter. 

Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women

The Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America is a business competition and education program which includes year-round education, networking, and events. Applications are currently closed but will reopen in the Fall (2019).

Amber Grant

Amber Grant for Women Business Owners began in 1998 to honor the memory of Amber Wigdahl, a young woman who died at the age of 19 before fulfilling her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Each month, the organization distributes $2,000 grants to women business owners. The recipients who receive a $2,000 grant become eligible for the annual $25,000 small business grant.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are designed for female entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business with the potential for significant growth. Grant awards can reach 6 figures. To be considered for this year’s competition, enter your early-stage (1 to 3 years old), women-led, for-profit business by August 14, 2019. 

For All Business Owners

Grants.gov

If you’re looking for federally sponsored grants, visit Grants.gov. Over a dozen federal government agencies participate in the database which includes a wide variety of grants and can serve as a great starting point for anyone looking for federal grant resources. Visit the grant applicants section to see if you’re eligible.

Fed Ex Small Business Grant Contest

Federal Express offers a grant contest with 10 small business winners who receive grants, prizes, and insights from FedEx experts to help them grow their business and join a community of small businesses that offer peer insights.

The content is open to U.S.-based for-profit small businesses that have fewer than 99 employees and have been in operation selling a product or service for not less than six (6) months at the start of the contest. The next contest opens in early 2020.

Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative

Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. To date, more than 8,200 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Through the program, participants “gain practical skills in negotiation, marketing, and employee management” as well as tools and professional support so they may develop a strategic and customized business growth plan. Click here to learn more or to apply. 

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program

The NASE is a paid-membership organization which supports small businesses. They run an annual Growth Grant contest which is open to NASE members in good standing (for a minimum of three months). In addition to being an active NASE member, you must demonstrate your business’ financial need that will be aided by the grant, explain how the grant will improve your business, include a current resume and a business plan. The NASE’s basic annual membership dues are $120 per year. 

SCORE

If you’re looking for a mentor, free or low-cost training and other resources, visit the local chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). The organization has been around since 1964 and provides free counseling, information and assistance to new and established entrepreneurs. 

FSBDC at Florida Atlantic University

The Florida SBDC in Boca Raton is a satellite center of the Florida SBDC at Florida Atlantic University (Florida SBDC at FAU) region serving aspiring and existing small businesses in Palm Beach County with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more.

The Florida SBDC at FAU region serves Broward and Palm Beach counties and maintains two satellite centers in addition to the main office in Fort Lauderdale. Visit sbdc.fau.edu to learn more.