A friend of mine is considering setting up funds to be used as grants for women owned businesses. The decision was inspired from her observation of women who are shattering the glass and taking their seats at the table. She observed that if funding opportunities are democratise for women, they will do more.
According to a research done in the US, 4 out of 10 businesses are owned by women. The same change has been observed in Nigeria where women are increasing embracing entrepreneurship.
Women are creating a huge impact on the small business landscape in Nigeria and reducing the unemployment ration by providing jobs through their ventures. But to continue to create these impact, they need funding.
Finding funding for women owned businesses has always been a challenge especially from financial institutions. Luckily, there are other option; organisations interested in creating equalities in the society are providing small business grants for women owned businesses.
Some of these small business grants for women owned businesses are what we will be listing and discussing in this article. Are you a woman owned organisations, let nothing hold you back from seeking the opportunities that you deserve.
Small Business Grants For Women Owned Businesses
AGS Enterprise Challenge
The AGS Enterprise Challenge is one of the grant opportunities available for women owned businesses. It is hosted by AGS Tribe and organised in the form of a competition. Also, the challenge creates brand exposure for the women who participate in the AGS Enterprise Challenge.
Basically, the AGS Enterprise Challenge involves a pitch competition, business expert presentation, questions and answer session. It is done with the aim of building a network of businesses and opportunities that will further promote business sustainability across Africa in the next five years.
The overall grant as at June 2019 is 3 million Naira including amazing benefits like mentoring opportunities, availability of office space e.t.c. Are you a woman with a creative idea who is seeking for funding, log on to agstribe.org and apply.
The Amber Grant has been in existence for more than 2 decades. It was launched in 1998 by WomensNet in honor of Amber Wigdahl who died at 19 without fulfilling her entrepreneurial dreams.
In respect to this, the Amber grant was created in order to help women harness their entrepreneurial potentials.
Amber Grant offers $2,000 grant to women owned businesses who qualify. Then, at the end of the year, one of the 12 grant awardees also qualify for the annual $25,000 Amber Grant.
The process is repeated every month, and the application for the monthly $2,000 grant is ongoing till August 31. To apply, go to ambergrantsforwomen.com
The Girlboss Foundation was launched under the Girlboss brand by Sophia Amoruso in 2014. The foundation awards a biannual grant to female entrepreneurs with creative ideas.
Each of the beneficiary receives a project funding of $15,000 with other interesting benefits like exposure through the Girlboss platform and media community.
Since Girlboss was founded, it has awarded over $130,000 grants to female-entrepreneurs empowering women in turning their innovative ideas into companies that are shaping the future.
Girlboss exist to redefine success for millennial women by providing the tools and connections they need to own their futures. This opportunity is open to women in the design, fashion, music, and art industries. Applicants are judged by a selection of committee from Girlboss on the basis of creativity, work plan, financial need. e.t.c
Log on to Girlboss.com/foundation and apply for this grant.
African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP)
African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) assists women owned business in sub-Sahara Africa. It assists women whose businesses transforms her society through economic development and social advocacy in their communities.
AWEP is a three-week program that allows about 30 African women entrepreneurs into the United States through the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
These women participate in professional development meetings, and network with the host country policy makers, companies, industry associations, nonprofit organisation and other of her developmental organisations.
During AWEP, there are innovative discussions on how women owned businesses can grow. The AWEP participants are usually nominated and selected by the U.S Embassies across different African countries. They are chosen based on their entrepreneurial accomplishments with the potential to advance relationships between their country and the US.
Log on to awepnigeria.org, to know more on how you can be a beneficiary.
Mama Cash was established in 1983 around a kitchen table in Amsterdam. Today, Mama Cash is one of the largest international women’s fund in the world.
It focuses on Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Caribbean and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The organisation supports women and trans groups with funds, know-how and networking opportunities.
Mama cash provides support for women’s rights initiative that challenge the root causes of injustice around the world. Annually, it gives out about 100 grants to women, girls and groups initiating a positive change in the world. Overall, Mama Cash’s grant size ranges from €5,000 to €50,000 in a year.
To get more information on how to apply, visit mamacash.org
New Voices Fund
New Voices Fund was founded by a family-run conglomerate; Sundial Brands. Since its existence, it has continued to uphold its business philosophy of “taking care of and investing back in the community.”
New Voices Fund is a $100 million fund created to empower women of color entrepreneurs to reach their full potential. The initiative provides women owned business unprecedented access, capital and expertise they need to excel in their business.
You can access them on newvoicesfund.com
UN Women Fund For Gender Equality
The Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) is a UN women grant, launched in 2009 to hasten the implementation of gender equality around the world. The fund is a unique global grant-making model that supports national, women-led civil society organisations in achieving women’s economic and political empowerment.
UN Women Fund for Gender Equality is competitive involving a rigorous process, so, the highest-ranking proposals are usually considered and shortlisted.
It finances initiatives by women-led organisations, invest in ideas that involves women, girls and the vulnerable groups. The grant process begins with a global call for proposals through an online platform.
Visit the unwomen.org and get important information on how to prepare for the process.
The Cartier Women’s Initiative
The Cartier Women’s Initiative provides grant for women owned businesses. It is for women who wish to take their company to the next level. A total of 21 finalists who also represent top 3 business from 7 regions have access to the funding opportunities.
Some of the Cartier Women’s Initiative opportunities includes financial coach, business workshops, networking sessions and media visibility before and during the award week.
The grant is only available to profitable organisations who are in their developmental stage. It is for women owned business who are working on at least one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the end, women that meet the criteria are awarded a scholarship to attend the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Programme. Also, 7 laureates (1 from each region) will receive $100,000 in prize money, and 14 finalists (2 runners-up from each region) will receive $30,000 prize money.
For more information, visit cartierwomensinitiave.com.