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Women-owned businesses contribute significantly to the economy and are a fast-growing category of small businesses. Whether you run a startup, non-profit, or local business, socially conscious firms and non-profit organizations support female entrepreneurs with small-business grants designed to close the financial gap between men and women.
Funding is one of the biggest obstacles female entrepreneurs face. Even though female entrepreneurs generate $3.1 trillion in revenue, with 4 out of 10 businesses in the United States owned by women, investors prefer male-owned companies.
MarketWatch reported that only 2.2% of venture capital in the United States goes to women-owned companies. Furthermore, about 35% of all-male startups receive funding after their first round. For companies that have women founders, this number is under 2%.
Although this is disheartening, some organizations, such as WomensNet, which help women in business with business grant programs and mentoring, aim to level it out.
As stated on the website, Amber’s sister founded WomensNet to “enable other female business owners to reach their dreams that Amber never had the opportunity to achieve.” While the grants are relatively small, they are important to budding entrepreneurs who may not be able to obtain funding otherwise.
Moreover, they are relatively easy to apply for and require nothing more than a passion for entrepreneurship and a strong vision: “We only ask that winners pay it forward to other like-minded women.”
Amber Grants For Women
WomensNet makes various available resources to female entrepreneurs in addition to Amber Grants. The Amber Grant Foundation was established in 1998 as part of the entrepreneurship community for women as a tribute to a 19-year-old woman named Amber Wigdahl, who departed the world without realizing her business ideas.
Assisting women to start and grow their businesses is the mission of the Amber Foundation. Small grants help you get started, and repayment of the funds is not required or expected. WomensNet gives away more than $30,000 in Amber Grant money every month, carrying that tradition forward. Additionally, they have expanded their grant-giving to include “Marketing Grants,” “Business Category Grants,” and two “$25,000 Year End Grants” to acknowledge the diversity of businesses owned by women.
There are numerous qualities that the judges look for, including passion, business savvy, vision, and so much more. It is also important to pay attention to details. Assume they know nothing about your company, industry, or market, even though they will do their research before selecting finalists and winners (or winners).
Simply filling out the application makes you eligible for the monthly $10,000 Amber Grant by telling them about yourself. Amber Grants are easy to apply for. Try not to sound corporate. Past grant winners have spoken from the heart. Each application is subject to a $15 application fee.
Both passion and business smarts are important to their judges. You can tell them about your business dream in just a few minutes. You don’t have to fill out long, complicated forms. You are automatically eligible for all their business grants by submitting one application. Grant winners are announced by the 23rd of each month.
There is no such thing as a small or large business dream. Amber Grant recipients have come from all walks of life, from scientists to bakers. Ultimately, what matters is YOU, the entrepreneur (or entrepreneurs).
The Various Amber Grants
Amber Grants are awarded throughout the year to eligible women-owned businesses.
$10,000 Monthly Award
All applications are reviewed by their judges each month, and five finalists are selected. One $10,000 Amber Grant monthly winner will be among those finalists every month. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to the four other finalists. Amber Grant winners qualify for a $25,000 year-end grant if they win $10,000 each month.
$25,000 Annual Amber Grant
At the end of each year, they award two grants of $25,000 each to women-owned businesses.
One of the previous $10,000 monthly recipients receives the first $25,000 grant. Lastly, they will award another $25,000 grant to a previous winner of their $10,000 monthly Business Category Grants.
Non-profit businesses and organizations are awarded $10,000 every quarter. Women make up about 75% of the workforce in non-profits. A non-profit business that provides a good or service to benefit your community should look at this.
Business Category Grants
If she submits her application in time, every woman entrepreneur can apply for the $10,000 Amber Grant. In addition, they have a $10,000 award winner every month in the Business Category.
Twelve different categories of businesses automatically qualify for the $10,000 Business Category Grant (once per year). Your Category grant application must be received before the end of the month in which the category you intend to apply for ends. A $25,000 grant will be awarded to one category winner during the year-end awards.
Members of their Advisory Board can give Mini-Grants (up to $2,000) throughout the year. Sometimes, women business owners have smaller grant needs, but those needs are still important. For 2022, $48,000 will be available for Mini-Grants.
Eligibility Requirements For Amber Grants
You must meet certain requirements if you would like to be considered for an Amber Grant Award.
- The business must be considered at least 50% owned by women.
- Businesses must be located either in the U.S. or Canada to qualify.
- You can apply for the grant if you are a non-profit organization.
- The applicant must be either a citizen of the United States or a citizen of Canada.
- You must be at least 18 years of age or older to participate.
- You own the majority of the company’s shares.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!