There are not any small business grants specifically geared to mothers, but there are small business grants for women in general. These grants often provide an option for women who need funding to start or maintain their own business. There are other ways for moms to raise the funds to start small businesses as well.
Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The OWBO is a branch of the Small Business Administration (SBA). This branch of the SBA does not provide grants for women who own businesses. However, they do provide technical, legal, and economic help. The training programs that this office has available will help women to focus and narrow down their business ideas while also preparing to be part of the business world.
The agency has representatives who are also able to assist with funding searches. These representatives help find grants for women who want to start their own businesses. Because the people who work for the SBA are experienced in specifically working with lenders and grant organizations, they know which sources of funding are most likely to be received for a particular project. For more information, visit the Office of Women’s Business Ownership online. (http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2895).
Other Government Agencies
Although the SBA does not grant entrepreneurs with cash, there are federal agencies that do have available programs. The Department of Transportation, National Science Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Department of Agriculture are just a few of the federal agencies that provide grants. These agencies typically approve grants to people within their fields, so look up the federal agency most closely allied with your business idea to find specific opportunities to apply for.
KickStarter.com, IndieGoGo.com, and various other websites are currently acting as the catalysts for the exploding crowd-funding market. Moms can think of this type of funding as a grant program because the money does not have to be repaid. Instead, the entrepreneur fills out the information on the website with the basics of the business model. Enterprising entrepreneurs will want to include a video as well to help make a personal connection. Guidelines are available on each site with ways to improve your chances of receiving funding.
Moms looking for small business funds through crowd-funding will first need to determine their business budget. Putting exactly what is needed and how that money will be spent will help to entice people to donate. Donors like details.Including a specific budget will also show that the mom looking for a small business grant is serious about her project. You should incentives to funders, such as a future discount for shopping with your business, to entice them further.
Many private organizations provide small business grants. These organizations typically serve a certain type of small business, but moms may find some gems by searching for “foundation business grant” and “Mom’s business topic.” The Campbell Soup Foundation, Broyhill Family Foundation, and Kellogg Foundation are just a few of the private foundations that support business ventures through grant programs.
It’s important to keep geography in mind while you are searching as well. Some organizations, such as the James Irvine Foundation, help small business owners in specific locations. The Irvine example provides assistance for people in the Irvine, California area. Contact local business agencies or the chamber of commerce for smaller local business grants. The competition for these grants is often less intense than that for national foundation grants, providing a leg up for busy moms who are working on a business proposal while juggling family life.
Micro-lending industry is not only available to men and women in developing nations. Instead a growing number of lenders offer micro loans to people within the United States, and women are often at the core of their business model.
While moms looking for small business grants may not want to consider loans, these micro-lenders are often a good source of start-up capital. Their loans are small by lending standards, though they may be significant sums for moms starting businesses. Many large banking institutions have micro-lending departments, and their requirements for documentation and asset proof before lending are usually than for traditional business loans.