Free Money: How To Find Grants For Women Entrepreneurs

If you're a woman who is looking for grants to help operate your business, here are a few tips that may help women entrepreneurs find grants.

More women than ever before are currently employed in today's work force. Many are building professional careers by working for major corporations, while others are employed in the non-profit sector, and still others have started their own business. Some even work from home.

Since men have been active in the workplace much longer than most women, they have more inside knowledge about funding opportunities. Women have less experience in pursuing grant applications. Here are some tips to help women find financial support of professional goals.

1. Join local or national women's professional organizations. Many of these offer grant support to a wide range of projects and applicants. Other organizations help women locate funding agencies in their local areas, or connect applicants to federal government grant offices. Look in the yellow pages or do an online search for "professional women's organizations" or "women's networking groups."



2. Check with the benefits office of your current employer. The company may sponsor in-house grants or purchasing opportunities for special equipment, supplies, or services that may help you do a better job. Be prepared to provide a written rationale about how the needed item can enhance productivity and serve the company's interests.

3. Consult with your community's small business administration agency. Sometimes these are sponsored by a community college's department of business and management studies, or there may be an organization of retired business professionals that provide free or reduced-fee consultation on a plethora of topics, including grant opportunities. Look in the yellow pages or ask a mentor about how to locate such agencies.

4. Join the chamber of commerce or participate in occasional business "mixer" events. You may meet area professionals who have experience in grant applications or who may know of others who do. Occasionally civic groups sponsor grant opportunities or funding for projects, so check with offices like the Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, etc., so getting acquainted may put you in touch with people who can help.

5. Contact national or international corporations about support grants for female entrepreneurs. Top-notch computer companies sometimes sponsor competitions, contests, grants, or project assistance by awarding computer equipment or software. Office supply companies sometimes do this, too, so don't hesitate to ask stores where you shop for work-related supplies. Local companies enjoy sponsoring area professionals, too, so make a few phone calls to see if grants are available for female entrepreneurs.

6. Do an online search for grants and foundation agencies. Hundreds of these accept applications each year from competitors for sizable grants and awards. Read and follow guidelines to be sure you are eligible to apply. Some favor women and minorities.

7. Pool efforts with a female colleague to collaborate on a grant proposal that will benefit both of you while reducing effort by half. Combining know-how can double your chances of success, since some agencies prefer making awards to projects that will advance the interests of more than one person.

There are millions of dollars in grant monies available to energetic applicants. Many agencies eagerly favor women who are looking for grant support to build a career or a business. Organize your project information and company history to begin developing your application today.

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