A business owned by a woman was an unfamiliar practice in the near past. But in 2016, it was estimated that there were 11.3 million women-owned businesses just in the United States of America. This is a forty-seven percent increase in women-owned business since 2007. The scenario can be different in other countries. But the success rate of women-owned business in America is because of the policies and grants that the federal government provides to women-owned business. The rate of turning away women entrepreneurs to get small business loans by the banks has also increased alarmingly. But it is the government that has special policies and grants to give loans and assists in flourishing women-owned businesses nationwide. Women entrepreneurs are having a marvelous impression on the small-business landscape countrywide.
Small business owners want to turn to grants because they think grants are free money and they will not have to pay them back. But, these small business grants come with conditions. First of all, you will have to find a grant for which you are eligible as a small business owner. Then you will have to comply to the guidelines to for submitting the application and wait for its approval until you get entitlement for the grant. After approval, you still are required to genuinely report on the use of money afterward.
Finding federal and state grants:
Many small business owners think that government grants for small businesses or for a woman-owned business is just a click away. But, that is not true. Though there are federal grants obtainable in the capacities of medical research, science, education and technology progress, no such grants are present especially for a women-owned business. There are projects that empower women, but these projects are to fund non-profit organizations, not for profitable businesses.
If you are searching for a women-owned business grant, then go to the state’s website where you are located. Each state website has a business section. From that business section, find grants and funding opportunities for women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses.
Women owned-business opportunities:
When there is more than 51 percent of ownership in a business by a woman or women, then there are special facilities and assistance present for such businesses. Not all female business owners try to go for these options, but many do.
If you register your business as a woman’s business enterprise (WBE), it will lead to several opportunities. Local governments, states, and federal governments have special programs for women-owned businesses.
The WBE certification process requires the following:
More than 51 percent of ownership is held by a woman or women.
The business has been in the market for the last six months at least.
The owner must be a U.S. citizen. If ownership is with a woman who has not received U.S. citizenship yet, she must be a legal resident in U.S.
The proof is compulsory to show that the role of capital from the female business owner is genuine and in ratio to her ownership interest in the business.
The female business owner must direct the management and business decisions.
If you try to pose a male-owned business as a female-owned business:
If you are a male-owned business, but give your wife 51 percent of the shares to declare the business as a women-owned business, then make it sure that you will not be getting the women-owned business benefits. Auditors will come and check if the male’s office is bigger than the female’s or if the women are not in direct management and business decisions are not by women.
Loan options for female-owned business:
Pilot Loan Programs assist prospective debtors in developing loan applications and obtaining loans. A Women’s Business Development Center or a Small Business Development Company are examples of such programs.
Here are a few links to private grants for a woman-owned business.
- The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program.
- FedEx Opportunity Knocks Small Business Grant Contest.
- Idea Café Small Business Grant.
- Innovate HER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge.
- Small Business Innovation Research.
- Small Business Technology Transfer Program.
- Zions Bank — Smart Women Grants.
The government has special policies and grants to give loans and assist in flourishing women-owned business nationwide. Female entrepreneurs are paving their way and making an impact in the business economy. The business is called a woman-owned business when more than 51 percent of ownership is retained by a woman or women and the women are direct decision makers in the business.
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