Jun 20, 2023 9:00:00 AM | Woman-Owned Businesses: The Top 13 Grant and Loan Programs

Top 13 Business Grant and Loan Programs for Woman-Owned Businesses 

Although the number of women-owned businesses continues to increase, women still face significant challenges when it comes to securing traditional funding options for their startups. Grants and loans created specifically for women entrepreneurs can help women raise the necessary capital. 

Grants and Loans for Woman-Owned Businesses in Texas 

Women interested in starting a business with limited funds, bad credit, or inexperience can find a wide range of financial, educational, and mentorship programs throughout Texas

1. Grameen America 

Founded in Queens, New York, in 2008, Grameen America has expanded nationwide, and it now has offices in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. The foundation's focus is to support women as they lift themselves out of poverty to build businesses. Grameen America offers financial assistance and networking support. 

2. PeopleFund 

In partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program and Bank of America, PeopleFund offers woman-owned businesses a special 2% interest rate reduction on loans up to $100,000. PeopleFund also provides educational assistance for low-income individuals in communities throughout Texas. 

3. The Wazo Project 

A program offered through Legacy Institute, The Wazo Project, provides financial assistance and mentorship to members of underserved communities, including women, who want to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. The Wazo Project is available to entrepreneurs throughout Texas. 

Grants and Loans for Woman-Owned Businesses in Oklahoma

4.  Oklahoma Small Business Development Center 

New business owners or those looking to expand can receive support from the advisors at OSBDC. The organization assists with questions concerning sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations, and home-based businesses. In addition, advisors help navigate matters involving financing and loans, copyrights, legal matters, marketing, and more. 

Grants and Loans for Woman-Owned Businesses Nationwide 

5. BBG Ventures 

A venture capital group, BBG Ventures, invests in businesses with at least one female founding member. The group is specifically interested in entrepreneurs who are focused on improving the consumer experience in the following fields: 

  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Future of education and work 
  • Climate-friendly products and platforms 
  • Overlooked and emerging consumers 

6. Belle Capital USA 

Belle Capital USA is a venture capital group focused on supporting startup companies that are founded or led by at least one female. Alternatively, the group will consider companies that agree to recruit top female talent. Belle Capital USA partners with efficiently managed businesses with a unique service or product to promote in the following markets: 

  • Cleantech 
  • Digital/mobile/internet (IT) 
  • Technology-enabled products and services 
  • Life sciences/medical devices/health IT (digital health) 

7. Cartier Women's Initiative Award 

The annual awards ceremony recognizes women-run and women-owned businesses internationally that have had a significant social or environmental impact. Female entrepreneurs may apply for awards in several categories. 

Regional Awards 

Representing the top fellows from each of the nine global regions, including North America, the foundation awards three grants per region. 

  • 1st place: $100,000 
  • 2nd place: $60,000 
  • 3rd place: $30,000 

Science & Technology Pioneer Award 

This award honors female entrepreneurial innovators in the science and technology fields. It's open to women from any country or region, and three fellows are selected. 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award 

Open to women and men across all nine regions, this award recognizes entrepreneurial leaders who close the gap of opportunity in underserved areas. 

Impact Award 

Nine former fellows are recognized for the continued impact their businesses have locally and globally. Three fellows are recognized in each of the three categories based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

  • Improving Lives 
  • Preserving the Planet 
  • Creating Opportunities 

8. Female Founders Fund 

The venture capital group invests in female-founded companies focused on positively redefining the consumer experience. Markets include: 

  • B2B: enterprise technology 
  • Consumer: community-driven brands
  • Healthcare: consumerized care 
  • Fintech: consumer-first platforms 

9. Golden Seeds 

Founded in 2005, New York-based Golden Seeds is a venture capital group investing in women-led companies nationwide. The organization looks for a strong management team and a scalable business model, among other characteristics. The team partners with entrepreneurs in the following industries: 

  • B2B and B2C technology 
  • Healthcare 
  • Consumer products or services 

10. The Halstead Grant  

Established in 2006, The Halstead Grant was created to encourage a continued influx of talent and creativity. The annual designer contest recognizes new silver jewelry artists and is open to women and men. One grand prize winner is awarded $7,500 plus $1,000 in merchandise. Five semi-finalists and finalists also receive $250 and $500, respectively. As a bonus, the winner and finalists may keep constructive feedback drafted from the judges' notes.  

11. National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants 

Winners of the NASE Growth Grants receive a $4,000 award. It’s openpen to any smallbusiness owner and NASE members, and four winners are chosen each quarter. Entrepreneurs may use the money to fund business expenses, including marketing and advertising and improving facilities. 

12. Tory Burch Foundation 

The Tory Burch Foundation supports female entrepreneurs across the country with free online educational resources and financial support. 

Connecting Women-Owned Businesses to Community Lenders

Working with the Bank of America Capital Program, members of underserved communities, including women, are connected to local lenders who provide affordable loans to qualifying entrepreneurs. 

Women of Color Grant Program 

Qualifying entrepreneurs may receive grants of $10,000 or $20,000. To be considered, a business must meet the following minimum requirements: 

  • At least 51% are owned by a woman of color 
  • One to five years in business
  • Minimum revenue of $100,000 is "strongly preferred" 
  • Formed and operated in the United States  

13. WomensNet 

WomensNet awards $450,000 each year to women-owned businesses nationwide. Women in each state can apply for several grant opportunities throughout the year. 

Monthly Grants 

The foundation awards two grants each month. 

  • Amber Grant: Five finalists are selected each month, one of which wins the $10,000 grant and a chance to win the $25,000 Annual Amber Grant. The remaining finalists each receive $1,000. 
  • Business Category Grants: This grant focuses on one business category each month, ranging from skilled trades to fashion and interior design. Applicants are eligible to win $10,000 for the month in which their business is featured, and they're also entered in the Amber Grant award pool for the same month. 

Quarterly Grants 

Women entrepreneurs have access to two quarterly grants. 

  • The Startup Grant: Applicants who are still in the idea phase of the business plan or who have had minimal sales may apply for The Startup Grant. One winner each quarter receives $10,000. Individuals can also apply for the Amber Grant. 
  • The Non-Profit Grant: One non-profit business or organization is selected each quarter for the $10,000 award. 

Yearly Grants 

Three women business owners are selected for annual grants. 

  • The Marketing Grant: One woman-owned business is selected each year to receive individualized marketing support from members of the WomensNet advisory board and a professional agency. 
  • $25,000 Annual Amber Grant: Awarded at the end of the year, two winners each receive $25,000: 
  • One of the previous $10,000 Amber Grant winners 
  • One of the previous Business Category Grant winners 

Connect with a Reliable Resource 

As a new entrepreneur, you may not be aware of the funding resources available to you. The financial team at Valliance Bank understands the challenges facing women-owned businesses. Contact us to review your business plan and discuss loan options and resources.