Female business owners are undoubtedly on the rise. A recent survey of businesses in more than 59 countries around the world revealed that 6.2 percent of women respondents owned a business. This accounts for more than 231 million women globally, running their own enterprises and calling the shots. As inspiring as this statistic is, this is the result of a grueling centuries-long climb for women.
Although a lot of major hurdles for women business owners have been reduced in the past decades, there are still significant challenges for women entrepreneurs. One only has to review the history of females in businesses to understand how monumental an achievement it is for women to open their own enterprises.
Women in Business
Today, 40 percent of businesses in the United States are owned by women. These women are involved in a wide range of businesses, from services for painting road lines on highways to opening a Waffle House franchise. These 12.3 million businesses are the result of hard work. For example, it wasn't until 1972 that Katherine Graham of the Washington Post Company became the first female CEO to run one of the mythical Fortune 500 companies. By 2020, the number of female CEOs in this hallowed list reached an all-time high at 37 female-run companies.
One of the most significant hurdles for starting a business is finding the funding in the first place. Although this is a challenge for all would-be business owners, women are more likely going to have trouble funding their enterprises personally due to a variety of factors. One such factor is the undeniable gender-wage gap in most countries around the world. Women may be paid as much as 33 percent less than their male counterparts in the same position, making it difficult to save up enough to launch a business. Thankfully, there is a solution created to help women launch their entrepreneurial dreams.
Business Grants for Women
Through efforts by government institutions and private organizations, there are now plenty of ways for women to secure the most coveted of startup funding techniques: the business grant. Majors entities and businesses are now sponsoring new companies ideated and helmed by women.
Below are some of the most reliable business grant options for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
The most comprehensive source for business grants is the federal government. Their website provides an almost dizzying array of grants for businesses of all kinds. Although these grants are restricted to female-only business applications, there are plenty of grants aimed at creating new small businesses. This is the perfect starting point for women who want to try their hand at running their own company. Because its run by the federal government, remember that there's plenty of competition and countless other applications from like-minded women. You should also remember that there are many types of business grants and learning to identify which one fits your proposal the best is key to getting your proposal approved.
Eileen Fisher is a women's clothing brand founded by the designer of the same name. The company has long been in the forefront of corporate responsibility and forward thinking in business, employing non-traditional fashion models in their advertising campaigns and advocating for the same in their employment.
In 2019, clothing company began a business grant program. Every year, they award approximately $200,000 in grants. The amount starts at $10,000 and can reach up $40,000. The company aims to increase more women in business and make female business owners more visible in the corporate world.
Girlboss is a website with podcasts, newsletters and blogs dedicated to female empowerment in the workplace. They provide educational materials, informational articles and support network that lets women build up their confidence and knowledge to take on the hurdles of being a business owner.
The Girlboss Foundation opened in 2014 and provides grants to innovative women entrepreneurs who want to make a mark in the business community. Since it first opened its doors, the Girlboss Foundation has supplied over $130,000 to aspiring female entrepreneurs. Grant winners get as much as $15,000 to fund their projects and the businesses are featured on their website and other media channels.
Halstead is a jewelry material supplier based in Arizona. They provide the materials for countless aspiring jewelry makers and post informative articles on their website that help aspiring jewelers refine their craft and produce beautiful products.
Although not restricted to female applicants, the Halstead business grant can be a gateway for female jewelers who just need the capital to launch their dreams. The grant consists of $7,500 in startup funds as well as over $1,000 worth of jewelry making supplies and other Halstead merchandise.
Women are becoming more confident and making great strides in every facet of society. These grants give women the support they need to make decisions and become successful in their own right.