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4 Small Business Grants for Women with Niche Startups

Deborah Sweeney

Chief Executive Officer at MyCorporation.com
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, trademark and copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.

Grants are available for every type of business. There are grants provided by the federal government, at the state level, and by major corporations. Virtually anyone eligible may receive a grant, including veterans, minority business owners, and women business owners.

Speaking of women business owners, what kinds of grants are available to those individuals who run a niche business? These are the kinds of companies that identify (and fill) a very specific market need. Are there grants available to women-run niche businesses? And if so, what kinds of grants can these entrepreneurs apply for?

Let’s take a look at some of the grants available to female entrepreneurs who run niche businesses.



The Halstead Grant

Who is eligible?

Jewelry artists, particularly emerging silver jewelry artists.

What should I know before applying?

Since 2006, The Halstead Grant has been on a mission to help jewelry entrepreneurs create a strategy that kickstarts their careers. The grant’s grand prize is $7,500, with an additional $1,000 in merchandise and recognition in the jewelry industry.

The next postmark deadline is August 1, 2020, so download the application now and start preparing your design portfolio for a chance to be Halstead’s next grant winner!

Idea Café Grants

Who is eligible?

Women who are starting or growing a small business.

What should I know before applying?

Since 2001, Idea Café has provided micro-grants of $1,000 to women entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries all over the country. Past recipients include Leah Larson, founder of a quarterly magazine for Jewish girls, by Jewish girls, called YALDAH, and Susan Jenkins, founder of eco-friendly T-shirt business, Go Green Go.

Idea Café details tips for getting a grant and provides assistance with business plan prep on their website. The first step to being eligible for an Idea Café Small Business Grant is pretty easy: you need to first sign up as an Idea Café Regular.



NASE Growth Grants

Who is eligible?

NASE stands for National Association for the Self-Employed — and who could use a grant more than a self-employed entrepreneur?

What should I know before applying?

This program has been around since 2006. NASE Growth Grants are worth $4,000 each, and are used to fulfill specific small business needs. Past recipients have used their grant money to create websites, hire part-time employees, and purchase farm equipment, depending on the needs of their business.

You will need to create a NASE account and be a member in good standing with the website for three months before applying for a grant. (Now’s a good time to get that situated if you have not already!)

Your application must demonstrate a specific business need that the grant can fulfill, as well as how you plan to use the grant money. You’ll also be asked to identify how the grant will ultimately benefit your company’s overall growth and success.

Remember to include your resume and business plan along with your application for consideration.


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Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program

Who is eligible?

Women entrepreneurs that own a majority stage in a for-profit business. This business may be in any industry, but the owner must be able to show that they manage it on a day-to-day basis.

What should I know before applying?

Launched in 2009, the Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program was designed to help women entrepreneurs grow and receive community support for their business. Fellows submitting applications are evaluated on their personal statements, resumes, business plans, social responsibility and proposed use of the grant.

Newly inducted fellows receive a trip to the Tory Burch offices, where they will spend five days networking with founders and business experts. They also receive a year-long fellowship, a $5,000 business advancement grant, and the opportunity to be part of a “pitch day” to pitch your business.

Applications officially opened on September 17, 2019 and will close on November 19, 2020.

There you have it. Grab your pen, planner and business plan and get to work!

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