In the last decade, more and more women have decided to take control of their lives and benefit the lives of others by starting their own businesses. On average, there are twice as many new start-ups that are owned by females as there are those owned by males. There are over 8.5 million firms which are owned by women today, and these women-owned businesses employ forty percent more people than America’s top three employers – IBM, Walmart, and McDonald’s.
These women are starting businesses in all genres, not just in those that are thought to be typically female-owned. They aren’t just bakers, babysitters, or fashion designers, women are starting businesses in construction, marketing, technology…pretty much anything. They are forming small businesses, and they are building huge corporations. Female entrepreneurs are changing the world, one high-heeled step at a time, but what advice would they give to the up-and-coming woman who hopes to own her own business? First of all, let’s see why it is important to name your business as “female-owned.”
Get Your Business Certified as Female-Owned
As the 2012 American Presidential nominees campaigned for the office, it was apparent that they had noticed the rise in female business owners and female entrepreneurs. Leading candidates from both the Democrat and Republican Parties went to work making promises to show their support for women in the business world. They also emphasized how they planned to help small business, female-owned businesses, and the economy. With female entrepreneurship so much in the spotlight, it is a perfect time for women all over the world to take advantage of the support that is available. Those women who have certified their businesses as “woman-owned” effectively make themselves eligible to win contracts from various government agencies which cater to helping female entrepreneurs. While some grants may not be available to all countries, many worldwide organizations are recognizing the value of the female entrepreneur.
Another bonus to having your business certified as “female-owned” is that there are actually grants available just for you. According to Hiscox, lenders are providing liquidity to female entrepreneurs who have business grants. Some of the top grants available for female business owners include:
- Amber Grants– the grants for those female entrepreneurs who plan to launch a small business in their local area. A different woman-owned business is selected each month to get a $2000 grant, and at the end of a year, one of those lucky ladies will get a $25,000 grant.
- The Eileen-Fisher Woman-Owned Business Grant – Any female entrepreneur who needs capital in order to expand her business can apply for this grant. Five women will be awarded with a grant of up to $120,000. Not only must your business be a female-owned one, but it must also promote environmental and social changes in the world. You must have earned under a million dollars in annual profits and have been in business for at least 3 years to be eligible.
- Fed Ex Small Business Grant – These grants are not just for women, but Fed Ex has gone to great lengths to make sure that its grant-giving process is fair to both sexes. The public is actually allowed to vote on this one in a competition held to determine who will get the grant. The business with the most votes will get a $75,000 grant and free advertising via Fed Ex’s media connections.
- Grants for New Zealand – While these grants are also for both male and female entrepreneurs, they are set aside for those small businesses in New Zealand. Zegal names a few of them here, which we will look deeper into in a later article.
There are many other grants available for female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. Of course, with or without a grant, it is always a good idea to find ways to save money while still improving your business. Choosing a shared office space to rent in Wellington can be a good step towards bringing in more clientele. You can save money and still have all of the conveniences of a traditional office with coworking space or shared offices such as those offered by Offix.