There has been a significant increase in Black women-owned businesses in recent years. According to Fast Company, Black women are starting businesses at a remarkable rate in all industries but remain underfunded. While women sometimes apply for personal or business loans for venture capital, there are a number of grants and contests that will help fund the abundance of entrepreneurial dreams springing forth with less financial requirements and hangups attached.
Fund your business ASAP with these five opportunities for free money.
Have you considered what your legacy will be? Essence and Pine-Sol have teamed up to offer a Black woman entrepreneur a $100,000 award in order to take her business to the next level. Whether it’s a jewelry design business, a start-up food truck or a newly established record label, to take home this hefty grant, the business must simply be registered.
Build your legacy and apply by April 15, 2020.
Named in honor of the memory of Amber Wigdahl, a 19-year-old young woman unable to fulfill her entrepreneurial ventures, the grant awards $4,000 to the winning beneficiary in any industry. If an applicant applies for any Amber Grant now through November 2020, he or she will automatically be considered for a $25,000 grant at the end of the year. Their advice to applicants? Be passionate and transparent about why their business is important.
The cutoff for the next $4,000 award is March 31, 2020.
The current application cycle for this semi-annual grant just ended, but don’t worry, the next one is right around the corner. Beginning on June 1, 2020, Girlboss will, yet again, offer $15,000 in project funding to female business owners craving to jumpstart their creative pursuits in design, fashion, music, and the arts. In anticipation of the next round, review the selection process and feel free to apply early.
Founded by Sundial Brands, New Voices Fund is a $100 million fund that empowers women of color to impact global communities through entrepreneurship. The conglomerate’s initiative provides capital for start-ups, established businesses, and community-based enterprises. They offer flexible funding options and three investment programs to choose from that best fit your business needs. Though their application season has not officially begun, but they are hosting a $100,000 Pitch Competition on March 14 in Austin, TX. Stay tuned to their website for the official application start date.
Shopify and The Wing are partnering to boost a lucky winner’s business with a one-on-one coaching session with a Shopify executive. In addition to gaining insight into improving your growing enterprise, the contest winner will walk away with a one-year membership to the women’s only co-working space, a one-year subscription to Shopify and a kit containing supplies and tips to upping your business acumen.
The contest ends on March 4, 2020.
When you think of Bumble, you think of swiping left. However, in partnership with Alice, the application giant has launched Bumble Fund to help end bias in venture capital. Currently, there are no specific details on how to apply for direct funding. In the meantime, by downloading Bumble Bizz, female entrepreneurs have tons of access to carefully curated resources like how-to-guides, a growing community of fellow businesswomen and industry experts and more. In their words, stay tuned to the app and their social media for an opportunity to pitch.