Many small business grant programs have specific qualifications that you need to meet before you can apply. These may include a specific industry, size of company or owner demographics. Others are broader and allow you to qualify for more funding options.
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FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
For many small businesses, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest can be a lifeline. This annual competition awards over $250,000 to small businesses, with a grand prize of $30,000. In addition to the cash, the winning business will receive a FedEx shipping credit and FedEx print credits worth up to $500. The 2023 contest opens in February and closes in March, with winners announced in May. Small businesses with less than 99 employees and operating for at least six months can join the competition.
FedEx values the hard work and dedication of small business owners, so the contest aims to highlight their achievements and help them grow. The contest also provides helpful resources for small businesses. Unlike other grant programs, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is judged in part by the public and in part by FedEx officials. The process from entry to finalist to winner is incredibly fast and easy, with just one month between the start of the contest and its close.
Previous winners have used their grants for a wide range of purposes. For example, some have increased their production capacity to meet more demand. Others have expanded their operations into new markets and used their grants to improve their website and marketing strategies. Some have even moved into bigger offices.
Pine-Sol Grant Contest
This grant is awarded to one Black female entrepreneur each year and includes six months of business coaching. Visit the contest page if you want to find out more.In addition to a $10,000 grant, this program offers free LegalZoom services and products for each winner. The contest is open to women who own businesses with 25 employees or fewer. The application process will reopen during the NBA season, and you can sign up for updates.
Mary Blackford started Market7 after seeing the need for healthy, affordable grocery options in her neighborhood of Ward 7, which covers northeast and southeast D.C. She now operates the shop out of a truck that travels to community centers and parking lots. The Essence-Pine-Sol Build Your Legacy grant helped her grow her business.
The Fearless Strivers Grant Initiative offers a $10,000 grant to women of color who run small businesses. The competition is open to entrepreneurs who have a legally registered business, such as an LLC or Inc. Winners will also receive one-on-one mentoring from top execs at WinkyLux, Bluemercury, twelveNYC and Twilio.
The BRIDGE Fund provides $5,000 grants to small business owners in economically vulnerable or distressed communities. The fund is supported by Vistaprint, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and NAACP. This program aims to address the lack of capital available to many Black-owned businesses, according to its website.
Yva Jourdan Foundation Grant
Women of color are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, but they face many challenges when trying to scale their businesses. The Yva Jourdan Foundation is a group that helps women of color entrepreneurs get the help they need to grow their businesses. They do this by raising money to provide coaching, support, and funding. The HerRise Micro-Grant is one such program. The program awards a small business owner of color $500 each month to help them meet a specific need for their small business.
This grant is available to Black women and Black nonbinary entrepreneurs who have a legal business registered with the state of New England. The grant is administered by the Fearless Strivers Grant Initiative in partnership with Mastercard and sponsored by WinkyLux, Bluemercury, twelveNYC and Twilio. Grant winners will receive a $10,000 grant and one-on-one mentorship.
Other grants for women and minorities are available through various organizations, including nonprofits, government agencies and private foundations. Many business grants have a limited number of applicants, and some are only open to certain types of businesses. To find out about opportunities, it is important to network with other business owners and sign up for newsletters from women-centered business organizations. You can also use online tools such as Instrumentl to match you with funders that fit your criteria.
Digitalundivided BREAKTHROUGH Grant
The Louisiana Business Grant is designed to encourage small businesses, sole proprietorships, eligible nonprofit organizations and rural communities to grow their revenue and develop sustainable solutions. This grant is offered by the state of Louisiana and is administered by the Office of Community Development. In 2022, the grant will be available in three areas: New Orleans, Houston and Lafayette. The application period ends on May 3.
Digitalundivided is a non-profit that uses data and programs to catalyze economic growth for Black and Latina women entrepreneurs. Its START initiative helps potential founders get started, while its BREAKthrough program provides resources for those who are ready to launch their businesses. The program offers a variety of services, including business education classes and funding. It also has a 12-month fellowship that focuses on helping businesses with high-growth prospects.
This year, Digitalundivided is partnering with JPMorgan Chase to launch the BREAKTHROUGH Program. The program will provide entrepreneurs with a deeper understanding of their customers, startup funding, and growth marketing strategies. Those accepted into the program will receive a $5,000 grant.
The Digitalundivided BREAKTHROUGH Grant is a great way for small businesses to increase their revenue. The program is open to entrepreneurs who identify as Black or Latina, have a technology component in their business, and generate a minimum of $50,000 in annual revenue. In addition to the grant, applicants will also be provided with business training and networking opportunities.
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