Being a single mother is difficult enough, especially in a depressed economy. It can be particularly trying to be both a single mother and a beginning entrepreneur, looking to finance the start-up of a small business. If you're a single mother who is short on money, but not short on dreams, various grants are available to help you jump-start your venture.
Women's Financial Fund
Non-profit companies and charitable organisations award grants to new and existing businesses. One such organisation, the Women's Financial Fund, awards grants ranging from £65 to £3,250 to help women start any type of business. It also awards grants ranging from £650 to £3,250 to aid in business expansion. A £9 application/donation fee earns you the eligibility to apply for grants, which are awarded based on the quality of an applicant's business plan.
Application may be made only through an online link at womensbusinessgrants.com.
Ms. Foundation for Women
The Ms. Foundation for Women makes grants to U.S. non-profit organisations with a 501(c)(3) status. According to the website, the foundation does not fund "individuals, scholarships, capital or endowment requests, fund-raising events, university-based research or government agencies." All grants are processed by filling out an online application form and uploading a copy of the grant proposal.
Ms. Foundation for Women 12 MetroTech Center 26th Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11201 (212) 742-2300 E-mail: email@example.com
SCORE is a national non-profit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of the nation's small businesses. The SCORE Foundation serves as the philanthropic support division of SCORE and assists in raising funds that support entrepreneurship. Contact your local branch of SCORE to learn about financial assistance opportunities.
There are two main offices of the SCORE Foundation.
4135 Centergate Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34233 (941) 371-3107
1175 Herndon Pkwy. Suite 900 Herndon, VA 20170 (800) 634-0245
Although the 26 federal grant-making agencies do not provide business start-up funds, they offer various other grants for single mothers. There are 900 grant programs and 21 broad grant categories, including Business and Commerce.
For further information, contact Grants.gov online or at (800) 518-4726.
Small Business Administration
The SBA is the largest source of small-business financing in the United States. Through the SBA, the government issues guaranteed small-business loans with low-interest rates. Its most widely used is the 7(a) loan program.
U.S. Small Business Administration 409 3rd Street SW Washington, DC 20416 (800) U-ASK-SBA/ (800)827-5722 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no such thing as a free ride when it comes to starting up a business. However, funding is readily available for research for specific projects, for land or equipment and for business expansion. State economic development offices may help start or expand businesses that will provide employment opportunities for other state residents.
Seek the guidance of experts before you apply for grant funding. Grant research guides and grant writing tips are available to assist you; many of these come at minimal cost or for postage only or online.