Are you a single mom looking to start a business and you need financing / funding? If YES, here are 19 best sources of small business grants for single moms. Generating capital to kick-start a business or money to infuse into a business for the purpose of expansion is one herculean task, and trust me it is not easy for single moms who are running their own businesses hence the need to apply for every available grant they are eligible for.

What is a Grant?

A grant is money or a form of assistance given to an individual by an organization, corporation, foundation, educational institution or trust. The recipient of a grant is not mandate to pay back the grant. A grant is different from a loan because there is no interest attached to it. It is basically money or assistance awarded to an individual or business for a specific purpose, and it might interest you to note that grants are tax exempt.

If you are a single mom running a small business, raising capital is undoubtedly a big part of your job. To help single mom entrepreneurs succeed, some government agencies, nonprofits, and private organizations provide small business grants for them. Please note that some of these grants are not meant for only single moms who are in business. Here are some of the grants you can access as a single mom who is running a small business in the united states of America.

19 Best Sources of Small Business Grants for Single Moms

  1. Federal Grants (Grants.gov)

One of the options that a single mom has when sourcing for grants for business is Federal Grants (Grants.gov). Please note that these grants are mainly awarded to businesses cum companies meeting the size standards established by the United States Small Business Administration among other requirements. You can also double check that you are eligible for a grant by viewing other requirements from their website.

  1. InnovateHER Challenge

As a single mom who is up for a little friendly competition, you can sign up for this annual competition hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in order to receive funding for your business. In order to participate, you must enter the competition on a local level and run a business or have a marketable product or service that impacts women in a positive way.

The winner of the local competition advances to the semifinals and the top three national finalists all win $40,000, $20,000, and $10,000 based on their ranking. You can find more information about deadlines and locations for the challenge in your area by visiting their official website.

  1. Women’s Business Centers

Women’s Business Centers is yet another friendly organization that offer grants that covers single moms who run small businesses. About 100 SBA-sponsored women’s business centers exist throughout the United States of America.

They are designed to assist women (single mom inclusive) with growing their small businesses. While the agencies provide counseling and training on various topics, they may also help you find local grants that you may qualify for and help walk you through the application process. To search for a local Women’s Business Center in your area, you can visit their official website

  1. Amber Grant

Amber Grant was established by Womensnet.com in 1998 to honor a woman who died before she could fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams. Each month, the organization awards a $500 grant to one woman business owner and a $1,000 grant to one lucky woman at the end of the year.

The Amber Grant was launched by Womensnet.com in 1998 to honor the memory Amber, who died before she could fulfill her entrepreneurial dreams. The grant was formed to help women entrepreneurs (single moms inclusive) reach their goals when Amber could not.

This program awards a $2,000 grant to one qualifying woman business owner each month of the year. One of the monthly qualification grant winners will be awarded an additional $25,000 by the end of the year. These grant awards are small, but can be very helpful for those working to get their business off the ground.

The close of application is the last day of every month, so if you want a shot at winning the Amber Grant, you have the opportunity to apply at any time of the year! All you have to do to apply is tell your story and pay a small application fee ($15). You can learn more about the application by visiting their official website.

  1. Eileen Fisher Woman-Owned Business Grant

Eileen Fisher Woman-Owned Business Grant was founded by a women’s clothing retailer and awards $100,000 to up to 10 business owners per year. To be eligible for this grant, women (single mom inclusive) must make up at least 51 percent of their business’s ownership and leadership, their annual revenue must not exceed $1 million, and to qualify, the applicant must have been in business for at least 3 years.

Fashion designer Eileen Fisher launched the Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program in in 2004. Today the company awards $100,000 in total grants annually to 10 women-owned businesses beyond the startup stage (maximum $10,000 per recipient). They have announced that they will re-launch the grant program in 2019 with new rules.

For this award, Eileen Fisher is looking for businesses that have a positive social and environmental impact. For instance, a 2017 grant winner is Bee Downtown. Fifth-generation beekeeper Leigh-Kathryn Bonner partners with local businesses to install and maintain rooftop hives that increase pollination in the area and contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

If you are a single mom and you have been in business for at least three years, you are eligible for this small business grant. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. FedEx Small Business Grant

Despite the fact that the FedEx Small Business Grant is not technically a small business grant for single mom entrepreneurs only, single mom small business owners are encouraged to apply. In fact, the very first prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Grant was a woman: Nicole Snow, Founder and CEO of Darn Good Yarn. Since 2013, FedEx’s grant has awarded $250,000 in small business grants to entrepreneurs all over the country.

Each year, 10 winners receive funding from FedEx. One winner receives a grand prize $25,000 plus $7,500 in FedEx services, one winner receives a silver prize of $15,000 plus $5,000 in FedEx services, and eight winners earn a bronze prize of $7,500 plus $1,000 in printing services.

You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) runs an annual grant program that is available only to their 50,000 members and single moms who are in business are encouraged to join. To become a NASE member, you will have to pay $120 per year for a basic membership. NASE offers members networking and mentorship resources, discounts on business products, and legislative advocacy.

In exchange for membership, members are also offered exclusive access to grants and scholarships. Since 2006, NASE has offered nearly $1 million in grant money to members. To qualify for their Growth Grants program—in addition to being a NASE member—you must demonstrate a specific business need that could be aided by the grant.

You must also show how the grant will improve your business’s overall growth and success and include a resume and business plan. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. IdeaCafe Grant

The IdeaCafe Grant awards a $1,000 micro-grants to one small business owner each year and single moms are part of the number. The application deadline is in January, so apply early! Despite the fact that the funding is not technically a small business grant for single moms only, the vast majority of the winners have been female entrepreneurs.

This is a great grant to apply to if you are a relatively new startup looking for funding. This grant is also available for those that have an idea for a business but have not actively started building it yet. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. #GIRLBOSS Foundation Grant

Sophia Amoruso is the creator of Nasty Gal and now Girlboss’ media empire. Amoruso and Girlboss went on to create the GIRLBOSS Foundation and now awards two small business grants to women entrepreneurs each year. Each small business grant winner receives project funding of $15,000 and online exposure via Girlboss’ site and various digital channels. The Girlboss biannual grant is exclusively open to women business owners in the design, fashion, music, and art industries.

Applications are judged by a selection committee made up of Girlboss staffers and led by Sophia Amoruso. Applications are judged on factors like creativity and innovation in the field, business acumen and forward planning, financial need, and proposed work place.

You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

Another grant awarding organization that a single mom who is running small business can apply to is The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award is awarded once a year to 21 female (single moms inclusive) entrepreneurs around the world. The Cartier award grant is intended for women business owners in the early stages of development of their business (between one to three years old).

The business should be generating revenues, but need not be profitable. The top seven finalists will win $100,000 and one-to-one business mentoring from an expert that Cartier finds for you. The remaining 14 applicants will win a $30,000 prize.

Each of the 21 small business grant award finalists will receive a spot in the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Program (ISEP), as well as the opportunity to participate in entrepreneurship workshops, business coaching seminars, and networking opportunities.

You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. GrantsforWomen.org

As a single mom who is in business, if you are looking for a comprehensive resource for grants for women, Grantsforwomen.org is a great resource. Grants and Scholarships for Women is actually a database found at GrantsforWomen.org.

You can search for scholarship opportunities and grants for women, but be forewarned—most are for non-business purposes. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. The Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant started in 2006 as a small business grant for women entrepreneurs specifically in the jewelry industry. The grant is awarded to emerging female jewelry designers in the United States—specifically geared toward businesses under three years old.

Those that apply should be prepared to answer a series of questions about their business goals and strategies. Winners are awarded a $7,500 cash grant, $1,000 toward Halstead jewelry supplies, and publicity within the jewelry industry.

The good news is that even those applicants who don’t win will receive general feedback on their business plan from the judges. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. Open Meadows Foundation

The Open Meadows Foundation is an organization that provides grants toward women-backed projects that promote gender, racial, and economic justice. Applicants must be women and the businesses must benefit women and girls. The grant provides $2,000 to eligible projects that have limited access to financial resources. Specifically, Open Meadows only considers organizations that have $75,000 or less in budget resources.

This grant is a great opportunity for those who have just started a business or are in midst of starting a business. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. Zions Bank

Zions Bank offers six $3,000 grants each year to Idaho and Utah-based women-owned businesses that empower women or benefit underserved populations. It is important to state that this grant is not specifically for single moms who are running their own small businesses but it covers all women.

You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. SBIR Grants (Small Business Innovation Research)

Small Business Innovation Research program was implemented by Congress. This program awards approximately $2 billion to small businesses each year and a good number of single moms has benefited from this grant. Eligibility requirement include owning a small business with less than 500 employees. The business must be for profit, be in the United States, and owned by a United States citizen.

The grant amount depends on what the business would like to do with it. The purpose is to use the money to conduct research to grow the business. This can be research on the products or services offered to consumers. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency)

MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency) funds organizations that help small business owners who are considered part of the minorities. These organizations help minority business owners of which single moms are part of by providing counseling and financial assistance.

Organizations that wish to help business owners who are minorities can apply for assistance from the Minority Business Development Agency. Grant amount depends on how many minority business owners there are in a community where the organization is located. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. NASE Growth Grants (National Association for the Self-Employed)

Single moms and other small business owners can seek money to grow or start their business by turning to the National Association for the self-employed. The money can be used for computers, hiring employees, marketing and farm equipment. All applicants must be a NASE member, prove they have financial need, and be able to explain what they would do with the money.

A resume and a business plan must be passed in with the application. Grant amount depends on what the business needs; however, it doesn’t exceed $5,000. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

  1. (SBA) Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration is brought to you by the United States Government. It helps people who are small business owners or those hoping to start one. It provides numerous resources and financial assistance programs.

There are no eligibility requirements. You simply need to either run a business or want to run one. There are many grants available. They all differ in how much they award business owners. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website.

  1. PeaChic Grant

PeaChic Grant is for women (single moms inclusive) who are running their own businesses. The purpose is to help women launch or expand their businesses.

The only eligibility requirement is that the applicant must be a woman with a business or intention on starting a business. Women can receive $500 to help with marketing, supplies, and other expenses that come along with growing or starting a business. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website.

Joy Nwokoro