Women, while the majority in the United States, are still under-represented in many areas. The federal government is aware of this under-appreciation and offers many federal grants designed to help self-sufficient women start or increase a business, earn an education that will lead to the common good, or use their talents to help others. With 10.1 million firms in the United States owned by women earning $1.9 trillion in sales, the federal government also realizes that women are a terrific investment.
Federal grants for women are spread out into many different categories. While, business and education are among the most prominently known grant opportunities, there are in fact several categories of programs that closely apply to women. Among the categories of federal grants available, there are grants in:
- Community Development
- Employment, Labor and Training
- Law and Justice
- Natural Resources
- Regional Development
- Science and Technology
- Understanding Federal Grants for Women
There is a common misconception about federal grants. Federal grants are often advertised as “free money” or money to be spent on debt payments and vacations. This is not the exact truth, however, for most grant programs. While some grant funds might be used for more frivolous means, the great majority of grant programs are funds earmarked for a purpose – not just a gender.
In order to receive the funds, you must demonstrate your desire to carry out the function associated with the grant. The grants are not distributed based on ethnicity or gender, per se. Federal grants are given to those who want to start a women’s shelter or work on research in biofuels. They are given as educational grants in certain fields, such as education, that will help better communities and other citizens.
Many of them, however, do have a caveat that gives precedent to women applicants.
Grant funds can and do provide a substantial amount of funds that can better your business and life, but it is not as simple as filling out a form and getting a check in the mail. Government grants are a complex entity, and even the most skilled individuals can struggle to find the programs that fit their business, educational plans or heritages.
Assistance with Federal Grants
- There are various ways of working through the huge amount of federal grants available. The first is to start an exhaustive search of what might be applicable to your exact situation. The other strategy is to let companies already experienced in working with the various and ever-changing grant programs do the work for you.
- A grant program available through a reputable company will allow you search within your parameters for applicable federal grants, including – and especially – gender. It will also make suggestions about grants commonly used in the past for certain programs as that information is harder to come by in the official documentation.
- A grant program will also offer assistance in the more challenging part of the process, writing the specialized application for the federal grant. It is possible and likely to find the right grant and apply on your own. It is simply easier and saves a great deal of valuable time starting the process through a grant program who has already organized the information on your behalf.
Types of Women Grants
– Federal Grants
Regardless of the country that you live in, federal grant money is usually available. Women can apply for federal student grants to fund their education at an undergraduate or graduate level and give themselves the ability to get a professional career.
Other agencies in a country’s federal government offer grant money to organizations for public purposes, including the betterment of the status of women in business, the arts, or in the fields of science and technology. These organizations then develop programs which women can use. Either kind of federal grant requires an application, along with a stated goal and a promise that the funding will be used solely for the purpose for which the grant was created.
Government agencies in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, and South Africa that usually offer such federal grants include the Department/Ministry of Health, the Department/Ministry of Education, the Department/Ministry of Agriculture, the Department/Ministry of Social Services, the Small Business Administration, and more. Many times, public service agencies such as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (or your country’s rendition of this) will also offer grants.
– Private Grants
Private grants are funded by an individual who have a personal interest in promoting certain kinds of activities through their generosity. Sometimes a private organization is set up as a foundation with a board of directors and possibly a committee that handles grants and awards. Private funding may be available for women in the form of grants or scholarships.
– Corporate Grants
Corporate grants are developed and administered by companies who wish to fund projects that either enhance their reputations or have a reasonable chance of producing benefits to the funding company. Some companies and organizations have a history of making grants available for women to use for education or career advancement.
– Professional Grants
Professional grants are usually made by non-profit organizations and universities within a given profession to advance the status of individual members of the profession and the status of the profession itself. Many professional women’s organizations offer career development or advancement grants for use by members of the profession for travel, education or counseling.