As per the White House, the full time working women earn 77% of what their male counterparts earn in USA. Looking at the dominating Silicon Valley companies, Facebook accounts for 31% female workforce whereas Google has a shocking 17% female employees. According to a report, for every $23 in small business lending, women entrepreneurs account for a measly $1 despite representing 30% of all small companies.
Women are less likely to be a part of the top rank positions in firms and are more probable to be turned down for loans as compared to men. And this disparity and pay gap has not budged over the years and is present in all occupations, from a teacher to an engineer.
It’s high time that women be recognized for their efforts and be equally rewarded for the amount of work they do. According to a report by American Express Open, it is estimated that, as of 2014, there are nearly 9.1 million women-owned enterprises in US, employing nearly 7.9 million workers and generating over $1.4 trillion in revenues. Women need to recognize the opportunities and offerings that are being presented from all around the world and access and utilize them to get ahead of the curve.
The following list brings to you grants and both private and non-private funds available for female entrepreneurs:
This Tech Giant has planned to invest $125 million into business owned by women and understated minorities. Venafi, Mark One and Brit + Co. are one of the first few businesses that will receive grants from Intel. This offering by Intel will finally curb the growing disproportion in the workforce and inspire more women to dream and innovate.
The major setback that the female workforce faces is after having a child and most women find it hard to resume their careers. Considering this, Huggies has come up with the MomInspired grant for “Mompreneurs”. For mothers with an unique vision and innovative idea, this grant is truly a treasure. This grant awards upto $15000 and other resources to fund their dreams.
The Women Entrepreneurship fund, a joint effort of Startup Canada and Dell Canada, offers upto $3000 per projects to women led companies and initiatives. This fund allows such companies to grow and scale to global markets and also serves as an encouragement for the society. They also provide mentorship, training and support to budding women entrepreneurs.
4. SAHA FUND
Saha Fund, India’s first Securities and Exchange Board of India-approved venture capital fund , is the advent of change for the Indian market. The Indian business arena has so far been dominated by the male counterparts, but SAHA fund offers women the same standing as men and an opportunity to level up and establish a mark as an entrepreneur. SAHA fund offers a corpus of INR 100 crore ($1 billion) to be invested in women led businesses. Among those who have invested in the fund as limited partners are former Infosys veteran T V Mohandas Pai, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon and Avinash Vashistha, past Chairman and Managing Director of Accenture in India.
Started in 2004, the Eileen Fisher grant awards $100,000 to upto 10 recipients annually to women owned and women led businesses operational for minimum of three years. This grant expand their businesses and serves as an incentive for a global social change.
Sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership, this business challenge awards $30,000 prize money to three winners for business which empower the lives of women. The businesses should be able to impact the lives of women and their families as they deal with the challenges of the work and family life.
Capital One and Count Me In have powered this training and mentorship program for women led businesses in which the participants present a two minute pitch to provide insight to their ventures and get a chance to participate in a nine month accelerator program. The accelerator program offers education and business coaching to help boost the revenues for their business and also to create more jobs.
This program is made possible as part of Capital One’s $800,000 commitment to Count Me In to support women veterans and small businesses and it aims to help women-owned businesses across the country grow to $250,000+ in revenue with support through the Count Me In Business Accelerator Program.
Zion Bank, a Utah-based bank’s grant rewards $3,000 annually across six different categories, namely Business, Community development, Continuing education and teacher support, Child and elder care, Health and human services and Arts and culture. This grant aims to foster the potential of women in various fields and thus provide them with opportunities to grow.
Women entrepreneurs are on a roll and there are several opportunities waiting for them. With the right choices and positive zeal, we can finally harness the untapped potential and establish a world where there’d be no inequality in wages and no setbacks in careers.