Grants Available for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

“Don’t give up, don’t take anything personally, and don’t take no for an answer,” advises Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and award-winning bestseller of Girlboss, a book turned television series describing her experience.

Amoruso and other top women entrepreneurs share their success tips and secrets in a blog article on, with lots of great insights. 

Tiffany Angeles, top photographer, business owner, speaker, and coach shares that she felt dead inside working at her corporate job but was too scared to leave. Many women are scared to leave their jobs without having anything to fall back on. Tiffany didn't immediately leave her day job. She started a business on the side, in the evenings and weekends until that income surpassed her income from her corporate job. She has now developed a business with Sue Bryce teaching people to make more money and discover their worth, which has already been attended online by 27.8 thousand students. 

If you're a woman business owner looking for a grant, we list many on our business site, MWBEzone.  

Women who've made it big have started foundations.  Entrepreneur Tory Burch, grants fellowships to women entrepreneurs to participate in her business guidance program. Winners gain access to regular discussions on business topics with designated experts, the other fellows, and the foundation staff. 

Women who are awarded the grant must own a majority stake and manage a "qualifying business," on a day-to-day basis. Qualifying businesses must be for-profit from any industry in the early growth stage (in operation between one and five years), and operating in the United States.  The $10,000 grant is to be used to further their business education. 

The Foundation’s Tory Burch Fellows program chooses 10 fellows annually. The fellowship includes a four-day trip to the Tory Burch campus, located in Jersey City, NJ, where they participate in a series of experiential learning workshops on entrepreneurship and leadership development led by notable experts. The four-day trip culminates with a Pitch Day event where they present their pitch with all the fellows for investors, business experts, and other Tory Burch Foundation affiliates, where the winner of a $100,000 investment in selected. (Half the money is a grant and half is a recoverable grant, which is equivalent to a zero-interest loan). 

Participants also gain access to a new Tory Burch Foundation Online Community. The Foundation's online platform will be a dynamic community of women entrepreneurs leading early and growth stage businesses from diverse sectors across the United States. The primary purpose of the online community is to facilitate peer-to-peer mentoring and meaningful collaboration. 

Here are just some of the grants for women entrepreneurs currently listed on MWBEzone: 

Grants to USA and Canada Women Entrepreneurs to Start a Business or Grow an Existing Business 

Deadline: Ongoing 

Grants of $1,000 to USA and Canada women entrepreneurs to start a business or develop an existing business. One grant will be awarded each month. One of the 12 monthly winners will be awarded a $10,000 grant at the end of 2018. Funding is intended to help women achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies,and IHEs to Apply New Technologies to Global Health Priorities 

Deadline: 4.10.19

Grants to USA, Canada, and International nonprofits, for-profit companies, agencies, and IHEs for the application of new technologies to help solve global health problems. Health priority areas include outcomes related to infectious diseases, child growth and development, pregnancy and birth, disease surveillance, and research into the development of new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. Funding is intended to foster and support impact in global health through innovative uses of emerging technologies.

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Filmmakers for Films that Promote Social Justice and Cultural Exchange

Deadline: 06/01/19.

Grants to USA, Canada, and International independent filmmakers for film projects that align with the themes of empowerment, social justice, and cultural exchange. Funding is available to both novice and experienced filmmakers for all stages of development, including development, production, post-production, as well as film festival applications. 

Opportunity for USA Female Veterans and Military Spouses or Partners to Attend an Entrepreneurship Training Program

Deadline: Ongoing.

Opportunity for USA female veterans and female military spouses or partners to attend a small business management and entrepreneurship program. This program will equip eligible women with the skills they need to successfully develop and grow a business venture. 

Awards to Nashville, Tennessee Women to Recognize Their Impact on the Music and Entertainment Industry

Grants to Kentucky Women for Training and Career Development

Awards to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC Women in Eligible Areas to Recognize Excellence in Business Leadership

To find other grants for women, businesses and nonprofits you might be eligible for, please visit or GrantWatch

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for MWBEzone.

Where Can Small Businesses Find Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Grants?

In an effort to meet the needs of small businesses and the unemployed, foundations, states, and the federal government currently offer workforce development grants and apprenticeship grants for small businesses to provide quality career apprenticeship training programs to fill jobs in high-demand occupations due to the current gap between people's job skills and the skills needed for the jobs available in today's marketplace. 

Small businesses benefit when providing apprenticeships to new employees to obtain workplace relevant knowledge and skills to be successful as they start their new career.

Apprenticeship grants provide employment opportunities for young people and for people mid-career who find themselves at a crossroads due to changes in job availability in their profession.

Apprenticeships allow individuals to transition to a new career or learn the latest technologies and programs now needed to succeed in their field.  Training programs offered by small businesses can have both an on-the-job (paid employment) training component and an educational schooling component (related technical instruction outside the business).

These grants for small businesses benefit the small businesses by creating a skilled workforce whose training has been funded by state and foundation program grants. A win win because state employment numbers will increase, and individuals will have jobs that help them provide for their families. 

Below are some of the workforce development grants, apprenticeship grants, and career training opportunities currently listed on

State workforce development grants

Application periods vary on a state by state basis and are posted on when they become available. States such as New York and New Jersey provide millions of dollars each for their apprenticeship program grants through their Department of Labor each year. 

This program promotes the expansion and development of United States Department of Labor (USDOL) approved Registered Apprenticeship programs that drive economic development through skills and educational attainment and create pathways to better-paying careers and advanced credentials. While this organization describes ten sectoral/occupational areas of focus, all occupations that are recognized by the US Department of Labor as “apprentice-able” are encouraged to apply.

Registered apprenticeships are high-quality, work-based earn-and-learn models that meet national standards for registration with the US Department of Labor (or federally-recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies), resulting in a nationally recognized credential.

Occupations currently targeted through the program include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing 
  • Bio Pharma/Life Sciences
  • Energy, Utilities and Infrastructure 
  • Retail, Hospitality and Tourism
  • Financial Services/Insurance 
  • Transportation, Logistics and Distribution
  • Information Technology/Cyber Security 
  • Renewable Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related sectors/occupations



Grants to Nebraska Employers and Labor Organizations for Workforce Training Programs, Deadline: 3/31/2019.

Grants to Nebraska employers and labor organizations for workforce training and development programs. Funding is intended to expand the state’s skill pool through projects that enhance earning capacity and job security for workers while building productivity. 

New York State

Grants to New York Employers for Apprenticeships in High-Demand Occupations: Deadline: 3/29/2019, 4:00 pm. 

Grants of up to $5,000 per apprentice to New York employers to increase work opportunities for new apprentices, with an emphasis on underrepresented groups. Apprentices will enter into high-demand occupations and trades, with a primary focus on the emerging fields of healthcare, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and other in-demand occupations. 

Applicants are encouraged to actively recruit women and underrepresented populations, including youth, minorities, and individuals with disabilities. 

Tax Credits for Hiring Workers with Developmental Disabilities: Deadline: Ongoing

Tax credits to New York for-profit businesses and organizations to hire employees who have developmental disabilities. Tax credits may be applied to both full-time or part-time positions. Participating businesses may receive a tax credit for each qualifying employee hired for a minimum period of 6 months.

In addition, there are private and public foundations that offer workforce development grants. Here are some available in multiple states: 

Foundation grants to multiple states for workforce development: 

Workforce development grants are currently available for the arts as well. In addition to grants for small businesses, lists grants for minorities, women and individuals. 

Scholarships and Fellowships to USA Students and Individual Artists for Tuition and Professional Training in the Theater Arts, Deadline: 04/01/2019. 

Scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships ranging from $7,500 to $30,000 to USA students and individual artists for professional training in the theater arts. Funding is intended to support tuition costs for students in their final year, as well as artistic fees and salaries for mentorship and mainstage production work.

Nonprofits, schools, states, municipalities and individuals frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants can identify funding opportunities for workforce development programs and career advancement initiatives at GrantWatch.comSign-up to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter which features geographic-specific funding opportunities. 

About the Author: The author is a staff writer for