Marketing Grants for Small Businesses

Marketing your product is vital in the business world. At, you can find grants that help enhance the marketability of products or improve marketing strategies for businesses. is a site dedicated to minorities and women, especially those with small businesses, where you may search from hundreds of grants to select the right one for you.

MWBEzone advanced search for marketingMarketing 101

Sounds like a college class, right? Well, there are a few things your business can pick up from a marketing class. According to, there are two overseeing principles to marketing:

  1. Because you must reel in customers and keep them in order to grow, all of your codes and actions should be aimed at gratifying the needs of your customers.
  2.  Profitable sales are more valuable than maximum sales.

To successfully apply these principles, a business should do the following:

Conduct Market Research

Market research is most easily conducted through customer questionnaires. Questionnaires and surveys are used across the world by many different businesses.  Even industries like public health use surveys to discover problems in the delivery of healthcare. When conducting market research, be aware of the local economic climate and look into the market strategies of your competitors.

Develop A Market Strategy

A Marketing strategy focuses on a group of customers better served by you than by your competitors. The strategy should be directed to unmet customer needs with the most possible profitability.

Foundations of Mobile App Development Shaw Academy



Complete Target Marketing

Target marketing is best suited for small businesses rather than large corporations. By focusing on a few key market segments, small investments can reap the most return. There are 2 types of segmentation used in target marketing:

  1. Local segmentation
  2. Consumer segmentation

Local segmentation is the specialization of serving a population within a certain geographical location. Consumer segmentation is the identification and targeting of a group of people most likely to buy your product. When considering consumer segmentation, think of the characteristics a person interested in your product would possess.

Identify A Market Mix

Every marketing program has the following four keys:

  1. Products and Services
  2. Promotion
  3. Price
  4. Distribution

Marketing Program

Together, all of the aforementioned elements create a marketing program. You can alter and apply them as you progress. As your data and results change, you must remember to adjust your business accordingly.

Free Marketing

For a cost-effective marketing lesson, check out the following book: Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off by Jim Cockrum. In this book, Mr. Cockrum gives small businesses more than 100 ideas to help bring in money, without a significant marketing budget.

So, if you’re a small business looking to grow your marketing sector, check out MWBEzone for grants for small businesses. Conduct an advanced search with the keyword “marketing” and check out all the results.

About the Author: MWBEzone Staff Writer writes for, and its affiliates.


Children Are Like Sponges – Early Development and Grants







You’ve probably heard “Children are like sponges.” According to Laura E. Berk, author of Exploring Lifespan Development, 3rd Edition, there is a surge in neuronal development between the ages of 2 and 6. During this age range, a child’s mind is like a sponge. If you’re a minority or woman who works in early childhood development, check out the grants available at You may find some Head Start grants that can be beneficial to you!

neuronal -Any of the impulse conducting cells that constitute the brain, spinal column, and nerves in vertebrates…

Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start sponsors grants in multiple states for low-income children under the age of 3. And, according to the CDC: parents, health professionals, educators, and others play pivotal roles in the health and development of a child in the early years of his or her life. There are social, emotional and educational needs that must be met. Low-income children often-times are not able to attend pre-school.

Head Start and Early Head Start emphasizes the roles parents play in their children’s lives and engages parents in their children’s learning. Head Start also provides support to the parents by engaging them in their own educational and employment goals. So, if you’re a nonprofit with programs for low-income early childhood development and low-income employment services, take the first steps toward becoming like a Head Start agency. Grants are available at MWBEzone in all low income regions.  Here is a sample of these grant listings:

Grants to Hallandale Beach, Florida Public School Teachers to Improve Pre-K-12 Education

Deadline: 11/30/16

Grants to Broward County, Florida Teachers for Projects in STEM, Early Childhood Literacy, and Arts Education

Deadline: 11/30/16

Early Development

From the age of 2 to 6, a child’s mind is literally like a sponge soaking up all needed nutrients for proper development. At the same time, there is an understandable a growth in cognitive ability. According to the CDC, by age 3, children should show developments in social and emotional, language/communication, cognitive, and movement/physical areas. For example, a 3-year old should show a wide range of emotion; name most familiar things; work toys with buttons, levers and moving parts; and run easily.

What’s Going on in There?

If you’re more interested in learning about childhood development, check out the following book: What’s Going on in There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Lise Eliot. In the book, Eliot discusses what techniques are most effective at prompting cognitive development; how cognitive development differs based on gender; and how nutrition, stress, physical factors and social factors come together to make permanent marks on a child’s brain.


Remember if you are a for-profit to check out preschool early childhood grants at Non-profits should check out the preschool early childhood grants at for valuable grants for early childhood development. Find these grants by selecting “Children” in categories including your geographic focus and funding source.

About the Author: Staff Writer writes for and its affiliates.

The Color Wheel vs Visual Spectrum – Artists Need Funding

I have been creating art competitively since I was a young girl. I am near 30 now and if you can believe it or not, it wasn’t until recently that I learned the artist’s color wheel! Shading came naturally to me as I studied realism. I never really thought about color. I just used black. This may be appalling to a skilled artist but I admit, I come from a formal science background. I learned white was the reflection of all the colors in the visual spectrum and black was the absorbance of all of them. If you’re an individual artist, check out grants at One of the most important parts of being an artist is being a business man or woman.


If you’ve studied physics too, you’re familiar with ROYGBIV. If you haven’t, this may sound like gibberish. ROYGBIV is an acronym for colors that are visible by the human eye: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. Physicists look at color as reflections of high or low frequency light.  Reds and oranges are low frequency; blues and violets are high frequency. Infrared light is so low frequency, and Ultraviolet light is so high frequency, they exist outside the visual spectrum.

The Color Wheel

Artists look at colors as complementary or not. But, they too, acknowledge the visual spectrum. To put it simply, imagine what is known as “Indigo” on the electromagnetic spectrum is known as blue-violet. I recently learned that blue, yellow and red were artist’s primary colors. This means that no other colors can combine to make these colors. And confusingly, for physicists, primary colors are red, green and blue. These are defined as the colors which, when combined, reflect white. So naturally, then I learned the artist’s color wheel, I was befuddled.

For an artist, the secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. These are created when combining two primary colors. For a physicist, secondary colors are a combination of 2 primary colors, as well. It’s just, the colors that result are different: Red and green make yellow! Red and blue make magenta! And blue and green make cyan! For an artist, blue and green simply make blue-green. For physicists, colors are the reflection of light at wavelengths approximately from 400-700 nm.

Secret Language of Color

If you’d like to learn more about how color is viewed in this natural world, check out the following book: Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet. In this book, you will learn about the physical and chemical definition of color.

Shading and Tinting

I recently did an exercise where just by using the ARTIST’S primary colors, I created tinted and shaded colors. This means, I lightened or darkened the primary and secondary colors by adding white or adding complementary colors. Shading in the art world leads to brown, not black! As you recall, I was shading by adding black! This was a physicist’s way of thinking. The proper way of shading is to add the complementary color. So now, when I want to shade a large green leaf (my favorite subject is foliage), I will add red, not black.


As an artist who’s displayed at a handful of venues, I’ve also learned that every artist is their own business man or woman.  MWBEzone is particularly meant for minorities and women in business. If you’re an artist, check out MWBEzone for grants for individuals. There are numerous grants geared towards individual artists.

About the Author: Sabeen is currently an MPH student with a history in Mass Communications. She is currently writing for and its affiliates.


Minorities and Women, Listen Up!







As a woman and a minority myself, I know how difficult it can be to be taken seriously. It’s discouraging when it seems that people just see you for your skin color or appearance and don’t care about what you have to say. Statistics show that while there are  a great many women and/or minority businesses opening, just as many seem to fail. Funding is also an issue, when minorities and women are denied credit, despite having good financial standing. But, there is hope!

If you’re a minority or female business owner, has small business grants categorized by geographic focus and interests. Within the categories, you will see 50+ categories from Aging/Seniors to Youth/Out-of-School Youth. Under Geographic Focus, you can choose your state. And under Funding Source, check out the type of funding source (or select all).

Starting a Business – According to the SBA, United States Small Business Administration

10 Steps to Starting a New Business:

1) Write a Business Plan

2) Get Business Assistance and Training

3) Choose a Business Location

4) Finance Your Business

5) Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business

6) Register a Business Name (“Doing Business As”)

7) Register for State and Local Taxes

8) Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

9) Understand Employer Responsibilities

10) Find Local Assistance


The concerns of a minority and/or woman-owned business are some of the same concerns as that of a non-minority or a non-woman owned business. “Will clients come? Will they appreciate what I have to offer? Will my employees respect me?” But these concerns are magnified because the difference in personnel is obvious.

Women-owned businesses represent a significant portion of the population. According to the SBA Office of Advocacy, “…The percent of female business owners remains fairly stable at 36.0 percent in 2012, as compared to 35.9 percent in 2007.” An Issue Brief reported that despite their economic significance, women and minority owned companies are smaller and rake in less profit than their male or non-minority competitors.  They also have a lower survival rate.

According to the SBA, this may be because minorities are disproportionately denied credit, despite strong business credit scores, personal wealth, and revenues. For women, credit denials are more erratic, depending on the year. But both minorities and women reported feeling discouraged to apply for credit.

There is a way around this: Instead of taking out a line of credit or a loan, fund your business with grants or government contracts. Our CEO, Libby Hikind, recommends borrowing a limited amount of money from your family, then reinvesting in your business. Libby advised,

“It’s a good idea to start small and do the grunt work. Good businesses start in garages and back porches. This is because you need to keep your expenses and budget low to start a business, so your profit margin is high enough that you can eventually hire people to work for you.” and all its affiliate websites are women owned businesses. Libby began what is now called in her garage! From 2010 to 2014, she was without any employees. Before that, she and her daughter, Elana, did all the work; from contacting clients to posting grants. Any money they earned was put back into the business.

And, according to Barbara Smith of the Blake & Milford Daycare Center in Brooklyn, New York, she started off with loans but couldn’t have survived without grants. She said,

“As long as there is funding available, I know I’ll be OK. Without the two grants I have, I wouldn’t have the qualified teachers and the staff that I have.”

Barbara attributes her growth to grants. Without them, she wouldn’t have been able to establish benefits for her staff such as opportunities for a 401(k). She also confirmed that as a minority woman, she found it challenging to find start-up funding.


There are multiple types of certifications for small businesses. One is Minority Owned Businesses or MBE, and another is Women-Owned Businesses or WBE. According to one source, minority group members include US citizens who are Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American.  Certification with the NMSDCs (National Minority Supplier Development Council) is done at the local or regional level.

Some of the benefits of becoming MBE certified are the following:

  • Access
  • Business Opportunity Fairs
  • Customized executive education
  • Networking opportunities

A woman-owned business is identified as a business that can show evidence that at least 51% or more of the business is women-owned and managed. Certification as a WBE is available through the National Women’s Business Council. According to, certification is important for the following two reasons:

  • Most purchasing agencies have programs for doing business with female business owners
  • Many publicly-held corporations and larger private corporations track and have programs for doing business with women-owned vendor companies

The Minority and Woman-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts

If you are trying to obtain a government contract for your small business you can hire a business consultant or start reading.  Here is one guide: The Minority and Woman-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started. In this book, you will learn some of the following: why you would apply for government contracts, and how to get started. Use the steps in this book to help you navigate through some paperwork.


We hope this article has been informative for you. If you are looking to start a new business or to help support an existing one, go to and search for grants! It is easy to use and straightforward. Once you’ve located grants you want to know more about, remember to subscribe to one of the pricing plans (on to get full access to both MWBEzone and to see the entire grant or contract!

About the Author: Sabeen is currently an MPH student with a history in Mass Communications. She is currently writing for and its affiliates.


Bottomless Closet – Meet the New Executive Director

Bottomless Closet is a nonprofit organization operating in New York City. It works to serve disadvantaged women to prepare for the workforce. It helps these women transition from unemployment and public assistance to employment and independence. There are many women who attest to its impact on their lives. It has helped these women build core proficiencies for success, increase self-confidence, and boost self-esteem. Bottomless Closet has transformed the potential and vision of these women tremendously.

What Does Bottomless Closet Do?

Once she has a job interview scheduled, a woman is referred to Bottomless Closet through a network of partner organizations. Then, the woman gains access to the many services of Bottomless Closet including resume review/preparation, interview coaching, and a broad workshop series. The name of Bottomless Closet comes from one of their unique services: the selection of quality clothes for interviewing. Women particularly love this service. Melissa Norden, newly appointed Executive Director says,

"People walk in with their heads bowed down and walk out with a greater sense of self-worth."

In addition to a makeover and curriculum, a female client with the Bottomless Closet organization is entitled to a one-on-one resume and interviewing prep session. This is often invaluable for women. According to Melissa, this is an integrated process. Volunteers work with people to prepare their resume and go through potential interview questions. Some people have a more up-to-date resume than others; but the interview prep and boutique visit, take about one and a half hours. Women learn tips on interviewing that can serve them for years.

Follow up

Bottomless Closet doesn't stop there. There is a workshop series available after you leave your session at Bottomless Closet. It covers how women can develop professionally, manage finances, and enrich their personal lives. As an added incentive, Bottomless Closet offers two certificate programs to enhance a woman's resume, but it is not required. The workshops are offered over 3 trimesters beginning in January, April, or September. Each trimester is 3 months long. The workshops include the following topics:

  • Goal Setting
  • Budgeting
  • Insurance, Taxes, Annuities
  • Debt Reduction
  • Writing A Will
  • Student Loans
  • Saving For Retirement
  • Investing
  • Buying A Home
  • Helping Your Child Succeed In School
  • Budget Travel
  • Book Club, and
  • Theater Outings

This is not a comprehensive list of the workshop series covering Professional Development, Financial Management, and Personal Enrichment. To see how these workshops are divided into each category, visit the Workshop Curriculum page of Clients are encouraged to participate in as many workshops that interest them. 

Melissa Norden

Melissa Norden stepped in as the Executive Director of Bottomless Closet on March 28, 2016. She has a lengthy and impressive resume, serving with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). At the ASPCA, Norden served as Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and General Counsel. While she was there, the ASPCA boomed. During her career there, she managed a $150+ million budget and a staff of over 700. She also oversaw the creation of a new grant program that allocates $15+ million annually across America. About the transition to Bottomless Closet, Norden had the following to say:

"I am thrilled to serve Bottomless Closet, where we help transform women’s lives with clothing, insider tips, and empathy, all of which work together to instill confidence and a sense of dignity that will be invaluable in their job searches and future careers." 

A Model Program

Norden informed us that Bottomless Closet works through referral partners in the 5 boroughs. Those agencies help the individuals get interviews, then Bottomless Closet prepares them. The partnering agencies are well-established colleges, the YMCA, and other charities. To see a list of referral-partners, go to and click on Referral Partner, then Referral Partner Finder. 

What I Wish EVERY Job Candidate Knew

To get some recommendations on how to interview well, check out the following book: What I Wish EVERY Job Candidate Knew: 15 Minutes to a Better Interview by Russell Tuckerton.  Tuckerton has spent 20 years interviewing and hiring people at multiple Fortune 500 companies. This book gives you insight into the other side of the table at a job interview. Get out of your head!


If you're woman, you should check out available grants and federal contracts at Choose from the Categories, Geographic Focus, and Funding Source. Under categories, you should choose Financial Assistance, Women, and Workforce. MWBEzone is a search engine specifically for minority and women-owned businesses. This will lead you to all related grants. You may be able to find grants for individuals whom are looking to improve their career status. 

For instance, I found the following two results when I searched for the aforementioned categories:

Scholarships to Mercer County, New Jersey Women to Attend Higher Education Programs While Working

Deadline: 06/15/16 

Grants to Brattleboro, Vermont and Rhinebeck, New York Nonprofits and Working Women in Need of Support

Deadline: 07/01/16

Remember to sign up with a pricing plan at in order to view the entire grant or contract. 

About the Author: MWBEzone Staff Writer with contributions from Melissa Norden.


When Hiring a Business Consultant






Are you a fast-talking business man or woman? Aggressive, passionate and observant? Well, despite your business acumen, you most probably will need a business consultant at some point during your career; Maybe at the start of your business or to make changes to adapt to altering markets. According to Joe Gross of Joe Gross Marketing, Inc., (previously of,

“A business consultant should be knowledgeable, experienced, and trust-worthy. In addition, the business consultant should have an understanding of the field of the product.”

Characteristics of a Business Consultant

Without these characteristics in your consultant, you will find lack-luster results in your business growth. It is important for a business consultant to be knowledgeable. You are depending on them, so don’t let the tables flip.

Find someone who knows what they are doing and can work with you to write a thorough business plan. This means they should have managed their own successful business and have knowledge of how to write the following sub documents:

  • executive summary
  • company description
  • market analysis
  • organization and management
  • service or product line
  • marketing and sales
  • funding request
  • financial projections, and
  • appendix.

According to Joe Gross:

“The most important thing a business needs to know about writing a business plan is to have a complete understanding and vision of what they want to achieve. This means their goals in business. They should want and need a financial understanding of costs and profit margins as well as have steps A-Z in place.”

Next, it is necessary for the business consultant to be experienced. Without prior experience, a consultant may not know how to problem-solve. For example, your business may have a very unique aspect to it that should be highlighted both in the business plan and in marketing strategies. An inexperienced consultant may look over this fact.

Finally, it is important for a consultant to be trust-worthy. If he/she is spreading confidential information about your company to competitors or the public at large, it can be disconcerting. More than that, it can be damaging. This is why it is important to look for trust in your relationship with your business consultant.

Also, the consultant should have a good understanding of the market in which you will be burgeoning. It is incumbent upon the business to include a market analysis in their business plan. Your consultant should research your market and your competitors. He/she should look into the available sales records of competitors or established companies and communicate to you what to expect. If you have questions, contact Joe Gross at 718-435-6250.

Hiring a Consultant Simplified:

If you want some tips on how to hire a business consultant, check out this book on kindle: Hiring a Consultant Simplified: A Strategic Planning Approach by Christopher Kern. This book will help a small business to decide on a business consultant. It will help you to decide on the scope of work defined for the consultant and how he or she can help you accomplish your business goals.

Be Picky

Be discerning when searching for a business consultant. Don’t settle for someone who only puts in half the effort. If you follow Joe’s formula, you should find a reliable consultant with whom your business can grow. A good business consultant will even help you figure out a crowdfunding project for your small business at Uhelpfund. He/she will help you decide from the 100 categories to match your project. Or, they may refer you to to help you search for and apply to grants.

Grants and Crowdfunding

Searching for small business grants on MWBEzone will lead you to the pricing page of, the parent company of MWBEzone, to subscribe for one of the reasonable pricing plans in order to read the entire grant and apply. Grants can help fund your business, without debt. And at MWBEzone, you will find grants tailored for women and minority business owners. You can even find government contracts there!

Crowdfunding is like opening up a fundraising campaign. Contributions come from all over, depending on who views your campaign. At Uhelpfund, you will display pictures or videos to depict your organization’s cause. If you are looking for start-up funds for your business.

You may choose a variety of up to 6 categories like below and include categories that describe your business:

What a great idea to use crowdfunding to pay for your business consultant!

About the Author: Staff Writer with contributions from Joe Gross. The consultant Joe Gross of Joe Gross Marketing, Inc. can be reached at 718-435-6250.

Guide to Fundraising Your Small Business

So, you have the vision for your business, and you are ready to make it happen. Where do you begin? First things first, write it on paper! Your vision, mission statement, location, number of employees, budget, etc. Writing puts things in perspective.

Let's talk about grants. "Woohoo free money!!" Before applying for grants, you need what's called a DUNS number. This is a nine digit number for each physical location of your business. Pretty much a Social Security Number for your business. Grants are like gifts, well, that's if you have the right qualifications. Make sure you know whether you want to be a nonprofit or for-profit organization.  Do not allow this procedure to become overwhelming. It is all part of the process. Be confident! There are a lot of great companies waiting to help you find the right grant and provide you with knowledge on the available grants.  One company at the top of that list is

At you can find information on available grants. You can even promote your new business on and find tips on how to apply for grants! Searching on might lead you to, a subsidiary of There, you can also find real grants for businesses by clicking on “Business” on the selection to the right of the screen.

Deadlines are fast approaching so move quickly! For instance, a grant for mentorship of Israeli early-stage start up companies will stop taking applications on March 31, 2016. But, there are still other grants with deadlines in April or later in the year. So, take a look!

And for more information on how to apply for grant money for your business, check out this book titled How to Get FREE Government Grant Money for Almost Anything by Danielle Green. You can find it on for a very reasonable price. It may also help guide you through the process of searching for and applying for the right grants for your business. 
Now your business doors are opened. Yes, you did it!! Customers are coming in and you want them to continue to come in. Here's the best way to achieve this. What I'm about to say seems like common sense but so many companies FAIL at this. Customer Service. Yes I said it! This is huge! You have to show customers that they are appreciated. Humble yourselves. You need them and they want you. I don't need to tell you to be kind and courteous these are things we know, but as humans sometimes we forget.

In my experience with working with customers for a little over a decade, trust me they like to be finessed. Now you have your loyal customers and business is going well.

Don't forget to build your empire. Yes word of mouth is wonderful but make sure you continuously market yourself. Dont get comfortable. Social media is our friend. Post, post, post, and post some more. And get involved with your community. Hope this is helpful for you. I know it's it may seem impossible but it's NOT. You've got this!

About the Author: Tracy Berry is a customer support specialist at She loves equipping people with knowledge to help better themselves. She empowers people to go after their vision.

3 Tips for Financing Your Woman Owned Business

If you are starting a small business, or you already own one, you probably know that most businesses that fail do so because of financial difficulties. Owning a small business requires time, effort and a taste for risk. Even a great idea, excellent customer service and a strong team can’t overcome a lack of working capital.

If you are like most business owners, you start your business with a combination of credit card debt, personal loans and savings. Did you know, if you have a business that is at least 51% women owned, there are an amazing number of grants available to you?

If you’re looking for financing, here are 3 tips to keep in mind when looking for and applying for a grant:


  1. Look around. Grants are available from a vast number of organizations for a variety of different types of business owners. Are you a women owned business? Are you also a veteran?  Are you a minority-owned business? Do you have a business idea that can help the planet or help the community?  Think about your business set-up, your personal experiences and avail yourself of the support available. The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide gives you the practical and legal information you need to kickstart a successful enterprise.
  2. Don’t wait until the last minute. Grant applications are a bit more complex than other business applications. Gathering documents for the grant can take time. If you don’t have a formal, written business plan, now is the time to write one.  Many of the questions on a grant application will focus on the goals of your business and how you plan to get there.
  3. Get some help. If you have not written a grant application before, you may want to bring in an expert, especially if you are requesting a high dollar amount grant. You can request a professional grant writer at These professionals know what foundations, businesses or government agencies wants to see in an application.


Grants are awarded without expectation of repayment, which makes them an excellent vehicle to grow a small business. Knowing where to look and how to find the right one for your business is key.

Both and feature current grants and provide all the details you need to apply.

For really outside-the-box novel ideas, go to the crowdfunding site Uhelpfund and raise money from the general public. We will be writing more on this topic in coming weeks.