• Brandi Hamilton

Funding Opportunities and Resources for Black Women-Owned Businesses

Updated: Apr 4


It's been six years since I received the prestigious Committee of 200 (C200) Scholar Award. I was selected as a scholar for exemplifying extraordinary leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, and a commitment to supporting other women.

C200 is a powerful community of the most successful women in business, representing companies with more than $1.4 trillion in combined revenue and employing more than 2.5 million people.

Being selected as a scholar is one of the proudest moments of my professional career. The organization's support empowered me to be a better entrepreneur and intrepreneur.

In honor of my C200 anniversary and celebration of Black History Month, I want to continue my commitment to supporting women in business by sharing grants and funding resources specifically for Black women. I've also included grant opportunities for all women (of any race). Although Black women are the fastest-growing group of female entrepreneurs in the United States, they are often slighted by startup investors and significantly under-funded.

Note: I do not have affiliations with any of these organizations listed below. Contact the organizations directly for specific questions about grant eligibility.

Grants for Small Businesses funded by Verizon

On Monday, Feb. 8, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will launch the grant application that small businesses can use to apply for a $10,000 grant. Grants will be eligible for small businesses across the U.S., particularly in historically underserved communities impacted by the pandemic. Eligible expenses for the grant include: paying rent and utilities, meeting payroll, paying outstanding debts to vendors, upgrading technology infrastructure, and other immediate operational costs. For more information, click here.


Citi Trends Grant

Black entrepreneurs with a confirmed selling history of their products in at least one of the following categories: Apparel, Beauty, Skin Care, Hair Care, Footwear, Home Décor, Bedding, Bath, Technology or Accessories are eligible for this grant. Ten grants of $5000 each will be awarded. Applications close on Feb. 28, 2021. For more information, click here.

2021 New Voices + Barefoot #WeStanForHer Grants


Grants of $10,000 each to five entrepreneurs will be made to Black women-owned businesses. The grant program also includes complimentary business coaching and mentoring from New Voices Foundation for each grantee company. Applications close on Feb. 28, 2021. For more information, click here.

Merchant Maverick Opportunity Grant

This grant is open to for-profit businesses that are majority-owned by a Black woman (cisgender or transgender) or a Black femme-identified individual. The program will award four grants of $10,000 each. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2021. Learn more here.


African-American Entrepreneurs Grant - Female Award

This grant will be awarded to a female African-American entrepreneur at any education level who is currently building or who aspires to build a new business. Applicant must be currently enrolled as a student. One reward of $1000 will be paid to the student's college or university. The deadline is Feb. 11, 2021. Learn more here.


Emma Johnson Single Mother Grant

Every month, Johnson gives out $500 cash to one single mom, no strings attached. The 2021 Kickass Single Mom Stimulus Grant has one goal: Give a hand to single moms struggling with money, health, stress, child care, illness or loneliness. Qualifications are simple: 1. You're a single mom. 2. You need the money right now. Click here to learn more.

Women Who Tech

Open to North America-based, women-owned startups in tech that have already raised $50K in seed revenue or that are already generating revenue. The organization awards equity-free grants to women-led tech startups on a rolling basis throughout the year. For each grant period, there is a different theme. For the first grant period of 2021, the theme is Emerging Tech. Applicants should be focused on emerging technologies to solve systemic global problems. The first-place prize for the Women Who Tech Emerging Tech grant is $15,000 and the second-place awardee will receive $5,000. The deadline is Feb. 19, 2021. More information can be found here.

Chicago Foundation For Women (CFW) - 2021 Spring Primary Cycle Process


CFW will be accepting applications for program or operating support in any of CFW three issue areas (economic security, freedom from violence, access to health) or grants to specifically address the epidemic of violence against women. Grants will range between $10K-$30K. Organizations must be a 501(c)(3) and in the Chicago area. Applications are due by Feb. 17, 2021. More info can be found here.

Are you seeking business support, but not necessarily funding? Here is a list of "21 Accelerators, Incubators, Programs and More for Female Founders."


AUTHOR

BRANDI HAMILTON

Brandi leads communications and content strategy for a large data analytics company. She is responsible for developing and implementing strategic communication plans to support marketing campaigns, digital transformation initiatives, sales enablement, and demand generation tactics. She has nearly ten years of experience in content development. Brandi is passionate about delivering communication strategies to sales teams that positively impact end-consumers. In her personal and professional pursuits she's passionate about helping women succeed.


She received a B.S. in International Business Administration from Saint Louis University and an MBA from Webster University, with an emphasis in Marketing.

She is a wife and a mother of two.

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