Funding Sources for Female Entrepreneurs

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Curls Understood™ was founded on the premise of creating a network of talented bloggers, vloggers and entrepreneurs emerging in the natural hair community. If you’ve taken the time to build a site, become a YouTube partner or found a business it’s essential you start thinking about your venture’s future and what will be the next level. And yes your brand is considered a legitimate business venture!

Project Eve compiled a great list of funding sources and opportunities specifically targeting female entrepreneurs and Black MBA Women selected the best, most relevant funding sources for you.

Loan Programs

Small Business Administration (Office of Women’s Business Ownership)

The Small Business Administration Office is doing more than ever to help level the playing field for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the world of business. At every stage of developing and expanding a successful business, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership is here to counsel, teach, encourage and inspire. Check out their “Hot List” of outside resources.

Count-Me-In: Make Mine a Million

Offers annual events and grant awards to woman owned businesses who want to grow to over one million dollars in revenue. This site is great for inspiration, too – check out the Million Dollar Club page to read about the success stories of the organization.

Grants.gov

Provides information on other government agencies and what grants they have available. Search their database and see what may be available to you. Some of the agency grants listed on this site include The Food and Drug Administration, National Park Service, Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Administration, and the DOT Department of Transportation.

American Association of University Women

The American Association of University Women is one of the largest private sources of funding for graduate women in the world, supports aspiring scholars around the globe, teachers and activists in local communities, women at critical stages of their careers, and those pursuing professions where women are underrepresented.

The Ada Project for Women (TAP)

The Ada Project for Women includes information on conferences, discussion groups, organizations, fellowships, grants, and notable women in computer science.

Opportunity Fund

“California’s largest non-profit microfinance lender helping small businesses throughout the Bay Area since 1995. Opportunity Fund has invested over $200 million locally, including over 1,700 loans totaling $19.5 million to business owners like you.”

Women’s Venture Fund

“Our mission: Small business loans for women entrepreneurs. Obtaining small business financing isn’t easy – and getting small business loans for women can be more challenging still. Women’s Venture Fund understands. That’s why our mission is to help women entrepreneurs get the small business financing they need to start or grow a business.”

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo celebrates the strength, vision and innovation of women business owners. Through our financial solutions, outreach efforts and educational resources, we help sustain the success of women-owned businesses; and we are honored to support their role in shaping the future of small business.  As America’s #1 small business lender, Wells Fargo is dedicated to helping you succeed financially — in business and personally. We stand ready to help you grow your business, achieve your vision and safeguard your financial success.”

Accelerators & Incubators

Accelerators & Incubators are programs designed to support the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of resources and services. Business incubators mentor companies through childhood while business accelerators guide them through adolescence into adulthood.

WESST Enterprise Center

WESST was founded in 1988 by three women to help women start their own businesses. Six years later, the organization expanded to five centers across the state with 75% of its clientele being women. Two and a half years ago, WESST also opened its first incubator in downtown Albuquerque.

Astia

Founded in 1999 in Silicon Valley, Astia is an innovative global not-for-profit organization that propels women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth. Astia offers programs for high-growth start-ups that deliver results.

Springboard Enterprises

Venture-catalyst Springboard Enterprises is the premier platform where entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts meet to build great women-led businesses. Springboard educates, sources, coaches, showcases and supports high growth companies seeking equity capital for expansion.

RampCorp

The Ramps™ training program is designed for women entrepreneurs. Texas State University RampCorp brings “The Ramps™” to cities across Texas. We’re recruiting up to 30 current and future entrepreneurs per city to launch companies with guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors.”

Women Innovate Mobile (WIM)

Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) is the first start-up accelerator and mentorship-driven program designed for women-founded companies in mobile technology.

Angel, Seed & Venture Capital

Venture capital is financial capital provided to early-stage, high-potential, high risk, growth startup companies. The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies it invests in, which usually have a novel technology or business model. An angel investor is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Seed money, sometimes known as seed funding, is a form of securities offering in which an investor purchases part of a business.

Golden Seeds

Golden Seeds is an investment firm that is dedicated to delivering above market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them.

Women’s Venture Capital Fund

“We invest in women entrepreneurs. The Fund capitalizes on the intersection of the expanding pipeline of women founders and gender-diverse management teams who are creating capital efficient companies with stiletto high growth rates. We see this nexus offering epic opportunities for wealth creation.”

Phenomenelle Angels

Phenomenelle Angels Fund I, LP is an early stage fund that invests in women and minority owned or managed businesses in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Springboard Enterprises

Venture-catalyst Springboard Enterprises is the premier platform where entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts meet to build great women-led businesses. Springboard educates, sources, coaches, showcases and supports high growth companies seeking equity capital for expansion.

Illuminate Ventures

“Seeks new and innovative business ideas led by committed, talented and diverse teams, particularly those that are inclusive of women entrepreneurs. We recognize that great investment opportunities come in a variety of packages - sometimes looking a bit different from the norm.” 

Ceres Venture Fund

Ceres Venture Fund, L.P. is an established Chicago-based venture capital fund dedicated to funding high growth companies located in the Midwest in their early stages of growth.

BELLE Capital

BELLE Capital, LP is an early stage angel fund focused on building great companies in Michigan and other, under-served geographic regions in the Midwest and South.

One for Women Kansas City

The Women’s Capital Connection officially launched in January, 2008 with 32 founding investors committed to investing in women-led ventures in our region.  Since 2008, 47 women investors have been involved in supporting angel investing.

Reposted with permission from Black MBA Women Black MBA Women

Curls Understood™

Salons, products, hairstyles and tips segmented by hair texture, volume and length. We also provide business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in the natural hair care industry.

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