Loans & Grants


Your business plan will help you figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business. If you don’t have that amount on hand, you’ll need to either raise or borrow the capital. Fortunately, there are more ways than ever to find the capital you need.

Types of Funding

Fund your business yourself with self-funding

Otherwise known as bootstrapping, self-funding lets you leverage your own financial resources to support your business. Self-funding can come in the form of turning to family and friends for capital, using your savings accounts, or even tapping into your 401k. With self-funding, you retain complete control over the business but you also take on all the risk yourself. Be careful not to spend more than you can afford, and be especially careful if you choose to use tap into retirement accounts early. You might face expensive fees or penalties, or damage your ability to retire on time — so you should check with your plan’s administrator and a personal financial advisor first.

Get venture capital from investors

Investors can give you funding to start your business in the form of venture capital investments. Venture capital is normally offered in exchange for an ownership share and active role in the company. Almost all venture capitalists will, at a minimum, want a seat on the board of directors. So be prepared to give up some portion of both control and ownership of your company in exchange for funding. Venture capital differs from traditional financing in a number of important ways. Venture capital typically:

  • Focuses high-growth companies
  • Invests capital in return for equity, rather than debt (it’s not a loan)
  • Takes higher risks in exchange for potential higher returns
  • Has a longer investment horizon than traditional financing

​Use crowdfunding to fund your business

Crowdfunding raises funds for a business from a large number of people, called crowdfunders. Crowdfunders aren’t technically investors, because they don’t receive a share of ownership in the business and don’t expect a financial return on their money. Instead, crowdfunders expect to get a “gift” from your company as thanks for their contribution. Often, that gift is the product you plan to sell or other special perks, like meeting the business owner or getting their name in the credits. This makes crowdfunding a popular option for people who want to produce creative works (like a documentary), or a physical product (like a high-tech cooler). Crowdfunding is also popular because it’s very low risk for business owners. Not only do you get to retain full control of your company, but if your plan fails, you’re typically under no obligation to repay your crowdfunders. Every crowdfunding platform is different, so make sure to read the fine print and understand your full financial and legal obligations.

Get a small business loan

If you want to retain complete control of your business, but don’t have enough funds to start, consider a small business loan. To increase your chances of securing a loan, you should have a business plan, expense sheet, and financial projections for the next five years. These tools will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to ask for, and will help the bank know they’re making a smart choice by giving you a loan. Once you have your materials ready, contact banks and credit unions to request a loan. You’ll want to compare offers to get the best possible terms for your loan.

Apply for a Grant

Various organizations offer grants to help fund your business. Grants do not need to be paid back but there are deliverables that are required by each grant.

Resources for Finding Funding

Bank of America Access to Capital Directory

Bank of America, in partnership with Seneca Women, announced the launch of the Bank of America Access to Capital Directory. This first-of-its-kind platform is a resource to help educate women-owned businesses in the U.S. on navigating the capital landscape and identifying potential sources of funding, such as equity, debt and grant capital.

Hello Alice

From a grant to jazz up your online storefront to a loan to help you stock up on inventory, the Small Business Funding Center connects you with the capital you need to launch and grow your small business. The juggle is real for hard-working entrepreneurs like you, so you can bank on easy applications and personalized recommendations here

SBA Small Business Loans

Standard 7(a) Loan

The 7(a) loan program is the SBA’s primary program for providing financial assistance to small businesses. The terms and conditions, like the guaranty percentage and loan amount, may vary by the type of loan.

7(a) Small Loan

Maximum loan amount $350K with turnaround of 5-10 business days. Interest rate negoiatable

Export Express

The Export Express program provides exporters and lenders a streamlined method to obtain SBA-backed financing for loans and lines of credit up to $500,000. Lenders use their own credit decision process and loan.

SBA Express

Maximum loan $350K. SBA to respond to application within 36 hours. Loans for up to 84 mon

Export Working Capital

Export Working Capital loans are for businesses that can generate export sales and need additional working capital to support these sales. Lenders review and approve applications and submit the request to the U.S.

International Trade

International Trade loans provide long-term financing to businesses that are expanding because of growing export sales, or that have been adversely affected by imports and need to modernize to meet foreign

SBA CAPLine Loans

Contract Loan

The contractor must use loan proceeds only to finance the costs of one or more specific contracts, including overhead or general and administrative expenses, allocable to the specific contract(s). 

Seasonal Line of Credit

Borrowers must use the loan proceeds solely to finance the seasonal increases of accounts receivable and inventory (or in some cases associated increased labor costs). Funds must not be used to maintain activity during

Builders Line

Borrowers must use the loan proceeds solely for direct expenses related to the construction and/or “substantial” renovation costs of a specific eligible project (residential or commercial buildings for resale), including labor, supplies, materials, equipment rental, direct fees (building permits, interim disbursement inspection fees, etc.), utility connections (above or below ground), construction of septic tanks, and landscaping. (“Substantial” means rehabilitation expenses of more than one-third of the purchase price or fair market value at the time of application.) Proceeds paid to a subcontractor can include the subcontractor’s profit. The cost of lad is eligible if the land cost does not exceed 20 percent of the project cost. Up to five percent of the project cost can be allocated for improvements that benefit all properties in a subdivision, such as streets, curbs, sidewalks, or open spaces.

Working Capital Line of Credit

Borrowers must use the loan proceeds for short term working capital/ operating needs. Proceeds must not be used to pay delinquent withholding taxes or similar trust funds (state sales taxes, etc.), or for floorplanning. In

SMARTstart Microloan Fund

The Pasco Economic Development Council’s SMARTstart Microloan Fund is available for passionate, small business owners with the solid ideas, good management skills, valid business plan needed for success, but are unable to secure traditional financing.

Proceeds are available to be used for:

  • Working Capital
  • Inventory
  • Supplies
  • Furniture
  • Fixtures
  • Machinery and Equipment

Learn more:



4.0 Schools Fellowships

Fellowships from 4.0 Schools are designed to help business owners who have an idea to improve education in the United States. Your business idea could be a school, technology tool, retail product, or service. Business owners who are just testing the waters on their idea can get mini-grants of $600, and businesses that are further along are eligible for $10,000.  Subscribe to receive more information about next year application deadline here

Applications for the 2022 Cycle are Closed

AARP Foundation (upskill low-wage workers) AWBC

AARP Foundation, the Upskilling Grant is directed towards small businesses that intend to train and upskill low-wage workers age 50+. The program will reimburse employers up to $2,000-$2,500 per employee for training provided the grantee meets the program criteria. 

Deadline November 30, 2022 5:00 PM (EST)

Apply here:

A Little HOPE

A Little HOPE, Inc. is a not-for-profit publicly supported charitable foundation, recognized by the IRS under 501 (c)(3), which grants funds to organizations that provide bereavement support services and grief counseling to children, teens and young adults, who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or loved one, regardless of the circumstances of the death.

Grant applications are by invitation only and are sent to potential grant recipients during the month of October each year.

For more information visit:

Amber Grant

Amber Grants began in 1998 in honor of Amber Wigdahl, who died before fulfilling her dreams. Each month we award an Amber Grant of $10,000, and one of our 12 monthly recipients receives an additional $25,000 Amber Grant.

Grant Awarded Monthly. Deadline application: Last day each month. ($15.00 fee for each application)

For more information visit:

Backstage Capital

Backstage Capital provides support to startup founders through programs and grants. Applicants must identify as women, people of color and/or LGBTQ+ members and be affiliates with a for-profit stage company.

For more information visit:

Coalition to Back Black Businesses

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is a multiyear grantmaking and training initiative. It helps black-owned small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to $5,000 in grants will be awarded each fall through 2023.


For more information visit:

DoorDash Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund

$10,000 grants available for selected restaurants affected by natural disasters like fires, floods, and hurricanes. Who can apply (Restaurants must have):

– A brick & mortar location

– No more than three total locations

– 50 or fewer employees per location

-Been open for at least six months

– Revenues of $3M or less per location in the last 12 months

– Been impacted by an eligible state or federally-declared natural disaster, including but not limited to wildfires, hurricanes, and earthquakes

Deadline application: December 30, 2022

Apply here:     

Fresh Start Business Grant

Entrepreneur looking to start or grow your business. $2,500 to put toward business startup costs and will also receive free formation services from Incfile.

– Must be 21 years or older
– Must be a U.S. resident
– Must be planning to start a new business or grow an existing business in a significant way
How to Apply
– Complete online application
– Create a short, 2-minute video telling us how entrepreneurship will impact your life
– Submit sample business plan

Deadline application December 31, 2022

Apply here:

Galaxy of Stars Grant

Enter for a chance to win a $3,750 Galaxy Grant, brought to you by Hidden Star, a 501(c)(3). Our mission is to help minority and women entrepreneurs succeed. Refer a friend and double your chances of winning with their entry. If they win, YOU BOTH WIN!! Galazy of Stars provides free tools to help businesses succeed. These tools include free website and free hosting, forums that provide a great, safe place to interact with other entrepreneurs; curated educational content and tutorials that will help you grow and improve your business, trusted resources that will provide you with honest, unbiased guidance that you can trust and rely on.

For more information visit:

If you’re looking for federally sponsored grants for women, the best place to start is All government grants are open to male and female business owners, and this site serves as a database of all federal grants—including those specifically available for small business owners. To search for this type of grant, visit the official government grants website and check out their section for grant applicants to see if you’re eligible.

It’s important to note that this database includes a variety of grants, so you may need to sort through different options to find those that are the most relevant to small business owners. can serve as a great starting point with over a dozen federal government agencies participating in the database.

Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant started in 2006 as a small business grant for women entrepreneurs specifically in the jewelry industry. The grant is awarded to emerging jewelry designers in the United States—specifically geared toward businesses under five years old.

Those that apply should be prepared to answer a series of questions about their business goals and strategies. Winners are awarded a $7,500 cash grant, $1,000 toward Halstead jewelry supplies, and publicity within the jewelry industry. The good news is that even those applicants who don’t win will receive general feedback on their business plan from the judges. Please check back in January 2023. 

For more information visit: 

The HerRise Micro-Grant provides financial support to women of color who are often unable to secure funding for their small business. Each month a $500 micro-grant will be awarded to a small business owned by women of color. Small business grants are useful for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used their growth grants for computers, equipment, marketing materials, website creation and more.

Micro-Grant Awarded Monthly

For more information visit:

Hillsborough County Capital Grant

Hillsborough County has put together a uniform procedure to request county funds for construction projects.  All small businesses who have completed a business plan and require a capital infusion for construction are encouraged to apply.

For more information visit: 


IdeaCafe Grant

The IdeaCafe Grant awards a $1,000 micro-grant to one small business owner each year. The application deadline is in January, so apply early. Although the funding isn’t technically a small business grant for women only, the vast majority of the winners have been female entrepreneurs.

This is a great grant to apply to if you’re a relatively new startup looking for funding. This grant is also available for those that have an idea for a business but haven’t actively started building it yet.

For more information visit:


When IFundWomen brokers a grant with a partner, we match the partner’s grant criteria to those businesses who have applied through our Universal Grant Application. If you’re a match, we may request that you apply for that partner’s specific grant program, and you will be notified. Since we launched this program, IFundWomen has secured more than $8M in corporate grants to pay forward to our members (that’s you). So far, we have only deployed around 40% of the grant pool, so there is still a ton of money to go around. If you are interested in being a part of this database, fill this app out.

Deadline application: December 31, 2022

Apply here:

Incfile’s Entrepreneur Grant

High school senior, undergraduate, graduate, or trade school student. $2,500 to continue their education.

– Must be a high school senior, undergraduate, graduate, or trade school student
– Must attend a U.S.-based high school, trade school or university
– Must hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher
– Must have an interest in starting a business

How to Apply:
– Complete online application
– Create a short, 2-minute video telling us how entrepreneurship will impact your life
– Submit sample business plan

Deadline application December 31, 2023

More information:


Kinetic Black Business Support Fund Grant

Kinetic Business is proud to support black-owned businesses with the creation of the Black Business Support Fund. 

Your business must meet the following requirements to participate in the Black Business Support Fund Grant program:

Deadline application: Until funds last

More information:


KKR Grant

KKR Small Business Builders has an emphasis on companies that are pivoting their business in response to the pandemic; are operated by historically underrepresented groups (HUGs); and/or are providing important community services. To be eligible, a business must have between 5 and 50 employees, less than $7 million USD in annual revenue, demonstrated need for support, a strong plan for moving forward, and be in good standing with the IRS or their local regulatory body.

Grant application will be available in 2023

For more information visit:

National Association for Self Employment

The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) awards quarterly $4,000 Growth Grants to its members. Membership starts at $12 a month. You have to be a member in order to apply for this grant. 

Quarterly Grant. For more information visit:

Nextdoor Kind Foundation (Microgrants for Small Businesses)

The Nextdoor Kind Foundation partnered with the NAACP and Hello Alice to offer $5,000 microgrants to entrepreneurs of color across the United States through our Keep it Local Business Fund. 


– Be majority (51%) owned and/or operated by a person of color(s)

– A legal resident of one of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia; excluding US Territories.

– Eighteen (18) years of age or older

Deadline application: December 16, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST

For more information visit:

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants

The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing. 

Applications due October 31, 2022 (set-aside) and March 31, 2023

For more information visit:

Rural Relief Small Business Grants

The Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), a non-profit community development financial institution, offers financial assistance through grants. Grants are specially targeted to small businesses in under-served communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women, and veterans who own businesses. In all, 900 grants worth a total of $18 million are available. 

For more information visit:

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready

Digital Ready is our online curriculum designed to give small businesses like yours the personalized tools to succeed in today’s digital world. Learning modules, expert coaching, peer networking, access grant opportunities throughout the year and more—it’s all here, and it’s all part of our goal to provide resources to help one million small businesses thrive in the digital economy. $10,000 grant opportunities now available. To be eligible to apply, users must complete any combination of 2 courses, coaching events and community events between 7/1/22 and 11/14/22, and apply by 11/14/22. Engagements through Personalized Mentoring feature are not included towards grant eligibility. 

Apply by November 14, 2022

 More information here.

If you are a current Verizon customer, you will need to create a new account for Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.

WellnessLiving #StandwithStudios Grant Program

Support boutique fitness and wellness businesses with the resources they need to take their business to the next level and continue to positively impact their communities. Up to $150,000 in grants, marketing support, software, and business education, to help drive your business forward.

$2,500 – $5,000 in funding per studio.
Photo shoot and feature article in Fitness Business Insider Magazine (estimated value: $4,000).
WellnessLiving Business Plan FREE for a year (estimated value: $2,000).
Coaching sessions with an industry expert. 

Deadline application: December 15, 2022

 More information: