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:



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.

January – Skilled Trades
February – Health, Fitness & Wellness
March – Food & Beverage
April – Sustainability
May – Mental & Emotional Support
June – Business Support Services (e.g. accounting, consulting)
July – Animal Services
August – Hair Care & SkinCare
September – Education & Child Care
October – Creative Arts
November – Technology & E-commerce
December – Fashion Design

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

For more information visit:

Atomic® Grants

In 2023, we will award four grants to applicants who are looking for support in bringing their passion to life. The passion should be one that looks to create positive change for the applicant and others.

These awards include a $1500 cash grant, coaching from leading strategy and culture consulting firm Keystone Group International and a free year of Passion Collective On Demand!

To apply, complete the quick application form, telling them why you want this grant, and what impact it will make on your life. Be as expressive as possible about why this matters to you, and the impact you hope it will create on you, or others.

Application Deadline: September 22, 2023


For more information press here

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:

Catalyze Challenge Grant Round

The Catalyze Challenge seeks proposals for exploratory work to develop and pilot innovations that propose a new or experimental approach to solve a problem faced by learners, employers, or others involved with career-connected learning

Application Deadline: September 22, 2023

For more information visit:

CCWC Women of Color Entrepreneur Grant

Corporate Counsel Women of Color will award five (5) $5,000.00 Grants to women of color entrepreneurs. The CCWC review committee will review submissions on a rolling basis, and grants will be awarded to winners and finalists in January 2023 and September 2023. 

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:



Creciendo con TikTok is a $200,000 grant fund that will provide cash awards of $5,000 to 40 Latinx small business owners who have demonstrated perseverance, resourcefulness, hard work, and entrepreneurial vision in their communities.

Application Deadline: October 23, 2023

For more information visit:

FedEx® Entrepreneur Fund

In partnership with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network(GEN), FedEx has launched the second round of the FedEx® Entrepreneur Fund to support entrepreneurs in the United States by providing them with $300,000 in grants and educational resources. This program is designed to offer entrepreneurs the necessary funding, resources, and networks to enhance the success of their businesses.

Through the FedEx® Entrepreneur Fund, thirty (30) grants of $10,000 each will be awarded to entrepreneurs who have a connection to the military and/or entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Deadline application:  October 6, 2023

For more information visit:

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Businesses in the following counties, including sole proprietors, are eligible to apply: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla counties. Eligible small businesses may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program. Loans made under this program are short-term, zero-interest, personal loans using State of Florida funds. They are not grants and loans must be repaid by the approved applicant. 

Deadline application:  October 25, 2023

For more information visit:

**This is not a grant. This is a Loan**

Fresh Start Business Grant

The Fresh Start Business Grant from Incfile helps support entrepreneurs with a $2,500 grant to put toward startup, while also receiving free business formation services from Incfile.

Deadline application: March 31st, June 30th, and September 30th.

For more information visit:

Founders First CDC National Kitty Fund⁠

The Kitty Fund makes small micro investments in Moms who are running employer-based small businesses with two or more employees. The award was created in honor of Mother’s Day and Founder’s First CEO Kim Folsom‘s mother, Catherine “Kitty” Abrams Tadlock Webster, who passed away in March of 2020. In 2020, the fund made its first investments of $13K in 50 Moms running small businesses nationwide. In 2021, the amount increased from $250 to $500 for the 50 recipients.

Pre-registration is open now

For more information visit:

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:

Giving Joy Grants

Women ages 18 and up. Around the world. You can use the grant to start a new business, or expand your existing business. Chance to win US$250 to US$500

Application Deadline: September 30, 2023

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.

Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard

The Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard® is an entrepreneur’s everyday lifeline, with exclusive access to personal business coaches and a community of thousands of fellow entrepreneurs, experts, and allies ready to connect and support your dreams. Plus, no annual fee,1 0% intro APR1 for 6 billing cycles after account opening on purchases and balance transfers,1 and for a limited time get a $200 statement credit when you spend $5,000 in the first three billing cycles after account opening (one credit per business account)

Application Deadline: November 30, 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. Applications close on the last day of the month. Every applicant needs to create an account and logged in to view and complete the application. There is a $10 administration fee.

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:


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.

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:

National Grant for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses 

Inspired by Founders First CEO, Kim Folsom’s brother, U.S. Navy veteran Stephen L. Tadlock, the $25,000 fund will make investments of $1000 each to 25 veterans who are running employer-based small businesses across the country.  A total of $25,000 awarded to 25 Veteran-owned businesses in honor of Stephen L. Tadlock, U.S. Navy Veteran.

Application Deadline: October 16, 2023

Quarterly Grant. For more information visit:

MBDA Capital Readiness Program Grant Competition

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency is launching a nearly $100 million grant program to support female and minority entrepreneurs. The Capital Readiness Program is directing grants of between $2 million and $3 million to business incubators and accelerators run by companies, nonprofits, and universities. So the funds will not go directly to small businesses from the federal government. But recipients must use the funds to provide services that can help women- and minority-owned startups overcome structural barriers. The program will focus on several high-growth industries, including health care, climate technologies, and infrastructure. 

For more information visit:

Pure Leaf “NO’ Grant

About the Grants: 

Grants are $2,000 and include access to SeekHer’s “No is Beautiful” in Motherhood resources and support community (open to all applicants)

Grants are subject to applicable taxes

Open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older (19 years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska) as of date of entry, who identifies as a mother. 

You may enter once per application period with a different, unique entry

An individual can only be a recipient of one grant

No purchase necessary. The “No” Grants Contest is sponsored by Pepsi-Cola Company. Open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older (19 years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska) as of date of entry), who identify as a mother.

There will be three application periods:

September 1, 2023 – October 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:

Sephora Accelerate

Sephora Accelerate is a brand incubation program dedicated to building a community of innovative, inspirational brand founders in beauty. With a focus on founders who are people of color, in line with our commitment to the 15 Percent Pledge, our goal is to ensure there are brands in the beauty industry representative of the colors, races, and ethnicities that make up the Americas.

Founders will embark on a six-month journey where they’ll gain the necessary skills to build and sustain a successful business through consistent, cohesive, and ongoing support backed by digital and in-person resources with content and curriculum directly correlated to helping founders succeed at Sephora.

In addition, brands will have the unique experience of building a heart-and-soul connection to our community and its ecosystem, as well as the opportunity of a lifetime—launching with Sephora, the world’s largest beauty retailer.

Application Deadline: September 25, 2023

For more information visit:

The Barstool Fund

The Barstool Fund is an ongoing grant program that supports small businesses suffering negative effects due to the pandemic. The program is funded through donations and supported by Barstool Sports. Applications are available online.

Ongoing applications

For more information visit:

The Mama Ladder HighFive Grant

The High Five Grantor Moms, sponsored in part by home improvement giant Lowe’s, offers a $10,000 grant, one $5,000 grant, one $2,500 grant and five $1,000 grants, along with mentoring, shopping credits and more to mothers who want to grow their business. The grant applies to any mother from any business, with women caregivers of all ages eligible to apply. The business must have had revenue in the last 12 months and the mom must own at least 50% of the business.

Application deadline: September 30, 2023

For more information visit:

The Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund Funded by DoorDash

Disasters are unpredictable — but critical support shouldn’t be. The average small business loses $3,000 every day they remain closed due to a natural disaster. To help restaurants recover in times of critical need, DoorDash has partnered with Hello Alice to create the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund. The fund supports restaurants impacted by natural disasters like fires, floods, and hurricanes, and provides relief through $10,000 grants.

Application deadline: September 29, 2023, at 6 p.m. ET.

For more information visit:

The Shirley Holden Helberg Grants for the Mature Women

The National League of American Pen Women, Inc. awards three grants of $1,000 each in art, letters, and music to women 35 years of age or older.

NLAPW awards are established for the purpose of promoting professionalism in Art, Letters, and Music, encouraging talented women to pursue further education or other goals which affect their creative efforts. All are awarded in accordance with specific donor requirements.

Candidates must be female, ages 18 through 25, and a member of a Native American tribe. These grants are awarded every two (2) years for scholarships in art and each is given to a Native American girl who is talented but lacks financial resources to further her education. Funds must be used toward courses at an accredited college, university or trade school. Funds will be mailed to the academic institution to be used by the student.

Application window will be August 1, 2023 – September 30,2023.

For more information visit:

Upskilling Grant Application funded by AARP Foundation (2023 Cycle)

Accepting Applications Now!

For small businesses that intend to train and upskill low-wage workers age 50+, this grant program will reimburse employers up to $2,000-$2,500 per employee for training, provided the grantee meets the following criteria:

Grant Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant is a small business with qualifying employee(s) 50+ years of age
Applicant intends to train qualifying employee(s) to improve or add to their job skills
Qualifying employee(s) currently earn $16/hour or less on average, and work at least 30 hours per week, and are W-2 employees.
Training to be completed and reported by November 30, 2023
Applicant must demonstrate evidence increasing wage at least $2/hour once training is completed ($2.50/hour min. increase to earn the maximum grant award)

Application Deadline: November 30, 2023

For more information visit:

Wish Local Empowerment Program Grant

Black-owned businesses with no more than 20 employees, a brick-and-mortar location, and less than $1 million in average annual revenue.

Must be a Black-owned business (51%+)
Must possess a liquor license or currently seeking a liquor license

Application deadline: Until funds last

For more information visit:

Working Women of Tampa Bay Foundation

Entrepreneurs who have been in business from 6 months – 3 years. The money is to help female entrepreneurs with a little assistance to grow their business. Entrepreneurs must be able to demonstrate their proof of concept and a plan of how the funds will be used. Businesses must be headquartered in Tampa Bay.

$1,000 Grant

Rolling Applications (no deadline)

For more information visit:

Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Grant

Student – high school senior, undergraduate, graduate, or trade school student. $2,500 to put towards education expenses.

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

Application Deadlines:  March 31st, June 30th, and September 30th.

For more information visit: