If you’re a woman business owner looking for financing to start or grow your business, one thing you may be dreaming of (aside from winning the lottery) is getting a grant. Unlike a loan that you have to pay back, or an investment in your business that requires giving up equity, a grant is basically free money that you don’t have to pay back.
Of course, that doesn’t mean grants are “no strings attached.” In fact, most grants typically come with quite a few strings. Similar to scholarships that are given to students to help finance their educations, grants can come from a wide range of sources: from the federal government to a wealthy individual, from a small nonprofit organization to a multinational corporation. What grants all have in common is they’re designed to reward organizations that are doing something the grant-giver believes is important. A corporation with a commitment to women might give grants for women business owners, for example.