A small-business grant is a sum of money an entrepreneur does not have to repay. Several agencies and organizations have small-business grants targeted specifically at women, but the application process varies. Small-business grants must be used in the manner dictated by the granting agency; the focus may be business startup, business expansion or the purchase of new or upgraded equipment.
Research the grants available for women in the type of business you want to start or expand. Visit the official Grants.gov website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to find government grants specific to your industry. Visit the official website of the Small Business Administration to find grants for women-owned small businesses focused on scientific research and development.
Download and print grant application packets for the grants in which you are interested. Contact the grant agency if the information is not available online. Request that grant packets be mailed to your home.
Review the grant application instructions carefully. Some grants for women are for specific ethnic groups, women in certain income brackets or those with varying personal situations. Discard any grant applications for which you are not eligible. Make a list of all the items you need to submit to the grant agency according to the instructions.
Compose an explanation of your small business, as well as a mission statement, and provide information about proposed or current locations as well as profits and losses, if applicable. Arrange your items in a professional, easy-to-read format; refer to the instructions for specific formatting requirements. A personal statement is required for some grant programs for women, such as single mothers or grants geared for victims of domestic violence. Be honest on your personal statement; lying can cost you the opportunity.
Get letters from potential or current customers of your small business. The letters should include what types of goods or services the client would purchase from you and how often. Include each customer's name and contact information on the letter.
Complete the grant application. Double-check your items list to make sure you have all the necessary documentation. Assemble the application with all items and customer letters. Make a copy of the entire packet for your records.
Mail the packet to the grant agency. Reapply for any grants you do not receive as soon as you are eligible to apply again.
Check private grant opportunities with the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission before giving out personal information. Some scams are advertised as grants.