Most entrepreneurs seek funds for starting a business. Internet searches are filled with ads for government grants. However, the federal government does not grant or lend money directly to small business owners. Instead it sends funds to state and local governments, which develop programs in their state. Women starting a business in specific fields in Texas are eligible for certain types of grants.
Small Business Innovation Research Program
Although the federal government does not offer direct grants to entrepreneurs, some exceptions exist for businesses providing certain products and services. The Small Business Administration's Office of Technology funds research and development of technological innovation that meets specific government needs. These grants, referred to as awards, are appropriated through the Small Business Innovation Research Program. Applicants must employ fewer than 500 persons.
U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Technology 409 Third St. SW Washington, DC 20416-0001 202-205-7701 sba.gov
Small Business Technology Transfer Program
Another Small Business Administration program that funds small business technological advancement is the Small Business Technology Transfer Program. Although these awards are highly competitive, by meeting with your local Texas Small Business Administration or SCORE office, you will be able to gather insight as well as program information and guidelines for your product or service.
U.S. Small Business Administration Dallas/Fort Worth District Office 4300 Amon Carter Blvd., Suite 114 Fort Worth, TX 76155 817-684- 5500 sba.gov
South Texas Angel Network
Another alternative for entrepreneurs seeking start-up funds is to seek grants from private organizations, such as the South Texas Angel Network. The non-profit group connects entrepreneurs with potential investors. Organizations investing money will expect a return on the investment. You will most likely have to submit a business plan as part of your application.
South Texas Angel Network Durango Building 501 W. Durango Blvd. San Antonio, TX 78207 210-458-2523 satai.us
San Antonio Minority Business Development Enterprise Center
The San Antonio Minority Business Development Enterprise Center offers one-on-one counseling to economically disadvantaged women who own at least 51 percent of a small business. It also matches businesses with procurement contracts and economic development programs. Members of minority groups such as Asians, African-Americans, Hispanics and Hasidic Jews are eligible for free program assistance. A fee is charged for management and technical assistance.
Minority Business Enterprise Center 501 W. Durango Blvd. San Antonio, TX 78201 210-458-2488 sa-mbec.org
Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.