Parenting itself is hard work, and raising children as a single mother presents its own unique challenges. But, as a woman who is running her own domestic show might find, these skill sets could be just what it takes to run a small business. One of the biggest hurdles, though, is finding the money to start a new business. Luckily, there are grants out there for single moms.
Where to Look
Many online sites, including SingleMom.com, specialize in helping single mothers find grants for education as well as for launching a business. They collect grant information from various sources--private as well as those offered by federal and state government--and make them available to the applicant. Sites such as Grants.gov provide a direct link to a variety of grants, as well as instructions and tips on how to apply.
What You'll Need
Besides patience, what a business-grant applicant needs is a firm grasp of the eligibility requirements. These vary with each grant. Generally, a single-mom applicant should provide basic information confirming identity, residence, citizenship and her financial situation. In addition, applicants might be required to submit a business model or plan as well as examples of how she intends to implement it. The applicant is most likely one of many and should consider ways to make her application stand out as most deserving, such as how this particular business would give back to her community.
It's a Process
The process of applying for a grant--while also trying to be Super Mom--might seem daunting. Don't let it be. Applicants can do that by keeping a few things in mind. First, leave enough time to finish the application. This means knowing what the deadline is and sticking to it. Also, make sure to have all requested information available. If there's a roadblock or a question, don't hesitate to ask for help, be it from the grant administrators or from another source.
Grants vs. Loans
Remember to distinguish between grants--which recipients do not have to pay back--and loans, which have to be repaid, often with interest.
Laura Clark is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in such publications as Woman's Day magazine, TheWrap.com and Daily Variety. She is also the founder and editor of the blog L.A. Story and a contributing writer at Los Angeles Moms Blog.