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By: Jamie Gray | Founder, Black Girl Buying

As a budding business owner, one of my constant concerns is how I’m going to pay for all of the things required to keep my business up and running. While there are many different financing options from investors to loans, grants are particularly appealing because they do not require you to relinquish any ownership (equity) in your business and they do not have to be repaid. Here is a list of 10 small business grants to consider:

NASE Growth Grants:

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is a national organization that supports entrepreneurs and small business owners through resources, access, and other benefits. On a quarterly basis, NASE offers its members the support of its Growth Grant. Recipients successfully demonstrate a specific business need, detail how they plan to use the grant, and show the expected outcome and impact of the grant on the success of their business. Each Growth Grant is worth up to $4,000 and applications are reviewed in January, April, July, and October for all applications submitted in the three months prior to the review. Applicants must be NASE members ($11.95/month or $120/year) in good standing for at least three months prior to applying.

Cartier Women’s Initiative

Cartier is a luxury jewelry company that is also devoted to driving change by empowering women entrepreneurs. Since 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative has awarded more than 200 women entrepreneurs from all over the world access to world-class business resources. Each year, the initiative selects 3 businesses from 7 regions of the world and these 21 finalists receive a week of one-on-one coaching, workshops, media visibility, and more leading up to the awards ceremony. One top business from each region will receive $100,000 and each of the 14 runners-up will receive $30,000. Applicants must meet a host of eligibility criteria including being a woman leading a for-profit company, having between 1 and 5 years of registered operation with at least 1 year of revenue, and must meet one of the UN’s sustainable development goals. Eligible applicants must submit a résumé, business registration, and a pitch deck, with an option to submit a one-minute video and up to 3 images of your products, brochures, articles, or press. Applications for the 2020 cohort are now open and are due by August 14, 2019. 


Girlboss Foundation is a company looking to redefine success for millennial women and ensure they progress personally, professionally, and in service of others. The foundation awards one $15,000 grant twice a year to women who present a project that demonstrates innovation, creativity, business acumen, and forward thinking. The project can be submitted in any format and can be uploaded or mailed in with the plan, timeline, budget, and work sample. Applications can be submitted at any time and will be held until the next evaluation period.

New Voices Fund

This brand-new funding opportunity from New Voices Fund has been created by co-founder and CEO Richelieu Davis of Sundial Brands—of the SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage brands—and is specifically for women of color entrepreneurs. The inaugural application season for this $100 million fund is due to open this summer 2019. In the meantime, potential applicants can visit the New Voices website to create a profile now in anticipation of the summer launch.

Amber Grant

The Amber Grant Foundation was created in memory of a young woman who died before realizing  her own entrepreneurial dreams. The foundation awards one $2,000 Amber Grant to a woman entrepreneur each month. There is no cumbersome application form to submit; instead, the foundation is looking for applicants to simply share their heartfelt story. Applications, and the $15 application fee, for each award month are due by the close of the previous month and grant recipients are automatically eligible for the year-end Amber Grant of $25,000. 

Happy applying!

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