Louisiana women entrepreneurs have a number of options available to assist in funding start-ups and in advancing current businesses. Federal funding opportunities exist for women-owned small businesses through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. Louisiana State grants are available through the federal Recovery Act signed by President Obama in 2009. Other Louisiana State grants for small businesswomen are available through the Louisiana Division of Administration. National, state, and local level non-profit organizations often offer grants to emerging businesswomen. One such national level non-profit agency is the AAUW (previously, American Association of University Women). National level business associations offer networking, mentoring, and grant opportunities for women-owned small businesses.
Federal Government Grants
Grant.gov is the official search engine for federal grant opportunities. The Department of Health and Human Services acts as site manager. When using the advanced search feature be certain to check “Open Opportunities” as this increases the likelihood of finding grants with open enrollment periods. Do not apply to a closed grant, it is a waste of your time.
Small Business Innovation Research grants intend to assist small businesses in bringing scientific research to the consumer market. Use “small business” as a search term to locate SBIR grants.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
Louisiana State eGrants
The Division of Administration oversees the Louisiana State eGrant search database. The site requires new users to register email addresses as well as provide basic personal and professional information. Utilize the Louisiana State eGrant search engine to find grant opportunities like the Business Recovery Grant and Loan Program, both, offered through the Department of Economic Development for funding businesses directly affected by recent disasters. Program funding is offered on an ongoing basis with funds available as disasters strike.
Division of Administration
1201 N. Third Street, Ste. 7-210
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Follow the direct address to the Louisiana State eGrant serach engine at: Louisiana State eGrants.
Nationwide Grants (Non Profit)
The AAUW promotes women through state-by-state branch resource centers, a strong membership, and generous donors. The nonprofit organization also offers four grants (American Fellowships, Career Development Grants, Community Action Grants, and Selected Professions Fellowships) to assist businesswomen in the United States and one for international businesswomen. The AAUW Career Development Grant offers funds for women attempting to better their careers by furthering their education. Awards vary from $2,000.00 to $12,000.00.
1111 Sixteenth St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Contact the Louisiana branch: aauw-la.org
Additional Money Savings Resources: Louisiana Business Incentives and Tax Credits
Louisiana Economic Development works in conjunction with the Louisiana Governor’s Office to promote trade within the state. Located on the website is an “incentive finder” and “program finder.” Use these finders to scroll through state incentives and tax credits. Each fund or credit has specific eligibility requirements, therefore ensure eligibility before applying. The Microenterprise Development Program helps Louisiana businesswomen by providing management training to eligible applicants. Successful course applicants may also apply for start up funds.
Louisiana Economic Development
1051 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5239
Enrollment periods for grants “open” and “close” at regular intervals, ensure frequently checking government sites for new and reopened grant opportunities. Grants have specific requirements for eligibility and reporting, therefore, follow application requirements-exactly-an error could disqualify your application. Applicants may be required to achieve additional business training prior to grant eligibility, generally, this training is free and can be obtained through local offices.
(Specific grants are not listed on the grounds that funding availability changes. Thus, it is more prudent to offer readers and researchers the tools to find currently open grants rather than sending them on a wild goose chase).
AAUW. 2010. Washington, D.C. 7 July 2010. .
Grants.gov. 2010. E-Grants Initiative. 6 July 2010. .
LED: Louisiana Economic Development. 2010. Louisiana Economic Development. Baton Rouge, La. 6 July 2010. .
Louisiana eGrant Research Engine. 2010. Louisiana Division of Administration and the Office of Information Services. 6 July 2010. .