Resources For Women-Owned Businesses

#WOCinTech Chat

How to Find Funding, Training, and Support for Your Startup Business

If you’re a hard-working woman who’s thought about setting up your own shop, you’ve probably heard a ton of terrifying stats. It seems like everyone has a “good reason” why you shouldn’t follow your dream. Here at SELF MADE, we call nonsense. Because there are a ton of stats that your detractors haven’t heard that also show how you are so uniquely qualified for success and ready to kill it! There are tons of grants for women out there on a regular basis, so go get the hidden money!

When you go out on your own, there are more resources out there to support you than you ever imagined. According to a 2018 American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses report, women own 40 percent of all businesses nationally, starting more than 1,800 new businesses a day. And women-owned businesses aren’t just putting food on the table for their families; they’re also pumping up the U.S. economy, generating more than 1.6 trillion dollars in revenue and employing close to 9 million people nationwide.  

Women of color are the fastest growing group of new business owners, accounting for 47% of all women owned businesses, and generating over 386 billion in revenues. So if you’ve come to our site to find a community, you are in great company, with some of the most incredible thinkers working in the United States. This comprehensive guide will help you find the resources you need to build your plan and find support. Get ready to jump in!

Resources for Funding and Grants for Women, Resources for Training, Resources for Networking

Resources For Funding & Grants for Women

Passion is key in making your dreams come true but you also need resources. Special grants for women can be found below along with a few places to start your search to get your dreams in motion.


This group of women joined together to form a women-led investment and technological startup firm that assists technological startups with individual investments.

10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs provides multiple programs aimed at helping business owners learn new skills. 10,000 Small Businesses aims to help teach skills such as marketing and employee development, while also offering a network of already established support.

37 Angels

This organization helps connect women entrepreneurs and angel investors.

500 Startups

This investment company has funded over 500 companies through their startup accelerator and seed fund programs. The accelerator includes a 4-month mentorship, hands-on expert training, collaborative office space and $100,000 investment for five percent ownership. The seed fund offers investments of $50,000 – $500,000 for already performing businesses; seed funded businesses also gain access to 500’s network of  investors, partners and founders.


Acumen’s works hard to help small businesses invested in changing the world for the greater good. To achieve this, they invest in small business with a focus on alleviating poverty in East or West Africa, India, Pakistan or Latin America. To be eligible, the business must be part of the Agriculture, Energy, Education, Health, Housing or Water sectors.


This online network connects investors, startups and incubators throughout the world. Hundreds of startups gain funding through their program each year.

Aspen Capital Fund

This fund offers not only funds, but also options on how to grow your business in all ways properly and financially stable. Specializes in women-owned businesses.


This organization connects angel investors with highly qualified entrepreneurs and their ventures. After applicants are accepted into Astia’s Expert Sift program, they can pitch any time and participate in monthly Astia Venture Launches out of one of their primary outposts in Silicon Valley, New York City, or London.

Belle Capital USA

Women-owned businesses who live in the Midwest or in the South can submit pitches online to this angel investment firm.

Bessemer Venture Partners

Startups at every stage and sector can apply for funding ranging from $100,000 – $75,000,00.

Broadway Angels

This women-led angel fund provides small investments to qualifying entrepreneurs in technology and other areas. While they do not exclusively fund women, women-owned and led startups are encouraged to apply.

Canaan Partners

This partnership specializes in funding qualifying innovative technological and healthcare startups in the United States and Israel.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

A funding competition that also offers coaching and mentoring services..


Catapult uses crowdfunding to provide financial resources to projects created to improve the lives of girls and women throughout the world in health, education or human rights.

Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

This foundation helps women gain economic freedom by helping women entrepreneurs learn entrepreneurial business and technology skills and provides access to an extensive network and financial services to help their businesses grow.

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)

CEI helps entrepreneurs operating in rural areas grow by providing financing and advising services for their small business.

Commercial Capital Training Group
This site lists organizations and communities out there that help both emerging and existing women entrepreneurs get access to business forms, advice and templates for business plans, and even advice and directories for women entrepreneurs.

Converge Venture Partners (CVP)

CVP provides venture capital to technological startups in seed or early stage development.

The woman’s fashion line offers a women-owned business grant for businesses dedicated to social consciousness, sustainability, and innovation.

EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women

An education program and national competition that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs for mentorship. Applications are due by June 27, 2016. Each business must be less than 10 years old; majority women-owned; privately held in the U.S. or Canada; and they must have reported $2 million in sales for each of the past two fiscal years.

Golden Seeds

This investment group supports women-owned and women-led businesses with high market potential, in the $1,000,000-plus arena.

Growth Grant

A business development grant of up to $4,000 provided by the National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) for various types of small businesses.

Growth Initiative

The National Minority Supplier Development Council offers entrepreneurs access to equity capital from investors, while still allowing them to maintain minority status through management and control of their business.

Idea Cafe Small Business Grants

Idea Cafe provides grants for small business owners via an online voting competition. Grants are offered periodically. To participate, nominate yourself or someone else can nominate your business.

This $125,000 program ensures women and minority entrepreneurs have access to capital, business development programs, a global network and support to build their businesses.

Illuminate Ventures

Women owned businesses can also submit business plans and executive summaries online to this investment firm.

Kapor Capital

Kapor provides capital to technology startups in seed stage development with a special interest in funding businesses that cater to low-income and communities of color.

Lipstick Foundation

All about empowering women, this foundation helps provide scholarships for all types of businesses.

Menlo Talent Fund

Menlo provides financing for qualifying businesses throughout the stages of development. Startups in the seed stage can receive up to $250 thousand in as little as 24-hours; growing businesses are eligible for investments between $5 and $20 million; and developed businesses are eligible for investments up to $30 million.

Merge Lane

Merge lane is committed to developing and funding women-led businesses. Their 12-week accelerator program is open to developed businesses with provable traction who have at least one female executive with equity in the company and the businesses must have raised less than $5 million in outside capital.

NDC Growth Development Firm

This national small business lending program provides loans to growing small businesses in low-income communities, with a focus on women and minority-owned businesses.

New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

The NEA is one of the world’s largest investment firms which specializes in technological and healthcare companies at all stages of development.

Open Meadows Foundation Grants

This grant is awarded to projects headed by women with a focus on gender, racial and economic justice. Awards are under $2,000 and applications are accepted annually in the Spring and Fall.

Pappas Ventures

This investment firm provides income to startups that are in the life sciences field.

Pipeline Angels Funding

If you have a socially responsible business model, Pipeline is a great start. Business owners can pitch to a network of women investors through pitch summits which happen several times throughout the year in various locations. To be eligible, businesses must be for-profit, headed by a woman, have an environmental or social mission, and must be within the U.S.

Renaissance Economic Development Corporation

Provides financing and technical assistance to small businesses in the New York City area, with a focus on minority, women and immigrants.

The Amber Grant

WomensNet teaches women how to apply for grants and offers $2000 Amber Grants each month and an annual grant of $25,000 (awarded to one of the monthly grant winners). Applicants can also express interest in angel investing and mentorship during the application process.

The Halstead Grant

This grant is awarded annually by Halstead Bead, Inc. for women-owned jewelry designers with businesses less than three years old. Recipients are awarded $6,000 in cash and $1,000 in Halstead jewelry supplies plus free marketing for your business via Halstead’s website and social media pages.

Tory Burch Foundation

Fashion powerhouse Tory Burch wants all women to succeed and has created a site filled with expert advice in categories including finance, marketing and tech. Get access to some of the most successful business owners at this one-stop-shop.

TopStone Angels

A woman-founded group of investors who provide startup funding for different types of businesses.

WBENC Scholarship Program

Sometimes all you need is a little more training to take your business to the next level. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council wants to help with their Dorothy B. Brothers Executive Scholarship, which offers applicants an opportunity to receive up to $11,000 in tuition funding for an executive education.

WEDC Microloan Program

Provides microloans with a special focus on funding small businesses owned by women, minorities and immigrants.

Wells Fargo

The lending institution made a commitment to offering loans to women-owned businesses.

Women’s Capital Connection

Women helping women is the mission at WCC. They help connect business startups with angel investors, which are high net investors who invest in early-stage companies. Specializes in educating women (to gain funding) and funding in the Kansas City area.

Women’s Enterprise Action Loan Fund (WEALF)

Women are able to meet with experts in similar fields offering insight that would take years to learn.

Women’s Startup Challenge & Telesummit

A pitch competition for women entrepreneurs, and provides $50,000 for winners.

Women Venture Capital Firm

If you can’t make it to a pitch summit, this woman-owned business focused organization allows you to submit an executive summary or business plan online.

Women Who Tech

Did you know only 7% of investor money goes to women-led startups? So much money left on the table! Women Who Tech looks to close that gap by creating a database to connect new business owners and investors.

Y Combinator

This seed fund provides $120 thousand investment in a number of startups twice a year. This small investment helps these businesses develop so they are eligible for funding from larger startups or get the startup capital they need to launch. Participants agree to move their business to Silicon Valley for the three-month program which ends with “Demo Day” showcase that allows participants to gain additional funding from investors.

Zion’s Bank

Smart Women Grants: Offering one grant up to $3,000 in the business category to those attempting to help the community.

Resources for Training

What do you do when you want to take your business from startup to success but aren’t sure how? Ask someone how. There are plenty of programs ready to prepare you to be the best business owner which will benefit your employees, customers and business. Start here.

8(a) Business Development Program

This is a program developed by the Small Business Administration to help small minority-owned businesses develop a competitive advantage. Women and Financial Literacy 

In hopes of promoting financial literacy for women, has created what it believes to be the most comprehensive, easy-to-read guide on financial literacy for women by women. This guide covers topics like setting a budget, how to use credit responsibly, planning for retirement and much more.

Association of Women’s Business Centers

This association of organizations provides training, networking, mentoring, and business developing, and financing.

Best LLC Services

Best LLC Services gives free guides, for small business and startups, on how to form an LLC based on the state you are in. They have many guides from setting up the LLC to filing LLC Articles of Organization.

Consortium for Graduate Study in Management

Initially developed for African American men, this organization is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who desire to develop the skills required to needed for positions in corporate America.

Dorothy B. Brothers Scholarship

This scholarship offers $11,000 in tuition to attend a WBENC-approved executive program to develop their business and themselves professionally to better serve their company.


FinImpact has created a comprehensive guide on writing a business plan that gives great tips, pointers on components, metrics, price and even sample templates.

Kauffman Foundation

The Kauffman Foundation  offers educational training for entrepreneurs to help them enhance their skills and build successful businesses. Programs include the Kauffman Fasttrac and, and Global Entrepreneurship Week, a week long competition and celebration for entrepreneurs around the globe each November.

New Economics for Women (NEW)

This nonprofit is dedicated to providing financial literacy programs for women and families while advocating on behalf of low-income women, particular immigrants.  

Open Colleges

This educational resource based in Australia offers comprehensive tips on how to write a business plan, a personal branding guide, and even a small business course for entrepreneurs.

Priya Haji Fellowship

This fellowship was created in honor of four-time entrepreneur Priya Haji, to help college graduates interested in technology and entrepreneurship. The Fellowship is open to United States citizens and women are highly encouraged to apply. Participants are required to live and work in or near the San Francisco Bay Area during the eight-month fellowship, and will receive a $5,500 a month stipend for the duration of the program.

Project Entrepreneur

The co-founders of Rent the Runway, in partnership with UBS, have teamed up to host conferences and offer resources on their site for entrepreneurs. Count on advice from everyone from celebs to young, like-minded women in their new entrepreneur-training accelerator and initiative.

Robert Toigo Foundation

The Robert Toigo foundation provides mentoring and coaching for minority MBA students pursuing careers in finance.


This nonprofit organization offers volunteer mentors nationwide to help with business plans and strategy.

The Score Foundation

An extension of the Score website, the Score Foundation offers an online marketplace for entrepreneurs with discounts for small business owners.

Small Business Administration Women-Owned Business Programs

For one-stop shopping on everything from how to write a business plan to how to take your product to market, this site should be your first stop when you’re considering planning your business model. Be sure to visit one of the Women’s Business Centers throughout the country, for more one-on-one help with all questions; and take advantage of the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) programs that help women gain access to Federal Contracts.


This network of experts focus their investments in women-led and owned technology startups that have traction and can achieve growth.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

The largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the United States, this organization offers a“woman-owned” label that can help direct supportive consumers to your product. They also offer connection to large corporations and government resources, and are often thought of as essential for businesses hoping to scale.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Student Entrepreneur Program (WBENC SEP)

SEP is a week-long on-site program hosted at the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair annually in June.

True Entrepreneurs Corps

A summer fellowship for undergraduate students throughout the United States who are technology and startups. Though they accept students throughout the United States, the program takes place in the San Francisco Bay area over the course of summer break. Women are highly encouraged to apply to this program.

Workwave-Women in Skilled Trade 

There is a lack of representation of women in skilled trade, so workwave has compiled a list of resources to help women in skilled trade.

Resources for Networking

As in all things, finding other like-minded women can save you from panic, missteps, and all around feeling lost, not to mention point you in the direction of critical resources.

30% Club

This network promotes diversity on company and organizational boards through initiatives that educate companies on diversity, encouraging and supporting chairmen to/who appoint women to boards, and create greater awareness around the need for diversity.

10,000 Women

Goldman Sachs launched this program in 2008, providing 10,000 women throughout 56 countries with mentorship, education and networking. Take your business international with the help of IFC and Goldman Sachs.

Alliance For Board Diversity (ABD)

This  groups advocates to ensure women and minorities are represented on corporate boards.

Alliance of Multicultural Entrepreneurs

This is a great organization for entrepreneurs that encourages education, training, collaboration and networking. It is open to individuals pursuing business, personal and academic projects.


Catering to the creative mind, ALT provides bloggers, lifestyle writers and creative entrepreneurs a forum to collaborate, network and share relevant information. The Altitude Summit (ALT Summit), held early winter, offers participants a chance to connect in person for creative classes, brainstorming sessions, informative workshops, collaboration and networking. Cost $300 -$600

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)

This membership based organization connects entrepreneurs around the globe with valuable resources to help them build and launch a startup. Members are connected with a number of valuable resources including finance and education.


This conference celebrates the achievements of women content creation throughout the digital space. Participants enjoy the wisdom of leading content creators, gain great opportunities to network and educational activities. Cost $99 – $700; locations vary.

The Boss Network

Women from all walks of life are welcome to the events on the dynamic, inspirational “Ladies Who Lead” tour. There’s also an excellent blog and engaged community online.


Catalyst promotes inclusion for women in the workplace and beyond. Important initiatives focus on closing the gender pay gap and including women on company and organizational boards.

Claudia Chan’s S.H.E Summit

If you don’t have the flexibility to travel, journalist and CEO Claudia Chan’s monthly “virtual happy hour” interactive webcasts are a great way to connect to other women, offering advice and resources. She also hosts meetups and summits around the country, providing especially helpful info for internationally minded businesses and social entrepreneurs on

Create & Cultivate

A millennial focused creative conference for women entrepreneurs held in Los Angeles, CA. This one-day conference  that gathers over 500 women to for a day of one-on-one mentor “power hours”, high-profile speaker panels, informative workshops, and networking opportunities from leading female entrepreneurs.

Creative at Heart

Creative Heart conferences are designed to connect creative men and women across various industries. They offer one-on-one panels specific to various crafts, keynote speakers, workshops and amazing opportunities to network and gain new lifelong friends in the creative field. Conference is held about various states throughout the United States.

Committee for Economic Development (CED)

A public advocacy organization that connects high level executives and gives them the ability to make a greater impact on public policy.

Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI)

CWDI advocates for the inclusion of women on corporate boards throughout the globe. Participants can develop corporate leadership skills and provide gain access to a global network of women directors.

Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL)

The CWWL is a council of former female Prime Ministers and Presidents developed by the United Nations Foundation. This member’s only council offers a high-profile networking, opportunities  for fellowship and more.

Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network

Dell’s model doesn’t just connect women for professional training and support. They’ve helped connect women to major sources of capital, scaling up their opportunities and amping up their brands.

Designer Vaca

Forget the usual, boring business conferences, Designer Vaca is the premier event for female graphic and web designers in the United States. Network while relaxing by the pool, collaborate over cocktails and make lifelong business connections while having fun! Located in Palm Springs, CA.

Dynamite Circle

A networking and support group for entrepreneurs across the globe that offers networking, business resources, programs and events.

E Commerce Fuel

A private, no pitch, community of 600+ entrepreneurs earning $250,000 or more annually. Offers networking, mentoring, support and social activities. Membership requires approval; $49 a month membership fee once approved.

Ellevate Network

With events all around the country focused on every imaginable aspect of building your brand and developing your business, CEO and former Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevate Network is often the first stop for women thinking of starting their own business.


Entrepreneurs can join this group to participate in programs that develop entrepreneurial skills and gain access to a valuable network of mentors and funders.

Entrepreneurs Organization (EO Network)

A peer-to-peer network for entrepreneurs interested in networking, mentoring, training, support and more. Join for a unique learning experience; local chapters throughout the U.S.

Female Entrepreneurs Association

A global network of women entrepreneurs offering support, collaboration, information sharing, networking and more.


A community of entrepreneurs supporting, networking, and sharing to help grow their businesses.

Global Entrepreneurs Council

The United Foundation provides the Global Entrepreneur Council to connect successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders together to create solutions to major world issues. Participants are exposed to a new audiences and have opportunities to network and grow their businesses.

Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN)

A global network that educates, supports, empowers and provides access to funding competitions for startups throughout the world.

IBM Ventures

IBM venture partners with entrepreneurs to co-create great startups and connects entrepreneurs to an extensive global network of resources, partners, investors and more.

Inc. Women’s Summit

The Inc. Women’s Summit brings current and aspiring entrepreneurs together for a three-day event that includes informative talks by big names in business, exciting workshops and a networking lunch for attendees. Located in New York City, cost $350.

Minority Business Development Agency

In conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the agency’s goal is to promote business-to-business relationships with other entrepreneurs in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC)

The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications advocates for multiethnic diversity in the communications industry. They offer a number of educational programs, local and national events for networking and offer valuable resources available on their website.

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)

A dues-based organization focused on the economic, political and social advancement of women business owners.

National Minority Business Development Council

The National Minority Business Development Council advocates for better business opportunities for minority owned businesses and connects with them corporate teams.

Rising Tide Society

An online conference that allows participants to learn from leading entrepreneurs from the comfort of their own home! Attendees receive a “Intensive Workbook” for reflection, goal setting and planning, plus daily challenges, live webinars and replays, and exclusive giveaways. The cost for this event is $129.00; a portion of the proceeds goes to charity.

SXSW Interactive

The leading minds in tech converge on Austin, TX for five days of hands-on interactive workshops, panel sessions, demos, panels and networking opportunities. Preview new technology and collaborate with brilliant minds at this one-of-a-kind conference!  Cost $525 – $1750.

TED Women

Hosted in the beautiful city of San Francisco, TEDWomen encourages women and girls to utilize their creative power for change in this world. This three-day conference includes six sessions of TED Talks by innovative women, hands-on tech demos, dinners, parties, tours and much more! Cost $3,000.00.

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

The largest technical conference for women in the United States, the Grace Hopper celebration brings together leading female technologist for a two-day conference in Houston, TX. Cost $350 -$950.

The Most Powerful Women’s (MPW) Summit

Fortune’s The Most Powerful Women Summit is a gathering of the world’s most
prominent women in business including Fortune 500 leaders, celebrities and (in
the past) the First Lady of the United States! Participants enjoy live
one-on-one interviews with guest speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions
and offers great opportunities for “high level” networking. This conference is
hosted Mid-October of each year.

The Most Powerful Women’s Summit – Next Gen

In keeping with the theme of The Most Powerful Women’s Summit, this conference gathers rising stars in business and entrepreneurial fields for two days of networking, education, inspiration and support. Participation requires nomination and approval the MPW Next Gen team.

Conference Information:

U.S. Small Business Administration

This national network has over 100 locations throughout the United States to help women meet with like-minded individuals no matter what the industry.

U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)

This membership based network  that provides women opportunities to connect with other women in business and offers opportunities for training, advocacy and business resources.

WBENC National Conference and Business Fair

Hosted in Orlando, Florida, this fair will be jam packed with other women crushing it in their fields. Pick the brains of some of your biggest inspirations.

Women 2.0

Making their name on their high-profile weekly, Founder Friday events, this organization provides some of the most comprehensive support out there for women in technology.

Women at  

An online magazine with a sole focus on entrepreneurship information, news and resources. The women’s section provides information specific to women-owned and led businesses.

Women Entrepreneurs of America

Founder Yolanda Lamar-Wilder sought to create a community of women to support one another. Surround yourself with women of all industries to help expand your business.

Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)

A non-partisan public policy organization that advocates and helps create economic opportunities for women and minority owned businesses in the U.S. Offers a business knowledge center featuring webinars, blogs, funding information, and more to help entrepreneurs.

Women Presidents Organization (WPO)

A member’s only network of female executives managing multi-million dollar ventures.