Empowering women in business has become an essential aspect of promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. However, women often face significant barriers to accessing resources, capital, and support for their business ventures. In response to these challenges, organizations like Empowering Initiatives are dedicated to providing resources and support to women in business, as evidenced by their recent Empowerment Bazaar.
The event, which was held at Eko House and hosted by Dr. Adebola Ajao, brought together women in the business field to connect, share knowledge, and explore resources to help start or grow their businesses. The event featured inspiring keynote speakers from successful women like Richie Wilson, Deputy Director of Rockville Economic Development Inc, Bola Audena, Managing Partner at MBA Growth Partners, Fata Antoniette Togba Mensah, Founder of FasMarketplace.com, and Gedalia Vera of Inside Look Media. Additionally, the event provided a comprehensive list of resources, including opportunities to gain grants and other valuable resources to support their businesses. The list also included unique tips to help women find grants for their businesses, adding to the event’s informative and practical value for attendees.
The event also included inspiring stories from successful women entrepreneurs like TANTV founder and CEO Adedayo, who shared her journey to starting her own company. The tips provided to the attendees ranged from how to properly apply for grants and contracts to other important tips like creating a business plan, obtaining relevant certifications, and establishing a business website.
One of the most significant resources provided at the event was a list of grant resources available to small business owners. These resources were designed to help women entrepreneurs get the necessary funds to start their businesses and support their growth. Some of the resources included the Maryland Women’s Business Center, Small Business Association Grants, Maryland Department of Labor, Maryland Small Business Development Centers, State Grants, Seed Fund, Maryland State Art Council, Artist Grants, and Creativity Grants. Non-governmental grant resources like Microsoft Grants and the Obama Foundation Curated Funding Opportunity were also listed.
The event emphasized the importance of readiness steps for applying for grants and contracts. Women in business were urged to know their offerings and capabilities, and have a business plan, financial statements, business goals, a business bank account, tax ID, tax documents, and articles of incorporation, and relevant certifications.
Finally, the event offered other tips for women entrepreneurs looking to find grants for their small businesses, including building strategic relationships by connecting and partnering with the right people, partnering with organizations that align with their mission, and talking about their business needs so their network thinks of them when opportunities present themselves.
Empowering women in business is a crucial step in promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Providing resources, support, and access to capital is essential for women entrepreneurs to succeed. With events like Empowerment Bazaar and resources like the ones provided, women entrepreneurs can get the necessary support and funding to start and grow their businesses, making significant contributions to their communities and economies.
With this list, women in the business field have opportunities to improve and get their businesses off the ground.
Grant Resources for Small Business Owners
These resources offered help get money for small business owners who are just starting out.
- Rockville Economic Development Inc
- Maryland Women’s Business Center
- Small Business Association Grants
- Maryland Department of Labor
- Maryland Small Business Development Centers
- State Grants
- Maryland grants
- Seed Fund
- Maryland State Art Council
- Artist Grants
- Creativity Grants
- Rockville Art Council Grants
Non-Governmental Grant Resources
Readiness Steps for Applying for Grants and Contracts
- Know your Offerings and Capabilities
- Have a Business Plan
- Have your Financial Statements: Information about your business expenses
- Create your Business Goals (5 – 10 years)
- Have a Business Bank Account
- Have your Tax-ID, Tax Documents, and Article of incorporation
- Establish your Business Website
- Obtain relevant certifications; small business certification, woman-owned business certification, minority business owner certification.
Other Tips for Finding Grants for Your Small Business
- Build strategic relationships by connecting/partnering with the right people
- Partner with other organizations that align with your mission
- Talk about your business needs so your network thinks of you when opportunities present themselves.
- Filter through grant opportunities to select grants where you have realistic shots
- Don’t give up if you get Nos, practice makes progress, The Yes does come if you persist in asking.