Since the beginning of time, females have always been special. They have special privileges that men simply do not have. Women have used these privileges for good, and also for bad. Women should know the power that they have, and use it.
These privileges extend even as far as their businesses. It's a fact that the proportion of Grants and Incentives for women who want to have their own business far outweigh those of their male counterparts. Women, know the power you have, and use it!
In 2013, I had to make the decision to close my store that I had since 2007. I found myself in debt and an unhappy place, trying to keep the business afloat. But I had to realize, keeping it open was doing more damage than good. (Side note: Know when its time to let go! That's another blog post by itself.) I had no business, and no income coming in. I had no other stream of income coming in (yet, another blog post). I had 4 young children and we were struggling to get by. At my lowest point, I vowed to never be in that position again, and I made calculated steps to get myself back to the TOP!
So, there I was, two new business ideas: no funds to get them started. I had exhausted all my other resources, or so I thought.
The fact is, there are various opportunities for women to get capital (some of which you don't have to repay) to get your business going.
Here are the steps you need to take to ensure you get in on the MONEY!
1. Make sure you have a Registered Business
No Investor wants to give away money to someone who doesn't have their shit together. It takes a maximum of 3 weeks to have that Certificate of Incorporation in your hands, as long as you complete all the processes efficiently. Take a week or two, decide what type of business you want to incorporate, send out surveys and questionnaires to make sure your idea would be profitable, and get going. Also, ensure you have a business plan.
2. Make sure your Idea is in line with a greater good
Investors love projects that bring about a greater good to society. There are hundreds of grants available with the following categories:
a) Private Grants - funded by an individual or organization who has a personal interest in promoting certain kinds of activities through their generosity. They give to Foundations and Non-Profits. This kind of business is more likely to receive funding because of the benefits to minority groups. It's also a huge tax break for the giving organization.
Corporate grants are developed and administered by companies who wish to fund projects that either enhance their reputations or have a reasonable chance of producing benefits to the funding company. Some companies and organizations have a history of making grants available for women to use for education or career advancement.
c)Professional Grants - Professional grants are usually made by non-profit organizations and universities within a given profession to advance the status of individual members of the profession and the status of the profession itself. Many professional women’s organizations offer career development or advancement grants for use by members of the profession for travel, education or counseling.
3. Search Locally for Grants that fall within your project objective
My project was an online digital Magazine for moms called 21st Century Mom Magazine. The main result was to help moms be the best they can be to themselves and their loved ones, focusing on entrepreneurship, so they can increase their income and add value to their household. This initiative would in-turn create a better society of more confident moms and generally put them in a better economic category.
So I started looking. Here are some of the places I approached and the links to their websites:
Digicel Foundation - http://digicelpngfoundation.org/apply-for-funding/
Caribbean Airlines - http://www.caribbean-airlines.com/index.php/contact-us/sponsorship-requests/apply-for-sponsorship
Digicel Epic Program - https://www.digicelgroup.com/tt/en/mobile/explore/other-stuff/digicel-foundation-e-p-i-c-programme.html
Blink|Bmobile Foundation - http://www.tstt.co.tt/blink-bmobile-foundation
Ministry of Community Development - http://www.community.gov.tt/home/node/1254
TTConnect - https://www.ttconnect.gov.tt/gortt/portal/ttconnect/!ut/p/a1/jdDBCoJAEAbgp_HqjIqV3TyUqVFpWLqXUNhWw1zRTXv81FOBWXOb4fvhZ4BACKSIm4zFIuNFnPc7mV1cT0XdNjS0jEBB1ffM3dyxNTwoHYjewd631h1Y6crGPWmI-F8ev4z5M3-kBZyBTLK-xScYqTmAiR4OEJbzZPhJZBaJtmBAKnqlFa3kR9WdUyHKeimhhG3byoxzllNZCAnHEimvBYQfEMp7ED7tm543W_MFWUCA9Q!!/dl5/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/gortt/wcm/connect/gortt+web+content/TTConnect/Business/Role/AnNGO/GrantsandFunding/The+Sport+and+Culture+Fund
The U.S. Embassy - https://tt.usembassy.gov/education-culture/request-grant-proposals/?_ga=1.156690043.1780789102.1471026350
You can also write to your local Chamber, Government Organizations and Large Corporations and ask for sponsorship or a grant for your project. The more you approach, the more likely you would be approved by at least one potential Investor.
Some may take longer to respond, but please, follow up every week or so. You want to avoid your proposal being dumped or not attended to. Follow up is key to actually getting that cheque in your hand!
Good luck, and happy applying. I'd love to know your needs. Feel free to comment below.
Love and Light