Women are making headway in the corporate world and breaking that proverbial glass ceiling. That doesn’t stop the allure of getting out there and doing your own thing. But let’s face it: startups require money and support. There are several startup funding opportunities for women. Let’s take a look.
A startup isn’t necessarily a small business
This statement might seem a little confusing, but bear with us. Starting a small business is considered a startup; however, more accurately, it is referred to as a small business startup.
Sure enough, a startup can be a small business, but they’re not limited to small businesses. In fact, in business terms, a startup is a business with the potential to reach a large target market within a small space of time.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at four startup funding opportunities for women.
1. Making use of incubators and accelerators
Incubator startups form part of a collaborative network that has the sole purpose of allowing a startup to flourish. Startups need access to training, funding, and ongoing best practices which can be hard to access. This is true for niche industries.
However, more and more incubator programmes are popping up across various industries. These include:
On the other hand, an accelerator programme is investment-oriented and looks at the fastest way to grow a business. There are several seed and angel investors in the UK that assist up-and-comers. Blooming Founders and AccelerateHER are two such organisations.
2. Programmes that provide startup funding opportunities for women
There are a number of groups and organisations that provide funding and support for women-owned startups. Narrowing it down by industry, the type of business, or special initiatives will make a world of difference. This way, it’s easy to find opportunities that match your niche and provide the support you actually need.
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology offers two awards that provide cash grants for initiatives within the technology field. Cash grants range from £1,000 to £50,000.
The Female Founders Fund is another institute with the sole purpose of creating startup funding opportunities for women. Furthermore, it focuses on internet-based businesses and eCommerce sites. However, it requires an equity stake in the business.
3. Franchising opportunities for women
Female Franchise is a great starting block for women looking to get into a franchise. It provides educational support for women who want to start low-cost businesses.
Whichfranchise.com is not specifically geared towards female business owners. However, it has an entire page dedicated to support for female franchise owners. Furthermore, it provides helpful links, upcoming networking opportunities and links to potential funders.
4. Other support areas for women in startups
Education and networking are two components that will help women in startup businesses to scale. Organisations such as The Businesswoman’s Network and Women in Business Network (WIBN) arrange networking opportunities to allow like-minded women to support each other’s business. Furthermore, these events have educational slots and funding rounds.