Women’s History Month 2022 – SmartBiz Loans

Grant options for women-owned businesses

Here are some good places to start your search for public or private grant opportunities:

  • Grants.gov
  • Challenge.gov
  • SBIR.gov
  • GrantsforWomen.org

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

The SBDC program offers management and business counseling services. The SBDC is the SBA’s largest non-financing program and is a collaboration of SBA funding along with state and private resources. Currently, more than 950 service centers handle counseling and training needs of roughly 650,000 clients annually.

Manufacturing, procurement, technology transfer, disaster recovery, technology, market research and international trade are emphasized. To learn more about the SBDC program or to locate an SBDC near you, visit the SBA’s website.

Office of Women’s Business Ownership

The Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs. Economically or socially disadvantaged women are offered training and counseling in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.

Office of Entrepreneurship Education

Here’s the mission statement of this office:
“The Office of Entrepreneurship Education’s mission is to provide entrepreneurial information and education, resources and tools to help small businesses succeed. The office is an integral component of Entrepreneurial Development’s network of training and counseling services.”

Women-Owned Business Success Story

SmartBiz Loans is proud of our record of supporting minority-owned businesses, including women-owned. In 2022, we reconnected with Katie Basson who runs her million-dollar company from a home office in Newburyport, MA.

Birch Tree Promotions® specializes in high-end promotional products for a variety of clients across the U.S. From customized leather bags to branded fleece, Birch Tree offers clients unique flair and stellar service. Basson says the best part of being a female small business owner is that you have limitless possibilities. “If I keep working hard I can create something that will grow and last.”

Fulfilling orders, shipping, and supply chain issues started almost immediately when the pandemic began. “Everything stopped. In process orders were canceled and we weren’t sure when we’d be back in the office,” Katie says. Her business was able to pivot successfully in the new normal. “In summer 2021, our customers got into the rhythm and groove for remote work. We created cool wellness packages for work-from-home employees.”

Katie received two forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans during the pandemic through her local bank and used the funds for payroll. Since then, she’s added a full time project manager and a part time web developer to her remote team. She fully automated the fulfillment process through a new platform that facilitates packing and same day shipping.

Katie says, “It’s an exciting time for women. I’m hoping to see a wellspring of entrepreneurship. Working from home has worked very well for me. When I started my business, I liked being in the house when they came home.”

Katie believes that she’s been working with big companies because they sought out a woman owned business, meeting diversity goals. So far, the big business driver has been word-of-mouth.

Additional resources

Want to learn more about the women who have been granted an SBA loan facilitated by SmartBiz Loans? Check out these small business stories on the SmartBiz Small Business Blog:

Visit the SmartBiz blog for additional information to help your business move forward and thrive.

National Business Women’s Week® is celebrated every year during the third week of October. It provides a valuable opportunity to recognize and honor working women, and employers who support working women and their families. Stay tuned for information about how to celebrate this important observation.

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