Yes, there are available government grants for single moms to start their businesses in the United States of America. The fact that single moms have to carter for their kids alone and also take care of themselves means that they can only survive if they receive some form of support from the government and other stakeholders such as nonprofit organizations.
According to the 2021 U.S. Census Bureau, out of about 11 million single parent families with children under the age of 18, nearly 80 percent were headed by single mothers. Of all single-parent families in the U.S., single mothers make up the majority. About 4 out of 10 children were born to unwed mothers.
It is important to note that there are quite a few business grants available for single moms to start their businesses in the United States—and the government indeed provides a substantial amount of funding for small business grants. If you are seeking grants to start or sustain an already established business as a single mom, here are the top grants to consider.
Available Government Grants for Single Moms Starting a Business
- Federal Grants (Grants.gov)
- National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
- SBIR Grants (Small Business Innovation Research)
- MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency)
- NASE Growth Grants (National Association for the Self-Employed)
- (SBA) Small Business Administration
- InnovateHER Challenge
- Women’s Business Centers
- Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program
Federal Grants (Grants.gov)
One of the options that a single mom has when sourcing grants for business is Federal Grants (Grants.gov). These grants are mainly awarded to businesses cum companies meeting the size standards established by the United States Small Business Administration among other requirements. You can double-check that you are eligible for a grant by viewing other requirements from their website.
National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) runs an annual grant program that is available only to their 50,000 members and single moms who are in business are encouraged to join. To become a NASE member, you have to pay $120 per year for a basic membership.
NASE offers members networking and mentorship resources, discounts on business products, and legislative advocacy. In exchange for membership, members are also offered exclusive access to grants and scholarships. Since 2006, NASE has offered nearly $1 million in grant money to members.
To qualify for their Growth Grants program—in addition to being a NASE member—you must demonstrate a specific business need that could be aided by the grant. You must also show how the grant will improve your business’s overall growth and success and include a resume and business plan. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website.
SBIR Grants (Small Business Innovation Research)
Small Business Innovation Research program was implemented by Congress. This program awards approximately $2 billion to small businesses each year and a good number of single moms have benefited from this grant. Eligibility requirements include owning a small business with less than 500 employees.
The business must be for-profit, be in the United States, and be owned by a United States citizen. The grant amount depends on what the business would like to do with it. The purpose is to use the money to conduct research to grow the business. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website.
MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency)
MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency) funds organizations that help small business owners who are considered part of the minorities. These organizations help minority business owners of which single moms are included by providing counseling and financial assistance.
Organizations that wish to help business owners who are minorities can apply for assistance from the Minority Business Development Agency. The Grant amount depends on how many minority business owners there are in a community where the organization is located.
NASE Growth Grants (National Association for the Self-Employed)
Single moms and other small business owners can seek money to grow or start their businesses by turning to the National Association for the self-employed. The money can be used for computers, hiring employees, marketing, and farm equipment.
All applicants must be NASE members, prove they have financial needs, and be able to explain what they would do with the money. A resume and a business plan must be passed in with the application. The Grant amount depends on what the business needs; however, it doesn’t exceed $5,000.
(SBA) Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration is brought to you by the United States Government. It helps people who are small business owners or those hoping to start one. It provides numerous resources and financial assistance programs.
There are no eligibility requirements. You simply need to either run a business or want to run one. There are many grants available. They all differ in how much they award business owners. You can get more info about this grant by visiting their official website.
As a single mom who is in business, if you are looking for a comprehensive resource for grants for women, Grantsforwomen.org is a great resource. Grants and Scholarships for Women is actually a database found at GrantsforWomen.org.
You can search for scholarship opportunities and grants for women, but be forewarned—most are for non-business purposes.
As a single mom who is up for a little friendly competition, you can sign up for this annual competition hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in order to receive funding for your business. To participate, you must enter the competition at a local level and run a business or have a marketable product or service that impacts women in a positive way.
The winner of the local competition advances to the semifinals and the top three national finalists all win $40,000, $20,000, and $10,000 based on their ranking. You can find more information about deadlines and locations for the challenge in your area by visiting their official website.
Women’s Business Centers
Women’s Business Centers is yet another friendly organization that offers grants that covers single moms who run small businesses. About 100 SBA-sponsored women’s business centers exist throughout the United States of America. They are designed to assist women (single moms inclusive) with growing their small businesses.
While the agencies provide counseling and training on various topics, they may also help you find local grants that you may qualify for and help walk you through the application process. To search for a local Women’s Business Center in your area, you can visit their official website.
Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program
The federal government has created a program that works to award at least 5% of federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses (single mom inclusive) annually.
Via this SBA program, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership makes available top-notch support to women entrepreneurs by offering business training, counseling, federal contracts, and access to credit and capital. They aim to provide equal opportunities for all women in business.
If you are just starting your business as a single mom, and need some grants to help get things going, then you should consider these grant programs noted above. Note that applying for a grant can be quite daunting and technical, and it is important you first ensure that you are eligible before applying. Coupled with the legal and administrative prerequisites, there may be ongoing reporting and auditing requirements.