“A mother is a person, who upon seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”- Tenneva Jordan
There is no denying that single mothers make plenty of sacrifices for their families.
While their selflessness sometimes forces them to tighten their belts so they can provide for their children, it can also stop them from pursuing their dreams.
If you are a single mother whose personal ambition is to start or expand your own business, you should consider the many business grant options available to you. Because grants don’t have to be repaid, you can better your family’s future without sacrificing their present.
While the Small Business Administration, or SBA, does not provide business grants for single mothers who need to start or expand small businesses, they do provide grants for specific business development.
Two such grants are:
- Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)- This federal grant program is designed to help small businesses understand their technological potential. This type of grant specifically targets entrepreneurs and provides small businesses with the funds they need to begin their research and development. It also encourages the commercialization of products, services, and technology that can stimulate the economy.
- Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)- STTR involved a three phrase program that allows single mothers in small businesses to research, explore, and develop the commercial, scientific, or technical feasibility of a product or service.
If you do not qualify for a grant from the SBA for research or you need money for different purposes, you may qualify for a loan. While these must be repaid, they may help you start your business or expand it. For more information, visit www.sba.gov.
Single Parents Association of America
The Single Parents Association of America, also known as the SPAOA, is an organization that provides single mothers and single fathers with the information, benefits, and resources they need.
Single mothers can benefit from SPAOA membership when they need to find business grants, financial aid, medical insurance discounts, and education benefits.
Applying for membership to the SPAOA is free, and you can do so at www.spaoa.org. Because this organization is dedicated to providing the single mothers they serve with information on where to obtain third-party business grants, you may be able to find a grant to start or grow your small business.
Community Development Financial Institution
Does your business specialize in developing underserved and low-income markets? If so, you may be able to take advantage of the many tax credits, loans, and grants offered by the Community Development Financial Institution fund, or CDFI.
This program is run by the U.S. Treasury Department and promotes funding for small business through:
- Investments, training support, technical assistance, and financial assistance in the form of loans and grants.
- Providing tax credits to those who invest in low income communities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program or NMTC.
- Providing incentives to banks who are interested in investing in their communities through its Bank Enterprise Award Program or BEA.
For many single mothers, the loans and grants available through CDFI are especially needed. The CDFI assists many small businesses by awarding funds the business would not be able to obtain through traditional lenders.
These funds can be used to assist with economic development, such as creating new jobs, developing your business, and purchasing and building commercial real estate.
Information on the 2012 funds available from the CDFI can be found at www.cdfifund.gov. Also available are the dates in which you can apply. Certain funds can be obtained all year long, while others can only be applied for during certain months of the year.
Make Mine a Million $ Business
Make Mine a Million $ Business is an organization designed specifically to help women entrepreneurs obtain the funding they need to start and expand their own business.
They provide their members with several types of events on an online, local, and national level to help women all over the world develop relationships with other business-minded women, share thoughts and wisdom, and inspire each other.
Large events by this organization include competitions, where women present their business ideas to judges and a large audience. If they win the competition, the women are provided with business grants, assistance with marketing their business, and training.
Make Mine a Million $ Business also has many sponsors and lending partners who help this organization’s member gain access to financing for their business. If you are interested in becoming a member of this organization, visit www.makemineamillion.org.
Next Level Funding
While Next Level Funding, located at www.nextlevelfunding.com, does not provide grants for single mothers starting or expanding their own business, they do provide cash advances and loans for those who are unable to obtain the business grant they need or obtain a traditional loan due to bad credit.
They assist single mothers by offering:
- Credit card cash advance
- Restaurant finance advance
- Merchant cash advance
- Small business financing
- Business loans
- Unsecured loans
- Business lines of credit
- Merchant processing
Next Level Funding is an organization of business individuals who understand how hard it is for single mothers to obtain the grants and loans they need to start their own business, especially when they are burdened by bad credit. Because of this, they offer competitive rates without the need for collateral or personal guarantees.
Project Single Moms
Project Single Moms, or PSM, is a online community devoted to helping single mothers become educated and empowered.
They help to identify and create opportunities for single mothers in areas such as:
- Parenting skills
- Starting and Expanding a Business
- Financial Literacy
- Health and Wellness
To assist in educating single mothers on starting and growing a successful business, PSM offers a 12 week course called the Small Business Academy.
This course provides single mothers with all of the information they need to get a for-profit or non-profit business off the ground. This education also includes information on where women entrepreneurs can locate the funding they need to start, expand, and develop their business.
If you are a single mother, you may have given up on your dreams of starting your own business. While you may feel as if you have to sacrifice everything in order to keep your children happy and healthy, you don’t.
With a little help from a business grant from one of these sources, you can follow your heart and still be a wonderful mom.