In today’s small business landscape, women-owned businesses are leading the way. Women are starting as many businesses as anyone, and women of color are starting businesses at a faster pace than any other demographic. Yet these entrepreneurs face disproportionate challenges, including when it comes to getting funded.
Did you know, for instance, that women-owned businesses received less than 3% of venture capital in 2020?
Fortunately, there are plenty of dedicated resources available for women starting or growing their businesses. At Ruby, we’re passionate about connecting the communities we serve to these resources.
Here are a few national organizations—as well as regional resources in Oregon, Texas, and Arizona—to help women secure funding for their businesses and achieve their goals:
1. The National Association of Women Business Owners
The National Association of Women Business Owners is the only dues-based organization for women entrepreneurs, and offers different levels of membership for business owners, nonprofits, and students. Its mission is to propel women entrepreneurs into economic, social, and political spheres of power worldwide.
2. America’s SBDC
The America’s SBDC (Small Business Development Center) community offers free face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on various topics that promote, inform and support new and existing small businesses. The SBDC has almost 1,000 local centers hosted by universities, colleges, state economic development agencies, and private partners.
3. Black Women in Business
Established by Rose Chase Smith in 2014, Black Women in Business is a movement dedicated to a journey of self-confidence, sisterhood, and success for Black businesswomen in Texas. The movement supports new and existing businesses by offering practical knowledge, developing leadership skills, and building a strong and diverse network of business owners. Black Women in Business also supports Texas communities with food drives and fundraisers, and delivers services for seniors and at-risk individuals.
4. Black Girls CODE
Headquartered in San Francisco—with many chapters nationwide—Black Girls CODE is a leader in the global movement to establish equal representation in the tech sector. The organization, founded by Kimberly Bryant, is devoted to closing the opportunity gap for Black women and girl coders, building pathways for young women of color by introducing them to computer programming and technology skills.
5. Ladies Who Launch
Ladies Who Launch is a nonprofit that empowers women and non-binary small business owners and entrepreneurs with motivation, resources, and connections to scale the business of their dreams. Among other initiatives, the organization awards a one-time $10,000 cash grant through its Launch Program, with six months of mentorship, education, community, and amplification for selected applicants.
6. The Mom Project
The Mom Project supports professional parents returning to the workplace after pausing their careers to raise children. The organization is committed to helping women remain active in the workforce in every stage of their journey, so they don’t have to choose between family and a career. You can join as a jobseeker or as an employer looking for talent. The Mom Project also has a scholarship program, RISE, that provides upskill tech certifications, support, and job placement opportunities for moms and women of color.
7. Amber Grants for Women
As one of the first online organizations to give women-owned business grants, Amber Grants for Women (founded by WomensNet) awards $10,000 grants monthly to an entrepreneur who applies under one of twelve qualifying business categories. Those individuals are automatically entered to win the annual Amber Grant of $25,000. The organization is named in honor of Amber Wigdahl, who passed away at 19 before realizing her business dreams.
8. The Female Founders Fund
The Female Founders Fund specializes in early-stage fund investing in category-defining businesses founded by women, with an emphasis on brand investing in women-run internet and software startups. The fund is a leading source of institutional capital for female founders raising seed capital with over $3 billion in enterprise value, and partners with women-led tech companies to scout investments across the country.
MothersEsquire began as a small private Facebook group and served as a consulting and support system for women attorneys. Now, the membership-based platform provides support, resources, training, and networking opportunities to women lawyers, law firms, and legal employers about policies to help them retain valuable talent. Their first national conference will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 13, 2022.
10. The African-American Marketing Association
The African-American Marketing Association is a nonprofit for Black marketers and creatives and supports them in fostering growth and professional development with career and entrepreneurial goals. They offer free memberships giving access to networking opportunities and their national job board. This year’s summit, “Monetize Your Content,” will take place in Atlanta, Georgia on May 23, 2022.
Watch our conversations with Michelle Browning Coughlin of MothersEsquire and Michelle Ngome of the African-American Marketing Association:
11. Texas Woman's University’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs
TWU Center for Women Entrepreneurs is the country’s largest university system focused on women and have campuses in Dallas, Denton and Houston. Focused disciplines include Nursing, Education, Healthcare, Nutrition, Arts & Sciences, and Business. The organization is tied for fourth in the US for student diversity and received a Grade A in Black student representation from the University of Southern Carolina’s Race and Equity Center.
12. Big Impact HQ
Based in Austin, Texas, Big Impact HQ consults with 6 Figure professional women with international brands (including Marriot, Porsche, and Mary Kay—just to name a few). The organization strives to achieve global equity for women in the workplace by providing cutting-edge influence and leadership training on topics such as executive coaching, speech writing, and presentation coaching.
13. The Kansas City Women’s Business Center
The Kansas City Women’s Business Center operates as a program of the Enterprise Center of Johnson County and serves the Kansas City metropolitan area across state lines. They provide counseling services for women in all stages of business development and growth through classes, seminars, peer roundtables, one-on-one consultations, networking opportunities and referrals.
14. PDX Women in Tech (PDXWIT)
This nonprofit empowers Portland-area individuals in tech by offering community and skill-building events, mentorship and access to scholarship opportunities, mentorships and jobs. PDX Women in Tech is dedicated to nurturing community leaders, advocating for the underrepresented and inspiring chance while remaining dedicated to creating spaces for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, tech professionals over 50, women. and Indigenous humans.