Each month, we send an email blast to students enrolled in the program with a list of funding opportunities and business resources. In between the monthly email blasts, we keep this spreadsheet updated daily with new opportunities that we find (the last column indicates the date when the item was added to the spreadsheet): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zU5SUCYBopz64FM4q_nqp2wvILmcdItq_PRWQRXFUB4/edit?usp=sharingMore
Success Is Never Guaranteed And Requires Perpetual Work
Monique Rodriguez, self-made millionaire and founder of Mielle Organics, founded her natural hair care brand in the wake of losing her son at eight months of pregnancy. She decided to leave her career as a nurse and pour her energy into her startup which would also enable her to cope with her post-partum depression. That creative outlet that helped her get through the trauma of losing her son has become a multimillion-dollar brand sold in over 100,000 stores across the U.S.
Rodriquez mentions that the best career advice she’s ever received came from her husband who said, “Success, if not owned, is rented — and rent is due everyday. Don’t get complacent, don’t get comfortable, and never feel like you ‘made it.’ Because when you get to that place, there’s always someone trying to take your spot. You have to continue working and striving as if you know [your spot] is not guaranteed.” To read more about Rodriguez’s journey, check out this piece on CNBC.
Extra Education Supports Becoming An Entrepreneur
According to this piece in Fast Company, during 2021 alone, over 5 million new companies were registered in the US alone which is an increase of 23% over the previous year. While some of this increase can be attributed to the impact of the global pandemic, research is suggesting that education is playing a role as well.
While some experts have felt that continuing education is more about “signaling rather than skill development”, this new research is providing evidence that additional years of post-high school education can boost self-employment in high-growth industries. Research goes on to point out that, “for women, education may have an even greater impact on encouraging them to jump into entrepreneurship by increasing their confidence in addition to their skills.”
Education is certainly something we believe in at the Institute! If you (or someone you know) would benefit from our free 12-week entrepreneurship certificate program, go to this page and click the “Join the Waitlist” button. We enroll on a quarterly basis and reach out to those on the notification list in the order that they are there.
Spreadsheet With Funding Sources
Back in January 2022, we posted a link to a Google sheet we keep updated each day with global, regional and local grant opportunities being offered to small business owners. Updates to this list get emailed out to those enrolled in our program at the beginning of each month, but we are reposting a link to the spreadsheet here (so it is more visible in the list of posts) so all can take advantage of the latest and greatest information we have!
Expert Money Advice For Women From Women
Studies have found that women tend to have less financial literacy than men. Given the number of resources available, this statistic can truly become a thing of the past. This article in GO Banking Rates highlights advice from female money experts and is worth scrolling through even if you think your finances are in great shape.
One expert shared that all women need to have control of “the big three” – being consumer debt free (no credit cards or auto loans); having an emergency reserve fund; and be contributing to a retirement plan. Other experts share advice including the importance of paying yourself first, having a handle on your cash flow and max-ing out any savings plans with tax advantages. The best piece of advice though is that there are no more excuses. Use the resources you can find and take the time and make sure your financial literacy is strong!
Repost: Spreadsheet With Funding Sources
We made a post about this back in January 2022, but here is an update – we find a lot of regional and local grant opportunities being offered to small business owners as funding from the American Rescue Plan Act continues to trickle down to state and local levels.
We keep this spreadsheet updated daily with new opportunities that we find.
Funding Opportunities in 2022
We are noticing a lot of regional and local grant opportunities being offered to small business owners as funding from the American Rescue Plan Act trickles down from the federal to state to local levels for distribution.
We will keep this spreadsheet updated with new opportunities that we find. Check back each day and see if one will work for you!
3 Ways the Government Is Stepping Up to Support Small Business in 2022
According to this article from Inc., small businesses can look for support from the US Government (via the Small Business Administration) in three areas:
1. Help with securing federal contracts (there will be higher procurement goals for small businesses businesses-especially those run by women, veterans and those located in historically underutilized business zones
2. Added money for resources (allocating additional funds for the agency’s staffing needs may help alleviate some of the customer service and processing glitches the agency encountered during the pandemic)
3. Elevating women-owned businesses (The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership will now report directly to the Office of the Administrator)
Biden Administration Announces Reforms Level Playing Field for Underserved Small Business Owners
This December 2, 2021 release from the White House highlights that while the US federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, less than 10 percent of those federal contracting dollars typically go to small disadvantaged businesses (SBDs). In addition, while women own roughly 20 percent of all US small businesses, less than 5 percent of federal contracting dollars go to women-owned small businesses. This press piece also shares information about a new set of reforms to the federal procurement process to help meet the current administration’s target of increasing the share of federal contracts to SDBs during Fiscal Year 2022 to 11 percent.
Polishing Your Pitch
Kat Weaver completed the Women’s Entrepreneurship certificate program in early 2020 and just wrote in to tell us how much she learned and how it helped propel her to start her second company, Power To Pitch. Kat wanted to share some of her wisdom with the students in our program and we are so thankful that she graciously agreed to let us post her advice on our website. Kat states:
Are you making these pitch presentation mistakes?
If you’ve positioned yourself for an opportunity in front of an investor, retailer, or to pitch at a business competition you might only have one chance to make a lasting impression.
I’ve seen the same mistakes made over and over, essentially costing great business ideas and their owners, funding, partnerships, and opportunities.
My name is Kat and I’m the founder of Power to Pitch. I started my first business, Locker Lifestyle in college after being a victim of theft. I had no money to launch so I entered every pitch competition I could find, eventually winning all 22 of them.
After receiving hundreds of questions from individuals asking how I won six figures worth of equity-free funding, I founded Power To Pitch to help entrepreneurs build the confidence to pitch themselves to success.
Here are my top tips to get yourself ahead of the competition:
- LEAD WITH YOUR STORY, WHY, OR INSPIRATION: I see most entrepreneurs lead with the explanation of their product or service which does not hook or emotionally connect with the audience. I coach every business owner I work with to start with their story. Whether it’s a grant judge, investor or retailer you’re looking to impress, think of the number of pitches they hear all day. What will stick out? Think – they’re investing in YOU as an individual before your business.
- TALK COMPETITION. Most business owners are afraid to bring up their top competitors. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to put yourself ahead. I don’t recommend outright bashing who they are and what they do. Instead, talk about their core offerings, THEN lead into how you’re better. Be as specific as possible to showcase that you’re aware of the market you serve.
- WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE MONEY? One of the biggest mistakes I see is the lack of specificity when talking about the allocation of funding. If you’re pitching for a grant or to an investor, they will want to know EXACTLY what you need the money for and how it will be used. For example, if you’re applying for a $10k grant and you say “we need it for marketing, web development, and packaging”, you’ve already lost your audience. You need to be as specific as possible when describing your business needs. The more detail you can give, the more confidence they will have in you. Instead, say something along the lines of “we need $2,500 for ad spend in Facebook marketing to reach x demographic in x time with a goal ROAS of x. We need $5,400 to hire a developer to optimize the homepage and checkout of our website to optimize our sales funnel for x amount of customers driven to our site each month.” and so on.
There is no EXACT formula to writing a pitch, but by avoiding these mistakes, you are already ahead of the competition!
Many thanks to Kat for sharing her wisdom with us and allowing us to post it on our site. If you want to learn more about Kat and her pitch competition tips, head to www.powertopitch.com.