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!
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!
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.
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!
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)
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.
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.
Bank of America, in partnership with Seneca Women, announced the launch of the Bank of America Access to Capital Directory. This platform was created to help educate women-owned businesses in the U.S. on navigating the capital landscape and identify potential sources of funding, such as equity, debt and grant capital. Click here to read the press release. Click here to access the directory.
Yael Vizel is the founder of the startup, Zeekit, which uses artificial intelligence to enable customers to try on clothes via a virtual platform. Vizel is also one of the only Israeli women to seal a nine-figure exit deal with an acquirer (in this case Walmart). This article shares a fascinating interview with her as she discusses the deal and also the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur.
Sallie Krawcheck, one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street from positions at Bank of America and Citigroup, is the CEO of Ellevest, a digital financial company for women that she co-founded in 2014. In this interview with NPR’s “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal, she shared thoughts on what the COVID pandemic has specifically meant for women’s personal finances.
According to Krawcheck, “if pay is what you bring in, wealth is what you have and keep.” Prior to COVID, women’s wealth was approximately 32 cents to a white man’s dollar – and only one penny if only considering Black women. In this discussion, Krawcheck mentions how this has only become more severe during the pandemic and also shares strategies to close the gender wealth gap.