Being a single mother is never easy – emotionally, raising a child on your own, you have to be both sets of parents and financially all the burden of financial supports falls squarely on your shoulders. And often, even in developed societies single parents are looked upon a tad suspiciously, more so if you are a woman.
If you’re a single mom contemplating the idea of starting your own business and are in search of government grants for single mothers, here’s the truth.
There isn’t any (no pun intended)
Unlike the myths that some may perpetuate, federal government and even private organizations hardly give free grant money for a for-profit business or an individual for that matter.
The Internet has seen a rise in the number of misleading articles on financial aid for single mothers in the form of small business grants.
The hard fact is, there isn’t any grant in place that provide single mothers with assistance when it comes to starting or financing their own small businesses.
While the government does have various types of grants which provide help to single mothers who want to pursue higher education, need house rent or housing assistance, medical support, etc – they categorically state that “The federal government does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business.”
Grants are those funds that do not require repayment and these facilities are not available to single mothers for starting a small businesses.
Small Business Grants for Women
There is an organization called the SBA – Small Business Administration, that as its name suggests is the government authority on small businesses. The SBA has the power to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs, but it doesn’t specifically provide small business grants for women.
This very obviously means that whether you are a single mother or not, the SBA will not give you a grant to start or aid small business – in fact it clearly states that it doesn’t give grants for starting or expanding any sort of small businesses, for any type of person.
There are exceptions though – certain businesses are given grants not directly from the SBA but from state or local authorities, providing they fall under the scope of the following – child care centers, creating energy efficient technology; and developing marketing campaigns for tourism.
However, contrary to popular belief these grants aren’t really free money, instead they necessitate that the person receiving the funds combine them with other grants, loans or financial assistance provisions.
SBA Loans for Single Mothers
If you are a single mother thinking about starting your own small business and hoping to receive free assistance from federal funds, you may want to reevaluate your option since all businesses involve taking risks and require some form of financial investment on your part.
However, not all hope is lost, as there are various federal and state governments and agencies that will help you in other ways, by aiding you to obtain low-cost SBA loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.1
These loans designed for business owners who may have trouble qualifying for a traditional bank loan and guaranteed by SBA should you default on your loan payments. To get a list of financing programs for which you may qualify, use SBA.gov’s Loans and Grants Search Tool.
The standards for SBA-qualifying loans are more flexible than those for other types of loans. However, most lenders will want to see a solid, well thought out business plan for your businesses in order to evaluate your loan request.2.
So don’t be fooled by what websites tell you about small business grants for single mothers! There isn’t any. If you’re unsure, the facts are always available at www.grants.gov – your FREE source to FIND and APPLY for federal grants.
- The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program provides venture capital to small businesses. [↩]
- Source: How to apply for an SBA Loan [↩]