At Fit Small Business, we know that a bootstrapping entrepreneur has the power to transform her community for the better. And while startup funding can be difficult to obtain, we know from experience that even a modest investment can be enough to kick-start a new enterprise.
That’s why we’re proud to offer the Fit Small Business Grant for Women-owned Business Startups. This grant, which will be awarded on March 2, 2020, will provide $5,000 of startup capital to a women-owned business that was formed in 2019.
The key dates to be aware of for our Grant for Women-owned Business Startups are:
- Application deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019
- Finalists will be announced: Monday, Feb. 10, 2020
- Grant winner will be announced: Monday, March 2, 2020
To be eligible for the Fit Small Business women-owned business grant, your business must be at least 51% women-owned, a for-profit, and formed after Jan. 1, 2019. In addition, you need to be a Fit Small Business Community Member, leave a review of at least one product or service, and submit a completed application by the deadline.
The eligibility requirements for the Fit Small Business Grant for Women-owned Startups are:
- Women-owned business: Women-owned businesses are defined as businesses that are at least 50% owned by women (e.g., if the business is owned by two people, at least one is a woman).
- For-profit business: Your business must be operating on a for-profit basis.
- U.S. based: Your business must be based in the United States.
- Startup business: Your business was started after Jan. 1, 2019.
- Fit Small Business Community member: You are a Fit Small Business Community member and have left at least one product or service review.
- Write a 500 to 1,000 word essay: Write an essay addressing what your business is, who the business owners are, what impact your business has on the community, who inspired you, and what this grant will do for your business.
- Application is submitted by the deadline: You must submit a full grant application by midnight ET, Dec. 31, 2019.
How to Apply
To apply for the Fit Small Business Grant for Women-owned Startups, you’ll need to join the Fit Small Business Community and submit a product or software review. Once you have submitted a review, copy the URL of your Fit Small Business Community profile page and paste it into the header of your 500 to 1,000 word application essay. Email your completed essay to us at email@example.com.
Step 1: Join the Fit Small Business Community
The Fit Small Business Community connects small business owners to our forums and review pages. This community network allows you to provide your insights and knowledge to other business owners by sharing your experiences, and to ask questions and seek opinions and advice from others.
How do you join the Fit Small Business Community? Simply leave a review of a software or service that you’ve used so other small business owners can learn from your experience. Step 2 explains this process in more detail.
Step 2: Leave a Product or Service Review
After joining the Fit Small Business Community you will need to submit a software review. We’ve provided step-by-step instructions below to help guide you through the process, and to ensure you receive credit for your review when submitting your grant application.
How to Leave a Software Review on Fit Small Business
There are four steps you need to take to submit a Fit Small Business Community Member review, and ensure you receive credit for that review on your application.
The four steps for submitting a product or service review are: Read More
1. Log in with LinkedIn to Leave a Software Review
Go to our software review page and log in using your LinkedIn profile. Using your LinkedIn profile allows you to immediately connect to our community and to submit your review.
2. Submit a Review of Any of the Software Listed on Our Site
Once you have logged in, search for the software you’d like to review under Software Name. Complete the fields to rate your overall experience with the software, ease of use, pricing, and customer service. Remember, the more detailed the review the better since startups like yours will depend on them.
Be sure to check out the link entitled, “How to make sure your review gets approved,” prior to completing the remainder of the form. Using the tips provided, proceed to answer the remaining questions in the form. To complete the review, provide a screenshot of you logged into your software to verify you are a current user.
3. Visit Your Profile on Our Site
After submitting your review, visit your profile by clicking on your image next to the orange search box on the upper right side of the page.
4. Copy the URL of Your Profile Page
Once you have reached your profile page, copy the URL, and include the link in your application when you submit it. The link should be included in the header of your written essay, and will be reviewed by our judges as part of the evaluation process.
Step 3: Copy and Paste FSB Community Member URL
Once you have completed a software or product review, visit your community profile on our site and copy the URL address of your profile page. Paste the URL into the header of your application essay.
The header for your essay should include the following information:
- Applicant name
- Business name
- Fit Small Business Community profile URL
- Email address
The header for your grant application essay should look like this:
Step 4: Write an Essay
To be considered complete, your application must include a 500 to 1,000 word essay describing:
- What your business purpose is and who the owners are: Tell us about your for-profit business, including how your business meets the women-owned business requirement.
- What impact your business has on the community: Tell us how your startup will make an impact in your community.
- Who inspired you: Tell us about the female business leaders, entrepreneurs, or role models in your life that inspired you.
- What this grant will do for your business: Tell us how you plan to use the $5,0000 grant.
Your application must also include a link to your Fit Small Business Community profile. In order to be deemed eligible for this grant, you need to be a member of our Fit Small Business Community, and have submitted at least one product or service review. See the instructions above explaining how to meet this requirement.
Step 5: Email Your Application Essay
After completing your application, you can submit it for consideration by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Keep in mind that your submission must be received by midnight EST on Dec. 31, 2019 to be eligible.
Why Fit Small Business Offers the Women-owned Business Grant
At Fit Small Business we pride ourselves on providing information, analysis, and resources to help small businesses succeed. Having bootstrapped a small business, Fit Small Business co-founders, David Waring and Marc Prosser understand the impact that even a modest investment can make on the trajectory of a new venture.
In fact, David and Marc launched Fit Small Business in 2013 with an initial investment of around $5,000 but have since grown into a profitable company that employs over 150 people globally. The Fit Small Business Grant for Women-owned Startups is a way for us to give another emerging business the opportunity to thrive.
A 2019 report issued by Guidant Financial and LendingClub found that female entrepreneurs’ greatest challenge is the lack of startup capital and cash flow available to their business. The study also reveals the top five funding methods for women-owned businesses are personal cash, money from friends and family, rollover for business startups (ROBS), lines of credit, and unsecured loans.
Our intent at Fit Small Business is to help other small businesses grow and prosper, providing them with resources not readily available when David and Marc were navigating the formation of their new business. The purpose of this small business grant is to assist one deserving business, owned by a female entrepreneur, with the capital needed to make its startup successful.
How the Fit Small Business Women-Owned Business Grant is Judged
We have assembled a team of judges from the various divisions of Fit Small Business. Our team of judges is looking for a business with a unique and inspirational story that has a good plan for utilizing the funds. They’ll also consider the impact your business has on your community.
The judges for this year’s Fit Small Business Women-owned Business Grant are:
The Fit Small Business Grant for Women-owned Startups offers $5,000 to one women-owned business. To be eligible your startup needs to have been started in the last 12 months, you need to be a member of the Fit Small Business Community, and have submitted at least one product or service review to our site. The deadline for application is Dec. 31, 2019, and the winner will be announced in March 2020.