Small Business Funding for Mamapreneurs
Every small business owner knows that a little help goes a long way. While most of our mama members are bootstrapping (aka self-funding) their businesses, several have been applicants and recipients of financial assistance. When funds are tight, especially in your first few years of business, cash prizes and grants can help make your business dreams a reality. But researching the various opportunities out there can be time consuming and overwhelming. That's why we've compiled a list of funding opportunities available to Canadian Mamapreneurs.
When we were in our first few years, we were the proud recipient of Start Up Canada's Women Entrepreneur Award, These funds ($2000) allowed us to launch our online learning program which has now been a key element in our member perks.
SheEO headed up by Vicki Saunders awards several women-run business every single year with cash prizes. They also offer a strong network of women entrepreneurs that their award recipients can tap into.
This year we have applied for PayPal's $15000 Small Business Makeover. PayPal has been an essential tool in allowing us to generate revenue online. Their grant offers a few business owners with their a $15000 website makeover or back-end revamp. In any event, we solute PayPal and all they do to help small business owners succeed online.
Futurpreneur is an organization dedicated to providing financing, mentorship and tools to young entrepreneurs age 18-39. While many of our mama members are over the age of 40, several are still eligible.
In the spring of 2018 FedEx launched it's first small business grant. No word at this time if they will offer the grant again, but you can read about the 2018 winners here.
RBC's is well known for supporting entrepreneurs, and their Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with Women of Influence offers female business owners the chance to apply for several different categories of awards.
Just a few weeks ago, Mary Ng, the Canadian minister of small business and export promotion, announced a new initiative, the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, a two-year $20-million commitment to invest directly in women-owned and women-led businesses across all sectors of the economy to help them grow and reach export markets.
One of our member businesses HELM App has developed a program to provide women entrepreneurs with childcare assistance, so they have the time they need to focus on running and growing their businesses. Together with Brookfield Institute, Ryerson University and the Government of Ontario, HELM aims to make it easier for mamaprenuers to achieve their business dreams by providing successful applicants with free childcare for a period of time.
And last but not least, our own Mamapreneur Fund is a grant that we award one deserving mama member with a cash prize in addition to free membership and other perks. While this opportunity is open to our Mamas & Co. members only, we do hope to expand upon this fund each year so we can award larger prizes to more women. Our 2018 recipient was member Allison Venditti of Career Love. Applications for the 2019 Mamapreneur Fund will open in summer of 2019. If you're interested in applying, we recommend you become a member ASAP.