Q: How long has the Amber Grant been awarded?
A. The Amber Grant Foundation was set up in 1998 to help women small business owners. Today, we award $4,000 per month to one recipient; additional grants are often awarded as well. Twelve Amber Grant recipients (one each month from December-November) are then considered for a year-end grant of $25,000. This announcement is usually made in mid-December.
WomensNet and the Amber Grant have received national media exposure in outlets like Forbes, USA Today and Yahoo! for their work in helping women-owned businesses.
Q: How do you pick the WomensNet Amber Grant winner each month?
A: It’s a simple, straightforward process. The WomensNet Advisory Board carefully evaluates grant applications daily and selects monthly finalists — typically 5. At the end of each month, we discuss each finalist and vote to determine a winner. We usually announce the grant winner(s) ~10 days into a new month.
Businesses selected for a monthly Amber Grant are automatically eligible for the year-end Amber Grant ($25,000). While considering Voting results, check-ups with the monthly Amber Grant winners and other factors, we’ll award the $25,000 in December of 2020. You can view the 2019 announcement on this page.
Q: Who selects the grant winners?
A: Our WomensNet Advisory Board.
Q: What criteria do you use to select a grant winner?
A. We’re looking for three basic things:
1. Your story. We’re looking for qualities like passion, business savvy, and vision. Women who believe in what they’re doing tend to make us believers, too.
2. Plans for growing/starting your business. We’re not looking for a formal business plan. Just some explanation of how you’ll achieve business success. It might include some mention of your market, your team, the things you’ve overcome so far, and the challenges you still face.
3. Plans for the grant money. Tell us how you would invest the money if you won. Be as detailed as you can.
Q: What requirements are there for applying for an Amber Grant?
A. We request that businesses be at least 50% women-owned for consideration. The business must be based in either the U.S. or Canada. And the applicant must be a minimum of 18 years old.
Q: Why do you charge an application fee?
A. The fee makes the grant and operation of the site — including reviewing each application, much like a college application — possible. If you would like us to consider waiving your application fee, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: If I apply for one month and don’t receive a grant am I automatically enrolled for the next month?
A. Since the grants run on a month-to-month basis, we only consider applicants that applied in that specific months’ time frame. Yes, you can re-apply, but you should only consider doing that when something significant has changed to your business model or circumstances that has positively impacted your company.
When you’re ready, you can re-apply through the same application page and pay the $15 application review fee. This new policy is effective July 1, 2020.
Q: Do I need a website to apply?
A. You don’t. However, it’s very helpful if you provide a social media profile from your company — ideally Facebook.
Q: What are your social media accounts?
A. We mostly focus on Facebook, where we have a great community.
Q: Are non-profits eligible?
A. We only consider for-profit businesses.
Q: What types of businesses do you select as winners?
A. Grant winners aren’t limited to any “type” of business. We’ve had all kinds receive grants — from food tours to literacy programs. Below is a short list of past winners: