Women's Net Blog

video conferencing from home

8 Tips for Holding Zoom Meetings from Home

With many in-person meetings temporarily halted, online meetings on platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts have become the new normal. And while the content of many meetings may be much the same, there is a new set of behavior standards everyone needs to learn. Instead of walking into a room and taking a […]

person downhill skiing

Amber Grant Application Critique: Granite Performance

Torey Lee Brooks’ Amber Grant application for Granite Performance, her youth athlete coaching program, was strong in a lot of areas, but missed some information that would have made it a stronger contender. The WomensNet advisory board went back through the application, line by line, to try and point out the strengths and weaknesses, in […]

tree illustration with business terms

How to write a short-but-effective business plan

When you hear the term “business plan,” you probably picture a book-length document filled with pages and pages of financial statements. That’s what many of us picture, because that’s what many of us were taught a business plan should look like. It had to be long and full of details regarding your idea, how you’ll […]

trax platform at beach

Winning Grant Funding Propelled Access Trax Forward

A course in assistive technology changed Kelly Twichel’s and Eric Packard’s career paths. The two were in graduate school in 2016 at the University of St. Augustine studying to become occupational therapists. As part of their coursework, the class teammates were challenged to invent a product that would assist individuals with disabilities in their daily […]

Kiva logo overlayed on landscape

Why Kiva May be a Solid Option for Startup Funding

While grants that you don’t have to pay back are certainly a preferred means of getting the money needed to start a business, securing a low interest loan is a potential Plan B. As long as the interest rate is reasonable and payment term longer than a couple of years, financing your business’ growth through […]

Website Example

7 Features of a Great Website

Note: This is the beginning of a weekly WomensNet Wednesday series where we’ll tackle topics relevant to entrepreneurs. Any content ideas/requests can be submitted via our Contact Us form. If there’s one business-related thing we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s how critical it is to have an online presence. With access restricted to physical stores, […]

confident woman

7 Coronavirus Relief Grants for Small Business

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt far and wide, in homes and businesses small and large. With organizations from corporations to nonprofits to mom-and-pop shops now shut down temporarily, entrepreneurs and foundations are stepping up to offer support and some financial relief to small businesses. Although new grant and loan programs are […]

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook is Rolling out $100 million in Cash Grants and Ad Credits

As the United States hunkers down to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19, many companies and government agencies are ramping up efforts to reduce the financial impact of the near-nationwide mandate to shelter in place. Facebook is one of them. Said Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg on a post on her Facebook page, “In […]

taking notes in meeting

Lessons Learned from Amber Grant Winners – February 2020

Since our goal is to help women entrepreneurs start, run, and grow successful businesses, we decided to ask past Amber Grant winners for advice they would want to share with you. Here are some words of wisdom straight from them: Develop a business plan “A great product (or service) is only one ingredient in the […]

lisse shaving razor

Lessons Learned from an Amber Grant Recipient

Since our goal is to help women entrepreneurs start, run, and grow successful businesses, we decided to ask past Amber Grant winners for advice they would want to share with you. First up is our 2019 annual Amber Grant winner, Amy Mitchell of Lisse Shave, who received a $25,000 check from us last month. Here’s […]

Tory Burch Foundation logo

Earn a $5,000 Grant Toward Your Business Education

Early-stage woman-owned businesses looking for educational support should consider applying to be a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow. Applications are due by November 19, 2019. Up to 50 Tory Burch Foundation Fellows will be selected and asked to commit to participate in a one-year program that includes: A $5,000 grant to be invested in their business […]

women looking at computer screen

5 Lessons I Learned During My First Year in Business

That first year in business is one of the hardest. You’re learning how to sell your products and services while simultaneously figuring out how to build a business. It’s a lot like flying a plane while you build it, as the saying goes. The good news is that the vast majority of small businesses do […]

laptop on table

12 No-Cost or Low-Cost Marketing Tools

We recently received a question from an e-mailer who said, “I’d like to hear about no or low-cost marketing tools and ideas. Promoting a business as an independent woman operating as a team of one has its challenges.” We agreed and wanted to offer some ideas for getting more bang for your marketing buck. 12 […]

fist bumping at work table

8 Government Resources to Help Women Business Owners

Believe it or not, the US government wants your small business to be successful. That’s because small businesses are a major growth engine for the US economy, so it’s in the government’s best interest to help new companies get started and to support existing businesses in need of guidance or capital. As of 2018, 30.2 […]

illustration of grant money

Tips from Fundera for Creating a Strong Video for its Zach Grant Program

Fundera’s Nicolas Straut was happy to answer questions about the company’s $2,500 Zach Grant program for small businesses. But before we get there, let’s look at their process, per Fundera’s website: How to Apply: 1. Like and follow Fundera on Facebook. 2. Record a 3 minute video responding to the question: “Why did you start your […]

thesaurus open on table

Your A-Z Guide to Funding Your Woman-Owned Business

by Marcia Layton Turner Finding capital to start or grow a business is challenging. But if you know the lingo of the financial community, you may be able to get a leg up — or at least uncover other sources of funding you weren’t aware of. The following is WomensNet’s A to Z guide to […]

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Consider These Tips from FedEx when Applying for its Small Business Grants

FedEx media relations pro Gretchen Mathis was kind enough to answer a series of questions WomensNet posed regarding FedEx’s small business grant contest. The 2019 winners were just announced (April 2019), so use these suggestions to prepare for the 2020 round. The last paragraph of Mathis’ response offers suggestions for what you can start doing […]

smiling African American woman

Identifying The Best Mentor For you

by Dr. Sydney Richardson Dr. Sydney Richardson currently serves as Dean of College and Career Readiness at Forsyth Technical Community College. After years of facilitating workshops on mentorship, teamwork, and professional development, she launched Rae of Knowledge (RoK), a company that assists businesses and organizations in achieving their goals using relational strategies. Dr. Richardson resides […]

two women pointing at laptop

Tips for Writing a Winning Amber Grant Application

Free money for startup businesses is extremely scarce. So it’s important to invest time in putting your best foot forward in every grant application you submit, including WomensNet’s Amber Grant program. That doesn’t mean preparing a business plan-length tome but, rather, hitting hard on why your business or product is viable and worthy of funding. […]

group of African American students reading

Catching up with Amber Grant Winner Imagiread

by Tiffany Rachann, Founder of Imagiread I remember it like it was yesterday. Scrolling through Facebook, looking at posts with absolutely no enthusiasm. Life was low. Houston had just experienced the worst hurricane in history only three months prior with a rainfall exceeding 20 inches. Thousands of families lost their homes and everything within. There was a […]

two women in bright office

How to Manage Your Personal Finances as a Business Owner

by Dr. Andrea Johnson Andrea is the owner of ANJ Consulting Services, where she assists clients with developing solutions to their financial problems through individual consulting, workshops, and courses.  She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sociology (North Carolina A&T State University and North Carolina State University respectively), a doctoral degree in Leadership Studies […]

women doing HeyPaddle Workout on river

Catching up with Amber Grant Winner Hey Paddle

In July of 2017, we received an application from a unique business that provided fitness classes on stand up paddle boards. (Neat, right?) That business — Hey Paddle — was selected for an Amber Grant. Co-founder Becca Tongsinoon impressed us with her business smarts, go-getter attitude and vision for the future. Well, about a year-and-a-half […]

closeup of apps on cell phone

Digital Marketing: What You Need to Know

by Kristy LaPlante Kristy is a senior digital marketing leader specializing in cross-channel digital media planning and strategy. Her work includes strategic + tactical digital marketing across retail, CPG, travel, media, entertainment, finance, healthcare, and non-profit sectors. She is the Founder of Insight DCS, a consulting firm for small businesses, and teaches Digital Marketing and Analytics […]

startup competition poster

15 Best Business Plan Competitions for Startup Entrepreneurs

by Marcia Layton Turner Many members of the WomensNet community have asked us about more opportunities to get start-up money.  Well, here’s an idea that might help you. Business plan creation is an exercise required of many MBA students, as a teaching tool, which is why many colleges and universities sponsor business plan competitions – to […]

WNN Blog Get application & business ideas on the WomensNet blog »

What people are saying about WomensNet


“You have to be in it to win it...seize the opportunity and apply.”

Nerd Wallet

“The Foundation awards $10,000 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $25,000.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant Foundation was launched in 1998 to honor the memory of a young woman. The grant was formed to help women entrepreneurs reach their goals when Amber could not.”

Essence Magazine

“This organization offers monthly grants of up to $10,000 to support female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Those who qualify for these grants are also in the running for a yearly $25,000 grant.”