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Small Business Grants for Women in Illinois

It can be awfully tough to find business grants for women in Illinois. But that doesn’t mean you should give up hope.

Yes, there are folks out there willing to help you fund your business dreams. You just need to know where to look.

Fortunately, you’ve landed on a site that has been helping women just like you since 1998. Yes, you’re still the one who has to put in the time and effort to get the money for your business. But if you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, we’d love to help you kick off your search from grant money and loans.

For starters, yes, WomensNet.net offers grants to women in Illinois (as well as all across the United States). It’s our Amber Grant for Women. Our judges award this grant once a month, so now is a great time to apply.

Also, take just a couple minutes to check out more resources below. There are some wonderful and helpful people in Illinois who are willing mentor and partner with women business owners like you!

Watch videos from our Past Grant Winners

What is an Amber Grant?

WomensNet launched the Amber Grant in 1998 to honor the memory of an ambitious young woman who died at the age of 19, before she could realize her entrepreneurial aspirations. Today, these grants help women like you fulfill the dreams that Amber could not.

How Does It Work?

Every month, the WomensNet judges award one or more Qualifying Grants of $500 each. Then, at the end of the year, one of those Qualifying Grant recipients is selected to receive the $2,500 Amber Grant.

How Do I Apply?

By telling us your story. There are no lengthy, complicated documents to complete; just answer a few questions about your business. But hurry—applications are due by the end of the month for the next $500 Qualifying Grant.

Apply Now »

Six steps you should take when looking for a business grant:

1. Analyze your organization's needs. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the:
  • Problem or need you want to address
  • Audience that will benefit from your product or service
  • Kind and amount of support you need
  • Resources and commitment your group brings to the project
  • Potential and prospective partners in the community
2. Research various types of foundations. Learn the operational differences between:
  • Corporate foundations
  • Civic foundations
  • Private foundations
3. Look for funding matches. Identify funders who:
  • Are able and likely to fund projects in your geographic area
  • Share a similar core mission or goals
  • Have already supported similar ventures or projects
4. Compile a list of prospects. Group them in two ways:
  • By Geographic Location (city, state, region)
  • By field of interest or program subject
5. Review and refine your list. Eliminate prospects that DON’T FUND:
  • In your state
  • Your type of organization
  • Your subject
  • The type of support you need
  • Your size project
6. Select the most appropriate funding prospects. Research them in detail:
  • Contact them directly to request annual reports and other publications
  • Search print and online media to identify projects that received grants in the past
  • Ask former grant recipients for advice and why they felt they were successful over other applicants

Not Sure Where to Start?

You’re in luck. We’ve done hours of research and compiled a list of the 21 best small business grants available for women today—and we’d love to share it with you!

Enter your email to receive a FREE copy of our special report,
“21 Terrific Grants for Women Business Owners.”

And be sure to check out these excellent resources available to help businesswomen like you in Illinois:

Resources for businesswomen in Illinois:

p>Central Illinois SCORE
121 N Main St
Bloomington, IL 61701-7620
Ph: (309) 664-0549

Chicago SCORE
500 W. Madison Street Suite 1150
Chicago, IL 60661
Ph: (312) 353-7724

Decatur SCORE
1184 W. Main Street Milliken University
Decatur, IL 62522
Ph: (217) 424-6297

ECI SCORE
303 W. Kirby Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
Ph: (217) 359-1791

Fox Valley SCORE
1444 N. Farnsworth
Aurora, IL 60505
Ph: (630) 375-6026

Peoria SCORE
100 SW Water St
Peoria, IL 61602
Ph: (309) 676-0755

Quad Cities SCORE
622 19th Street
Moline, IL 61265
Ph: (309) 797-0082

Quincy Tri-State SCORE
300 Civic Center Plaza Chamber of Commerce
Quincy, IL 62301
Ph: (217) 222-8093

SCORE Springfield Illinois Chapter
3330 Ginger Creek Drive Suite B South
Springfield, IL 62711
Ph: (217) 793-5020 (111)

Southwest Illinois SCORE
5800 Godfrey Road
Godfrey, IL 62035
Ph: (618) 467-2280

Illinois Federation of Business Women’s Clubs
3309 Robbins Road # 366
Springfield, IL, 62704
E-MAIL: president@ifbwc.org


Illinois National Association of Women Business Owners

P.O. Box 9404
Peoria, IL 61612-9404,
PHONE: (309) 692-2225
E-MAIL: admin@nawbo-cil.org

Small Business Development Center of Illinois
500 E. Monroe
Springfield, IL 62701
PHONE: (217) 524-5700
FAX: (217) 524-0171
E-MAIL: mark.petrilli@illinois.gov

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Apply today for a $3,000 Amber Grant

Whether you’re starting or growing your business, WomensNet can help.

Apply Now »