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Small Business Grants for Women in Illinois

Finding business grants for women in Illinois can be easier than you think.

Yes, there are people out there willing to help fund your small or startup 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 for small or startup business grants for women in Illinois!

You Can Win One of Three $10,000 Business Grants For Women This Month

For starters, yes, WomensNet offers grants to women in Illinois (as well as all across the United States). They’re our Amber Grants for Women. Our judges award three $10,000 grants once a month, so now is a great time to apply. Even better — if you’re one of this month’s winners, you’re automatically eligible for one of our THREE year-end $25,000 Amber Grants for Women.  So by the end of the year, you could have $35,000 in total grant money for your business.

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!

Resources for businesswomen in Illinois:

Central Illinois and Peoria SCORE
1403 N. E. Jefferson St.
Peoria, IL 61603
Ph: (309) 676-0755

Chicago SCORE
332 S. Michigan Ave – 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
Ph: (312) 725-0123

Decatur SCORE
1430 W. William St. Decatur, IL, 62522
Ph: (817) 279-3815

Fox Valley SCORE
1212 S Naperville Blvd. Suite #119-127
Naperville, IL, 60540
Ph: (630) 692-1162

Quad Cities SCORE
331 West 3rd Street
Davenport, IA, 52801
Ph: (309) 797-0082

St. Louis SCORE
9506 Olive Blvd., Suite #217
St. Louis, MO 63132
Ph: (866) 726-7340

Illinois Federation of Business Women’s Clubs
3309 Robbins Road # 366, Springfield, IL, 62704

Illinois National Association of Women Business Owners

P.O. Box 9404, Peoria, IL 61612-9404

Small Business Development Center of Illinois
500 E. Monroe, Springfield, IL 62701
PHONE: (217) 524-5700

Does WomensNet Offer Amber Grants to Women In My State?

Yes!! We've been offering business resources and grants to women in all 50 states (and Canada) since 1998. We have three different $10,000 Amber Grant winners EVERY month... Plus at the end of the year, each Amber Grant winner for that year is eligible for an additional $25,000 grant!

How Does It Work?

Submit your application. Our WomensNet judges review every application. Then we announce the three $10,000 Amber Grant winners the following month by the 23rd. At the end of the year, we award THREE more $25,000 grants -- chosen from our previous monthly grant winners for this year. That means you have the opportunity to receive $35,000 from WomensNet by filling out one two-question grant application.

How Do I Apply?

Simple. By telling us your story. There are no lengthy, complicated documents to complete. Just answer two questions about your business. But hurry—applications are due by the end of the month for all three of this month's $10,000 Amber Grant opportunities.

Apply Now

Watch videos from our Past Grant Winners

Not Sure Where to Start?

You’re in luck. We’ve done hours of research and compiled a list of the 16 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,
“16 Terrific Grants for Women Business Owners.”

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
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

“Every month, WomensNet awards three $10,000 Amber Grants to women-owned businesses. At the end of each year, monthly grant winners are eligible to receive one of three $25,000 annual grants.”


“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 offers three $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses each month. Then, at the end of each year, WomensNet gives an additional $25,000 to three grant winners from that year.”

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.”