Category: Business Finance

September 3, 2015 11 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses – Part 2

Thanks for joining us for part 2 of this 2-part series. (5 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses) Let’s continue with the last 6 private grants for women-owned businesses.

6 More Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

  1. Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project: Google has partnered up with Chase to create private grants for women-owned businesses. Together, they award winners with $3 million in small business grants. In 2014, grant winners received $150,000 each to help expand their small businesses. The lucky winners also received:
    • $2,000 coupons to help with Google Consumer Surveys market research studies
    • Google Chromebook laptops
    • Trips to the Google headquarters
  2. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): This program, which is award-based, includes a partnership between 11 different federal government agencies. The program helps small businesses owned by women explore the potential of their technological products and services.
  3. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR): This program focuses on federal research. It’s in place to help fund development in order to provide women-owned businesses with funding opportunities specifically for research and development.
  4. Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition: This grant is organized by Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence and Capitol One. For this competition, you’ll have to present a 2-minute pitch to judges. You’ll be competing for the chance to take part in a 9-month business accelerator program.
  5. Wal-Mart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE): Yes, Wal-Mart offers private grants for women-owned businesses. These grants are for both US-based businesses and international companies. The small business funding opportunities are part of a very big Wal-Mart initiative. Over the next five years, awards will increase to $40 billion.
  6. Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money: Is your woman-owned business based within the state of Utah? Then, this may be the small business grant for you. Awards of $3,000 each are given out each year, across six different categories, with business being one of them.
Check out these 6 private small business grants for women-owned businesses.
Check out these 6 private small business grants for women-owned businesses.
Image Source: Edu-Schools

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The EntreMarketing Group will help you build your business brand so that your award money doesn’t go to waste. Contact The EntreMarketing Group about helping you grow your woman-owned business into a brand your target market knows and trusts.

September 2, 2015 11 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses – Part 1

Looking for private grants for women-owned businesses to help you launch your start-up or grow your company? Well, The EntreMarketing Group is here to help. In this 2-part series, we’ll explore 11 different small business grants specifically designed for companies with female ownership.

5 Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

Here are the first five on this week’s list of 11 private grants for women-owned businesses. Check them out:

Check out these private grants for women-owned businesses in the US.
Check out these private grants for women-owned businesses in the US.
Image Source: Tommy Toy
  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program: Each year, five grants are awarded to businesses that are 100% women-owned. The principles behind the company must include innovation, sustainability and social consciousness.
  2. Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants: Dedicated to the development and advancement of innovative products related to motherhood. Award winners receive grants of up to $15,000 and resources to help them advance product development and small business startups.
  3. FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program: Award winners share $75,000 in grants. Applicants share their visions, which are judged by votes from the general public to become finalists. This small business grant allows you to promote your business as you compete for votes.
  4. Idea Café Small Business Grant: This is a freeway online gateway that gives you access to various small business grants all hosted on one website. Currently, it’s promoting the 16th Small Business Cash Grant. The grand prize is $1,000, which will be awarded to the woman-owned business with the most innovative idea.
  5. InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge: This is one of the private grants for women-owned businesses sponsored by the SBA (Small Business Administration) Office of Women’s Ownership. In the end, three awards of $30,000 each in prize money will be given to the three businesses that make major impacts on the lives of women.

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The EntreMarketing Group will help you build your business brand so that your award money doesn’t go to waste. Contact The EntreMarketing Group about helping you grow your woman-owned business into a brand your target market knows and trusts.

Next, We Explore 6 More Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

September 1, 2015 Understanding Small Business Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

Small business grants are not all that easy to come by these days. It takes due diligence to find one that you not only qualify for, but that your business venture qualifies for as well. For many women-owned businesses, this could prove to be a difficult task.

Many Women-Owned Business qualify for free money known as small business grants.
Many Women-Owned Business qualify for free money known as small business grants.
Image Source: Grants for Women

But, if you can find a grant for your small business, you’re winning, simply because, unlike small business loans, you never have to pay back grants. In essence, they’re “free money” for businesses, but just like anything of value, they all have stipulations. Not to mention, they generally come with complex navigation processes. That’s why it’s important that women-owned businesses network with each other so we’ll all be informed about what’s available for our ventures.

5 Tips to Finding Grants for Women-Owned Businesses

Wednesday and Thursday, we’ll actually discuss some small business grants designed specifically for women-owned businesses. In the meantime, here are five tips to help women entrepreneurs find grants to for start-ups and to grow their companies:

  1. Do research to locate various grants for which you and your business are eligible.
  2. Check out the compliance guidelines and application process to be sure you meet all the requirements.
  3. Devote all the energy and time you have to the very lengthy grant application processes.
  4. If you are able to get a grant, know that you’ll be responsible for reporting just how you used it.
  5. Be patient, and wait for approval.

 

Keep in mind that you’ll be competing with other women-owned businesses trying to get free money from the same pool of funds. So, be prepared with a good business plan and marketing plan, just in case.

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Interested in starting your business? Trying to build your online reputation as a woman entrepreneur? All you need is a good marketing strategy from The EntreMarketing Group. Ready to get started? Contact The EntreMarekting Group about a customized brand building package today.

Next, we explore Women-Owned Businesses: The Art of Applying for a Grant.

September 1, 2015 Women-Owned Businesses: The Art of Applying for a Grant

There are many funding opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Many of them have been specially designed to meet the specific needs of women-owned businesses. Whether your business is a new start-up venture or you’re trying to grow your business, there’s probably a funding source just for you. But, you need to be very organized before applying for a grant. That way, you can keep up with the demanding requirements of each one without getting all discombobulated.

Tips to Getting Organized When Applying for a Grant

Once you’ve found a funding source for your small business, now it’s time to go through the tedious, demanding application process. When applying for a grant for your small business, follow these simple tips to keep you organized each step of the way:

Tips to Getting Organized When Applying for a Grant
Tips to Getting Organized When Applying for a Grant
  • Eligibility – Read all of the eligibility requirements and grant guidelines before applying for a grant.
  • Checklist – Create a comprehensive checklist for all of the information, data and documents required to apply for the small business grant.
  • Rules – Make sure you follow the rules and application guidelines down to the t. It would be wise to have someone double-check your work to ensure that all accompanying documents and info is in place.
  • Time – Don’t wait until the last minute to get started on your grant application. Go ahead and get started early, so you’ll have time to make changes before submitting your app.

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Ready to start applying for a grant? Then, continue with this Women-Owned Business Grants series. Tomorrow, we’ll explore some really small business grants designed specifically for women entrepreneurs and small businesses owned by women. Or, go back and read our earlier post “Understanding Small Business Grants for Women-Owned Businesses” and learn five tips to finding grants for women-owned businesses.

Next, we’ll explore a list of Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses.

June 15, 2015 Looking for a Zero Interest Small Business Loan? Community Sourced Capital May be Your Answer

Ever heard of a business-oriented crowdfunding platform called Community Sourced Capital (CSC)? Many small business owners and entrepreneurs haven’t. But, according to my research, it just may be another answer to your small business funding problems.

What is Community Sourced Capital?

Through Community Sourced Capital, you can become a member of a collaborative network. This network was created with the sole purpose of helping small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive with the assistance of local communities. You’ll be connected to “mission-aligned funders”, other small business owners and community members coming together to build “meaningful relationships around money.”

What makes CSC so different from so many other crowdfunding platforms?

  • It focuses on connecting small businesses in need of funding with local community members interested in investing in local ventures
  • Entrepreneurs and small business owners can obtain loans from $5,000 to $50,000 with zero interest
  • Funders buy into investments by purchasing squares for $50 each, up to $1,000 worth per campaign
  • Loans are due and payable, interest-free, within three years

How to Make the Community Sourced Capital Small Business Funding Cut

Each CSC campaign application is reviewed for “financial integrity and community connection.” The CSC team actually spends time helping each business build its campaign.

Genki-Su is expanding into new stores thanks to Community Sourced Capital small business crowdfunding.
Genki-Su is expanding into new stores thanks to Community Sourced Capital small business crowdfunding.
41 Squareholders participated in this loan. $13,300 loaned to this CSC campaign.
Image Source: Community Sourced Capital

Once your campaign is approved, it will run for free for up to four weeks. If you don’t reach your campaign’s minimum funding goal, you don’t get any of the funds. So, the goal needs to be to create a realistic campaign, worthy of the support of your friends, family, affiliates, co-workers, associates, community members, etc…

Chief Executive Rachel Maxwell of CSC gave his take on how the platform works:

“We’re looking for whether the capital is useful, responsible and connected.

It’s useful if it’s for a purpose that will help strengthen the business. It’s responsible if the loan is an amount the business will be able to pay back, and it’s connected if the business has a community that will support it.”

How Much Does Community Sourced Capital Small Business Funding Cost?

There’s a one-time fee of $250 to launch your small business venture campaign. Plus, there’s a $50 membership fee due each month that your loan is outstanding. Once it’s paid in full, you no longer have to pay a monthly fee to remain a member of Community Sourced Capital.

The nonprofit community development financial institution Craft3 matches every single dollar raised on the CSC crowdfunding platform. With its help, CSC has helped to facilitate 58 different small business loans totaling more than $1 million.

According to Craft3 Chief Executive John Berdes:

“We are in a very close relationship. We are not only being mentors and supporters, but we are matching their squares throughout the region.

We really think they are on to something.”

The typical company using Community Sourced Capital for small business funding are food-related companies and neighborhood ventures such as local gyms, salons, day care centers, etc… These local businesses are generally “built around strong communities”, says Maxwell.

Marketing Your Crowdfunding Project

Have a crowdfunding project you need to promote? Well, at the end of the day, potential investors want to be sure that your project belongs to a brand worth funding. Be sure they know what your brand is all about, and who the mastermind is behind that brand. A responsive website will get the job done for you.

The EntreMarketing Group creates responsive websites and blogs for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Get a customized crowdfunding marketing package created just for your brand. Call The EntreMarketing Group at 888-507-2191 or click here to contact us about helping you promote your crowdfunding project today.

June 11, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Profile, Banking, Assets, Revenue and Insurance

Lenders, credit cards companies, vendors and other potential creditors will review your company from various angles before granting credit. Establishing corporate credit means establishing your company’s profile. Today, in our DIY Corporate Credit Series, we briefly discuss the following:

  • Business Bank Account
  • Company Assets
  • Corporate Revenue
  • Business Insurance

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: How Does Business Credit Scoring Work?

Your Company’s Profile and Business Bank Account

Creditors will look at the age of your business bank account. As far as creditors are concerned, you began conducting business the day that first account was established. So, establish a business checking account as soon as possible, and maintain it throughout the life of the company. And, make sure the business information on the account matches the rest of your company’s identity documents and sources identically.

Many business credit experts recommend having an average minimum balance of no less than $10,000. It should be in your company’s primary business checking for at least the last three months.

Your bank rating is not as complicated as you may think. This is how business bank rating works in general:

  • The scale is Low, Medium and High
  • It’s based on the amount of digits in your average minimum balance

So, let’s say the average minimum balance is $1,000. That’s the low end of 4-digits, making your bank rating a “Low 4.” However, if it’s $50,000, which is the medium portion of 5 digits. So, the bank rating would be a “Medium 5.”

Your Company’s Profile and Company Assets

Does your organization own assets? Then, congratulations! You have a much better chance of obtaining corporate credit and the capital you need. That’s because many assets can be sold or leveraged in order to obtain working capital. Assets also give you access to more lenders willing to work with you, as well as more favorable loan terms.

Your Company’s Profile and Corporate Revenue

Your Company’s Profile is Very Important to Establishing and Building Corporate Credit
Your Company’s Profile is Very Important to Establishing and Building Corporate Credit
Image Source: mancai/Deviant Art

You’ll need to show creditors and lenders that your business is capable of managing debt. That means having verifiable revenue. And, the best way to support the consistency of this corporate revenue is by making timely payments. This shows that you not only bring in enough revenue to manage the company, but you manage the revenue itself properly. Creditors and lenders weigh this greatly as you try to build corporate credit.

Your Company’s Profile and Business Insurance

If you’re seeking bank financing or loans, most will require proof of various types of business insurance. These institutions want assurance that debts will still be repaid in the event of unexpected catastrophes.

For example, if your personal health fails, you can’t run the business. If you’re in an automobile wreck, and you’re uninsured, you stand the chance of being sued. And, if a customer or employee is hurt on your premises, that could be disastrous for you and the company.

So, banks may require proof that you have personal health insurance, automobile insurance, business liability insurance, maybe even disability insurance. These are very important for establishing corporate credit with banking institutions.

Your Company’s Profile Online

You need to establish your company’s profile online as well. That means having a responsive website, regularly published, unique blog posts and social media marketing for your business brand. Ready to get started? Contact EntreMarketing Group about customizing a business brand building package for your business today.

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This concludes our DIY Corporate Credit Series. Would you like to review this series all in one place? We’re putting together an eBook for you to download. Come back next week to get your free eBook download DIY Corporate Credit Series: How to Establish Business Credit for Your Company.

June 10, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: How Does Business Credit Scoring Work?

What are the three main business credit scoring agencies in the US? They are Dun and Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax. As you’re building corporate credit for your business, you’ll also be building your company’s credit score. Knowing how each one manages the business credit scoring process will help you grow your business through funding and other financial means.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Equifax Credit Profile

How Do the 3 Primary Agencies Calculate Business Credit Scoring?

Each one of the main three business credit scoring agencies does its own mathematical calculations differently. This is how each determines your company’s credit worthiness and the likelihood of timely payments being made. Corporate credit scores are accumulated based on past payment history with creditors who have granted financing, loans, credit cards, etc…

Dun and Bradstreet Paydex Score Business Credit Scoring

Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) uses a simple credit scoring system. Similar to your personal FICO score, it calculates scores from 0-100. Generally, a Paydex score of 75 or better is considered “good business credit.” With such a score, your company can typically establish credit with new creditors on its own merit.

Click here to order your D&B Paydex Credit Score

Sample of a D&B Credit Report and Credit Score
Sample of a D&B Credit Report and Credit Score
Image Source: D&B

Experian Intelliscore Report Business Credit Scoring

As one of the largest credit reporting agencies in America, Experian is very important for building business credit. This agency uses its own unique method of calculating corporate credit scores known as “Intelliscore.”

Click here to order your Experian Business Credit Score

Establish Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile to Help Build Your Corporate Credit
Establish Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile to Help Build Your Corporate Credit
Image Source: Experian

Equifax Small Business Risk Credit Scoring

Another major business credit scoring agency that helps you build corporate credit is Equifax. Its numerical value helps your company’s potential creditors determine its creditworthiness. The higher the Equifax credit score, the less risk, according to scoring factors.

Click here to order your Equifax Small Business Credit Report

Equifax Small Business Credit Scoring
Equifax Small Business Risk Credit Scoring
Image Source: Equifax

Build Your Business Brand and Business Credit Yourself

The best way to build business credit yourself is to make all of your payments on time. To build a D&B Paydex business credit score of 75 or better, you must have at least five creditors reporting on-time payments.

Ready to build your business brand to improve your credibility with potential creditors? The EntreMarketing Group helps small businesses build brands that sustain the test of time. Contact CEO Kereen Henry about customizing a small business brand marketing package for you today.

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Tune in tomorrow when we continue this series with ‘DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Banking, Assets, Revenue and Insurance’…

June 9, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Equifax Credit Profile

Trying to establish corporate credit for your organization? Well, your company’s Equifax credit profile is a very important part of that process. And, we’re here to help your Equifax business credit profile started.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile

Build Your Company’s Equifax Credit Profile

From detailed business credit reports to verified business identities, Equifax corporate credit solutions help your organization thrive. Once established, Equifax Business Credit Reports need to be run regularly. This ensures that what’s inside your business credit profile remains valid and up-to-date. That’s very important for establishing corporate credit with banks, lenders, credit card companies and vendors.

These are just some of the items reported on your company’s Equifax credit profile:

  • Business demographics known as Firmographics
  • Corporate family trees
  • Guarantors associated with the business
  • Corporation’s small business owners
  • Payment history for trade accounts
  • Financial payment history reported by creditors
  • Public records reported by courts and government agencies

How to Get a Copy of Your Company’s Equifax Credit Report

Here are two ways to get a copy of your company’s Equifax credit profile:

Your company’s Equifax credit profile is vital to establishing corporate credit history.
Your company’s Equifax credit profile is vital to establishing corporate credit history.
Image Source: Funding Gate
  1. Wait Until a Lender Requests It – Unlike Experian, Equifax only allows lenders you authorize to obtain copies of your corporate credit report. When you grant this authorization, you can also request a copy of your own by writing Equifax at the following address:
    • Equifax Inc. – PO Box 740249 – Atlanta, GA 30374-0249
  2. After being Denied Credit – If your business is denied credit based on your company’s Equifax credit profile, you can get a copy of that same report within 60 days of the denial.
    • Simply write the address above, or call Equifax at (800) 727-8495.

Build Your Business Brand and Credit Profile

Remember that you must actually establish business credit before your company will have a profile with Equifax. Once established, simply pay all creditors on time in order to build good corporate credit.

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Don’t be idle about building your business brand while establishing your company’s Equifax credit profile. Work with The EntreMarketing Group to spread the news about your products and/or services virally. Contact The EntreMarketing Group about customizing a brand building marketing plan for your small business today.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Equifax Credit Profile

June 8, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile

Your company’s Experian credit profile is important for establishing corporate credit. Today, we help you understand the basics of your Experian corporate credit report.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Get Your DUNS Number Free

Build Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile

Experian is a very important component of establishing business credit. This agency reports credit activity for your business that involves the following:

  • Business equipment leasing companies
  • Commercial lending and financial institutions
  • Revolving business credit providers

Requirements for Establishing Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile

The following requirements must be met in order to ensure that potential creditors can validate your corporate information with Experian:

  • Must be incorporated to show its established as a separate business entity
  • Must already have an EIN (Federal Employer Identification Number or Tax ID Number)
  • Must have an established business bank account in the company’s legal name
  • Must have dedicated business phone number listed with 411 directory assistance

Search Experian for Your Company’s Credit Profile

Establish Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile to Help Build Your Corporate Credit
Establish Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile to Help Build Your Corporate Credit
Image Source: Experian

If your company is a new startup, there’s no need to search the Experian database. For more established businesses, you need to do an Experian Business Search before you apply for corporate credit. That way, if there are any errors or mistakes on your company’s Experian credit profile, this can be corrected ahead of time.

You can search using your company name, leaving out the corporate identifier, such as LLC, Corp or Inc. You’ll also have to enter the city and state of the organization. Keep in mind that if your business is a new startup, no credit profile will exist.

How to Purchase Any Company’s Experian Credit Report

Experian currently offers four different business credit report solutions ranging from a one-time fee of $36.95 to $129 annually. Your potential creditors can order any one of these reports to use as a basis for establishing corporate credit. So, run your Experian Business Credit Report regularly to ensure that all information is accurate and up-to-date.

If your company’s Experian credit profile doesn’t exist yet, don’t worry. You’ll establish and grow one over time as you open various lines of credit, loans, etc…

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Build Your Business Brand and Credit Profile

As you work towards establishing your company’s Experian credit profile, continue building your business brand online. Need assistance? Contact The EntreMarketing Group about customizing a brand building marketing plan for your corporation today.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Equifax Credit Profile

June 5, 2015 DIY Corporate Credit Series: Get Your DUNS Number Free

Do you know that you can get your DUNS number free directly from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)? There are companies that charge for making the process simpler for you. But, you can do-it-yourself in just a few steps in a matter of minutes. We provide you with step-by-step DIY instructions for getting a free DUNS number for your organization.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Using a Free DUNS Number to Obtain Corporate Credit

3 Steps to Get Your DUNS Number Free

  1. Make sure your company doesn’t already have a DUNS number. Call D&B’s toll-free number at 866-705-5711 to see if you’ve already been assigned a DUNS number in the past. If you prefer to check online, move on to step two.
  2. Register to use iUpdate. You must register with D&B’s iUpdate system as an executive officer for your organization to get your DUNS number free. The system will make you do a search to ensure that you don’t already have one. If you don’t see your organization’s exact name, click “Get a D-U-N-S Number” to continue. You’ll be required to enter the following information:
    1. Personal Information
    2. Company Information
    3. Choose Processing Options – Pay for 5-day expedited service, or get your DUNS number free in about 30 days.
  3. Receive your DUNS number via email. Check out the video below for a visual walk-thru to get your free DUNS number directly from Dun & Bradstreet.

Video: How to get a Duns Number Video Tutorial – eSRS Training

The video below will give you a visual walk-thru of how to obtain a free D&B DUNS number online. It was uploaded to YouTube by eSRSTraining:

Dun & Bradstreet Business Practices

Just like any other organization, D&B is in business to make money. So, a D&B sales representative will contact you in an effort to sell you various solutions. You may be told that you must purchase a credit builder program solution in order to build your corporate credit profile. This is simply not true.

Once you begin applying for corporate credit from organizations that run D&B credit reports, this alone will build your business credit for you. Pay your corporate creditors, vendors and suppliers on time, and your business credit profile will grow. So, save yourself some money and get your DUNS number free online.

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While you wait for your free DUNS number to come from Dun & Bradstreet, you need to start building your brand online. The EntreMarketing Group helps entrepreneurs and small business startups build strong brands with responsive websites and valuable social media profiles. Contact Kereen Henry of The EntreMarketing Group about customizing a new startup marketing package for your organization today.

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Read DIY Corporate Credit Series: Your Company’s Experian Credit Profile