Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

Where can I find legitimate Federal grants for small women-owned businesses?
I have a question regarding Federal grants available to small, women-owned businesses. My sister has received several telephone calls canvassing her for interest, and she is interested; however, I am skeptical of the calls coming in to her and wondering if anybody had a source for legitimate Federal grants available for small women-owned businesses.
Delores Lenzy - Jones, CPA, CIA:
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There are some legitimate federal grants available. Suggest you review the Internet. Call and ask questions. If [they seem] reputable, you can easily follow up by contact.
Blake Allison:
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It is good that you are skeptical. While there are numerous grants available through the government, it is doubtful that the government is calling individuals to give this money away. Be careful that this is not a 'phishing' scheme. If you have doubts, stay away! In fact, do exactly what it sounds like you are ready to do - find the grants on your own. One of the best sources for federal grants is If you don't have experience applying for grants - especially federal grants - it can be both overwhelming, and at times, intimidating if you are not familiar with the process. In other words, be prepared to work as hard - if not harder - filling out the application once you find a grant for which your sister qualifies. I strongly recommend learning more about the grant process, because your sister might find other ways to secure funding from a grant. For example, a larger organization may need assistance with a federal grant that your sister might not qualify for on her own. Therefore, she might be able to partner with another organization to open up more doors. In addition, don't limit yourself to federal grants. There are probably as many - if not more - grants available at the state level - and even by municipality.
Gail V. Marquet:
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I would be very leery of companies that solicited my business by phone. There are many legitimate sources to locate small business loans through, such as the SBA [Small Business Administration]. The phone calls would most likely be a rip-off.