Smiling woman business owner standing in front of her business open sign.

Check out the below grants, contests, and opportunities available to small businesses in 2024. — Getty Images/MoMo Productions

For entrepreneurs, finding the right funding and exposure can open countless doors for successfully launching, running, and growing their companies. Luckily, several opportunities are available for small businesses that know where to look.

To help you set your small business up for success this year, here are 35+ grants, contests, and opportunities to take advantage of in 2024.

Small business grants and programs

There are many nonprofit and corporate entities offering grants and other assistance to small businesses. Here are a few such programs that are open to qualifying small businesses in any industry:

  • Awesome Foundation Grants. Each month, The Awesome Foundation awards grants of $1,000 to individuals and groups looking to fund various projects. The Awesome Foundation is made up of 84 independently run chapters, with members contributing to a micro-funding pool that goes toward grant projects. Though funding is not limited to businesses, startups and small businesses have been among the recipients of the monthly grants. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • The Freed Fellowship Grant. This grant offers a monthly $500 to qualifying business owners in the U.S. Applicants are evaluated based on a “5C Framework,” which assesses various aspects of an applicant’s business. Along with the grant, applicants receive feedback on their business and a two-month free membership in the Freed Studio, a community of ambitious business owners. Grant recipients are also eligible for an end-of-year grant of $2,500.
  • GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund. GoFundMe’s Small Business Relief Fund will match $500 grants to qualifying small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and raise at least $500 through a GoFundMe campaign. The fund is backed by GoFundMe and corporations like Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, GoDaddy, and
  • Incfile Entrepreneur Grant. Incfile is offering two grants to support aspiring entrepreneurs and students. The “Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Grant” provides $2,500 to a high school senior, undergraduate, graduate, or trade school student in the U.S. with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and an interest in starting a business. The “Fresh Start Business Grant” offers $2,500 and Incfile’s Gold plan for free to adult entrepreneurs (21 years or older) in the U.S. planning to start a new business or significantly grow an existing one. Application dates for 2024 are expected to go live soon, so keep an eye out!
  • Small Business Digital Readiness Program. In partnership with Verizon, National ACE has developed a digital readiness program to help small business owners succeed in a digital world. The free online curriculum includes expert coaching, peer networking, and other resources to support your small business. Those who register for the program and take two courses are eligible for a $10,000 grant. This opportunity is rolling and you can learn more at the program’s webpage.
  • Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program. Small businesses often feel the effects of a natural disaster the hardest. It can be difficult when starting a business to suddenly have to raise money to repair a roof or attend to flood damage. To help offset some of these concerns and costs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and FedEx have teamed up to create the Small Business Readiness for Resiliency (R4R) Program. The program helps small businesses put plans in place to prepare for disaster and also provides immediate emergency funding when necessary. Businesses are asked to complete a four-step process to be eligible for funding opportunities.
  • Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator Program. If you’re a seller in Amazon’s store, you may be eligible for the Black Business Accelerator Program. Created to support Black entrepreneurs, the program offers financial support, mentorship, business advice, and promotional support. Eligible sellers will have access to free imaging services, cash grant opportunities, advertising credits and money toward startup costs.
  • Amber Grant Foundation. With a simple goal of supporting women entrepreneurs, the Amber Grant Foundation was founded by WomensNet in 1998. The foundation awards a series of grants throughout the year, including the $10,000 Monthly Amber Grant, two $25,000 Annual Amber Grants, and $10,000 each quarter for The Startup Grant and The Non-Profit Grant, respectively. There are also 12 Business Category Grants — an additional $10,000 each month — with all eligible applications remaining active until the month of their specific category.
  • America’s Seed Fund. America’s Seed Fund, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), offers up to $2 million for U.S.-based startups and small businesses that are developing innovative technology. Project pitches are accepted on a rolling basis, and official responses from NSF typically take one month.
  • Binc Foundation Emergency Financial Assistance. The Binc Foundation provides emergency financial assistance to bookstore owners, booksellers, and comic store employees and owners facing unforeseen financial needs. Eligibility criteria include specific employment durations and financial hardship resulting from qualifying life events. Binc’s assistance process involves a confidential application and documentation verification.
  • Casper Accelerate Grant Program. To support innovation within the blockchain industry, Casper has opened the Casper Accelerate Grant Program. Those who want to build apps to support infrastructure, end-user applications, and research innovation are invited to apply. This $25 million grant program has a rolling application deadline, so you can apply anytime here.
  • Center For Economic Inclusion Vanguard Accelerator. This program offers $50,000 in grants and scholarships for Latina and Black women-owned businesses in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. All selected grant recipients will receive scholarships to a Founders First accelerator program for continuing education, along with consideration for forgivable loans ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. Interested businesses can pre-register ahead of the full application launch on January 16, 2024.
  • DoorDash Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund. DoorDash, in partnership with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, is offering 100 grants of $10,000 each to restaurants affected by natural disasters. Eligible restaurants must have between one and three brick-and-mortar locations, less than 50 employees per location, be open for at least six months, and be impacted by a state or federally-declared natural disaster. Applications for the fourth and final round of funding will be accepted between January 2 and March 29, 2024.
  • EnrichHER Grant. Does your small business need new equipment, a new marketing campaign, or product expansion? The EnrichHER small business grant will help your business get the funding you need. This program gives eligible entrepreneurs — especially women and people of color — and businesses $5,000 to help with smaller expenses. There is a $37 application fee, and this application round is rolling.
  • Etsy Emergency Relief Fund. If you’re an Etsy business owner, you may be qualified to apply for relief funding courtesy of a partnership with CERF+, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping artists prepare for and recover from emergencies and disasters. The partnership was established in 2017, and both companies continue to provide up to $2,500 in funding through the grant program. To apply, you must have been a registered Etsy business for at least one year and have been affected by a natural disaster. This grant opportunity is rolling.
  • Foundation for a Just Society Grants. Foundation for a Just Society offers grants to local, national, regional, and global organizations and networks that support the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI individuals. Grants are issued four times each year (March, June, September, and November), with invitations for proposals extended two months prior.
  • The Halstead Grant. The Halstead Grant is an annual opportunity for emerging silver jewelry entrepreneurs to boost their careers. Applicants answer 15 business questions and submit design portfolios, aiming to win a $7,500 cash grant and other benefits. The application deadline is May 1, 2024.
  • HerRise MicroGrant. The HerRise MicroGrant offers financial aid to U.S.-registered businesses that are majority-owned by women of color, with a focus on businesses with innovative community solutions that are still struggling to obtain funding. Applications are reviewed monthly, with winners announced during the subsequent month’s HerSuiteSpot First Friday Mixer. Nonprofits, franchises, direct sellers, authorized resellers, and independent consultants are ineligible to apply.
  • Hivers and Strivers Investment Program. As an angel investment group, Hivers and Strivers works to provide capital to qualifying businesses. Specifically, the investment group funds projects submitted by veteran-owned and veteran-led businesses. Those who qualify can apply for funding for a business idea on a rolling basis, but businesses reliant on government contracts are not eligible to apply.
  • IFundWomen Universal Grant Application. This is a resource for female entrepreneurs seeking grants. Through partnerships with brands like Visa, Caress, and COMCAST, IFundWomen has deployed over $170 million in grants to entrepreneurs. Applicants gain priority access to funding opportunities and resources within the IFundWomen community.
  • The Kitty Fund. The Kitty Fund —named for Catherine “Kitty” Abrams Tadlock Webster, the mother of Founder’s First CEO Kim Folsom — will award a total of $25,000 to 25 small business owners who identify as mothers in 2024. Eligible businesses must be based in the U.S., have annual revenues under $5M, and employ between 2 to 50 people. While applications don’t open until March 2024, those interested can pre-register today.
  • #MomsMeanBusiness. ZenBusiness, a company that helps others launch and run their own businesses, has created the #MomsMeanBusiness campaign to recognize the resilience of moms and celebrate their accomplishments. To help mothers take the first step toward entrepreneurship, ZenBusiness is covering business formation costs and will help entrepreneurs form an LLC, track expenses, secure a business name, and more. All mothers are eligible and costs will be covered for “every mom in America.” The program is rolling and you can sign up here.
  • National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants. According to its website, the NASE has distributed over $1,000,000 in grants to its members. Its growth grants provide up to $4,000 to assist with training, marketing and more. You must be a member for 90 days before you are eligible to apply.
  • Patagonia Corporate Grant Program. Patagonia’s corporate grant program offers between $10,000 and $20,000 of funding to nonprofits with missions to protect and preserve the environment. If you meet the grant requirements, you can apply today.
  • RTC Women in Tech Fund. Rewriting The Code (RTC) works to support college and early-career women in tech by providing them with opportunities to help disrupt gender and racial inequality in the industry. The RTC Women in Tech Fund provides financial resources to women enrolled in undergraduate tech programs to help cover costs that may be an obstacle to education. There are three different grants available depending on each applicant’s specific financial needs. All applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • StartOut Scholarship Program. StartOut offers scholarship opportunities to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who wish to participate in the Founder Program and become a Giving Member. The initiative provides a 12-month membership for those LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who have been underrepresented, underserved, and underestimated within their community.
  • The Wish Local Empowerment Program. This program by the e-commerce brand Wish assists Black-owned small businesses by dedicating a $2 million fund to support approximately 4,000 Wish Local partners. Recipients can receive financial assistance ranging from $500 to $2000, with flexibility in fund allocation. Eligible businesses must meet criteria such as having a Black-owned business with 20 or fewer employees and an average annual revenue under $1 million. Successful applicants will also join Wish Local, gaining access to its consumer base through various partnership opportunities.

Contests, events, and other opportunities

From pitch competitions to conferences, here are just a few of the many event-based opportunities open to small businesses in 2024.

  • Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC). The EWC, hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), invites startups to share their pitches for a chance to compete for $1 million in prizes. Entrepreneurs of all industries, company stages, and locations are invited to apply now through March 31, 2024.
  • FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. Each year, FedEx awards cash grants to multiple small businesses; winners can also attend feedback sessions with FedEx executives and take part in various small business networks. Though dates for 2024 applications have not yet been announced, you can visit the FedEx website to prepare to enter, as well as sign up for emails to be notified when the contest returns.
  • SubSummit Pitch Competition. The SubSummit 2024 Pitch Competition, scheduled for June 17-19, 2024 in Dallas, gives subscription businesses a chance to compete for cash and in-kind services. Though applications are not yet live, you can join the 2024 waitlist on the SubSummit website.
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference. The 2024 WBENC National Conference is the largest event of its kind for U.S.-based women-owned businesses. The conference runs from March 19 to March 22, 2024 in Aurora, Colorado. General attendee reservations open in December 2023 and will be available until March 13, 2024.

Additional resources

The programs listed above are a good start when it comes to grants and funding. You may find additional resources available by following the links below.

  • Agricultural Justice Project (AJP). This program offers resources and guidance for owners of farms and food businesses, from educational workshops to certification assessments to individual consultations.
  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The CDFI Fund is a government agency that offers financial support to certified lenders serving low-income communities. The CDFI is broken up into several different program areas, including Native Initiatives that provides training and assistance to Native communities, and the Capital Housing Fund that delivers affordable housing for low-income communities.
  • Government grants. If you’re looking for federal funding, is a comprehensive database that lists thousands of grants, with opportunities available for businesses of a variety of backgrounds. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your state and local governments, as some of these federal funds are disbursed to other agencies for local distribution.
  • Government contract assistance. In addition to government grants, specific programs have been established to help traditionally underserved entrepreneurs and businesses compete for federal contracts. These include the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program, the 8(a) Business Development Program for entrepreneurs from socially and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and the HUBZone Program for companies in underutilized business zones.
  • Mastercard Digital Doors. Small businesses can leverage the various resources available on Mastercard Digital Doors, from informational hubs to digital health diagnostics to payment solutions. Mastercard also partners with other organizations to help entrepreneurs access necessary capital and opportunities.
  • SBA Resource Partners. The SBA also partners with various organizations across the nation to support community-based businesses. SBA resource partners include Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), SCORE Business Mentors, Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs), and Women’s Business Centers (WBCs).
  • Tory Burch Foundation Funding Finder. This search tool provides personalized funding recommendations and resources for women entrepreneurs, based on their responses to a few questions about their business financials and aspirations.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.