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Four Funding Sources for Women Going back to school or starting a business may be more realistic tha

The average cost of a college education and starting a business is $30,000, according to College Data and theEwing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Going back to school or fulfilling your entrepreneurial dreams may appear unrealistic if you don’t have access to that kind of cash. But all hope is not lost. If you’re looking to higher your education or jumpstart your business but lack the resources to do so, there are programs in place specifically designed to assist women in their pursuits. Check out these four funding sources for women.

Huggies Mom Inspired Grant

The Huggies MomInspired Grant program encourages mothers to use their creative juices to make parenthood a little easier. The diaper brand awards a $15,000 grant and business resources to moms who create a product that enhances parenthood. Applicants have to be 21 or older and live in the United States. Past recipients can re-submit as long as they develop a new product. One of the 2013 winners was Abraxas Pickens, creator of The Highchair Organizer. The Highchair Organizer is an attachable cloth pouch with separate compartments to store anything you may need during feeding time with your little one. Pickens says she created the organizer after discovering many parents get up multiple times when feeding their child, leaving the baby unattended and more prone to highchair accidents, to get meal-related items. Now, with The Highchair Organizer, parents can store bibs, spoons, bottles and anything else they may need.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW)

The AAUW promotes equity and education for women and girls. The organization has provided $3.7 million in funding for more than 244 fellowships for women and nonprofits in the 2014-15 academic year. AAUW has sixfellowships and grants, awarding women for career development, community action, international projects that advance women and girls, and more. Funding ranges from $2,000 to $30, 000, according to their officialwebsite.

Live Your Dream

The Live Your Dream Awards assist women who are the primary financial contributors for their families. Live Your Dream provides resources to help selected women improve their education, skills and employment prospects. The program claims to be unique in allowing recipients to use their awards to offset expenses associated with pursuing education or skills training, such as tuition, books, childcare, transportation, etc.

Global Fund for Women

Global Fund for Women awards $5,000 to $30,000 a year to women’s groups that advance the human rights for women and girls. Applying organizations must be based outside of the U.S, focused on women’s rights with clearly stated goals, consist of groups (individuals ineligible), governed, directed and led by a woman. Global Fund for Women receives over 2,500 proposals every, and awards about 500.

By Essence Gant

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