Empowering Lone Star Ambition: The Soaring Landscape of Women Entrepreneurship in Texas

In Focus: Some Government Schemes & Incentives for Women Entrepreneurs from Texas

#TexasWomenEntrepreneurs #LoneStarLeaders #EmpowerHerEconomy #TexasBusinessWomen #WomenInTexas

In the vast landscape of the Lone Star State, the impact of women entrepreneurs has been nothing short of transformative. As early as 2017, women held a significant share of Texas’ employment, driving business activities that rippled across the state, supporting millions of jobs. Fast forward to the present, and the women entrepreneurship narrative in Texas is not just thriving; it’s becoming a cornerstone of the state’s economic identity.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, the entrepreneurial spirit of Texan women has manifested in a remarkable surge of women-owned businesses. By 2019, these ventures accounted for 10.2% of all businesses in the United States, with Texas emerging as a formidable hub. In 2023, the state proudly hosts 3 million businesses, of which 1.25 million are led by women. These enterprises, comprising 99.8% small businesses, represent not just economic contributors but a testament to the resilience and innovation of Texan women in the
business arena.

Despite their undeniable impact, women entrepreneurs in Texas continue to encounter barriers hindering their full potential and prosperity. Recognizing this, the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, in collaboration with various partners, is working diligently to dismantle these barriers. Their mission goes beyond increasing female participation in business; it extends to providing a diverse range of resources that foster the holistic advancement of women in the state.

The Texas Governor’s Commission for Women is committed to propelling the Lone Star State to the forefront as the leading haven for women-owned businesses. In doing so, they not only elevate the economic landscape but also create an environment where women entrepreneurs not only survive but thrive, inspiring a new generation of trailblazers. In this unfolding narrative of empowerment, Texas stands poised to be the No. 1 state for women-owned businesses, paving the way for a future where women entrepreneurs continue to chart new territories and redefine success.

Let’s take a look at some government initiatives, schemes & grants that are available for women entrepreneurs in Texas.

> Governor’s Commission for Women-Owned Businesses

Here it is significant that the Governor’s Commission for Women is closely focused on advancing economic opportunities for Texan women and making Texas the #1 state for women-owned businesses. In May 2018, Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts – discussed current challenges and worked out brainstorm ways – all with the intention to further increase opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

> How to Start a Business in Texas

Texas offers one of the best business ecosystems in the nation. Businesses thrive here because of the good geographic location, highly-skilled workforce, low tax burden, reasonable cost of living, predictable regulatory environment and the reputation that state has for having a truly business-friendly climate.

For entrepreneurs knowing this process to develop your business is important. The process of starting a business can be divided into the seven basic steps. And anyone wanting to start a business, can seek help to see that all legal requirements are met before opening up a business.

> Governor’s Small Business Resource Portal

The Governor’s Small Business Resource Portal provides the most relevant resources and contacts – to help anyone interested find success, whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or an established business owner. This important tool offers a customized list of useful business resources to assist you in starting or growing your business in Texas.

> Governor’s Women Small Business Series

The Governor’s Small Business Series provides an opportunity for small business owners and entrepreneurs – to listen and learn from subject-matter experts and gain actionable advice regarding starting, growing, and sustaining a business. Attendees can network with other entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and business-oriented non-profits, as well as local, regional, state, and federal agencies.

> Veteran, Minority & Women Owned Business Resources

Veteran, minority and women-owned small businesses in Texas have a major impact on the state’s economy. The state has a number of resources and organizations dedicated to helping veteran, minority and women-owned businesses start-up and grow in Texas.

Additional Business Resources are:

-SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership

-SCORE Business Mentorship

-Small Business Development Centers

-Texas Economic Development Corporation (TXEDC) Small Business Resources

-Texas Workforce Commission – Start and Expand Your Business

-U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Source: https://gov.texas.gov/organization/women/economic-opportunities
Other Link: https://gov.texas.gov/business/page/incentives

> Grants Available
Center for Women Entrepreneurs

The Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Texas Women’s University offers StartHER Grants – funds around $5,000 to women-owned small businesses in Texas. Grants are awarded to businesses that are at least 51% owned/controlled by women who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Eligibility has conditions laid out.

StartHER Grant

StartHER Grant funds can be used for a wide range of purposes from purchasing equipment, inventory or raw goods to marketing and social media campaigns. Applications for this year’s grant cycle will be accepted from Sept. 3 – Oct. 4, 2024.

Texas Enterprise Fund

Businesses that want to open a new facility or expand an existing one may be eligible to receive a grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). Eligible projects must generate at least 75 full-time jobs in urban areas or at least 25 full-time jobs in rural areas. The project must also be supported by the local county government where it takes place.

Awards typically range from $1,000 to $10,000 per qualified job. Amounts are calculated based on an analytical model that uses factors such as the average wage for new employees, the number of jobs created and the company’s total proposed capital investment. The application process involves a lengthy due diligence that includes areas such as project competitiveness, estimated economic impact, financial standing, tax status, credit ratings and legal issues among other things.

Gusto Impact Award

Presented by the payroll company Gusto, the Gusto Impact Award is open to small- business owners located in Austin, Texas. To be eligible you must have no more than 75 employees, have generated no more than $7 million in revenue in fiscal year 2023 and have been incorporated for at least one year. One business will receive a $10,000 cash grant, $50,000 in local advertising and free payroll fro Gusto for one year. Thirty other small businesses will receive $500 Visa gift cards.

The application window is open from Feb. 13 – March 14, 2024.

Business Grant Program in Houston

The Wells Fargo Open for Business Grant Program is designed to advance the mission of the Houston Equity Fund – by investing in diverse-owned small businesses with 100 or fewer employees located in vulnerable communities in Houston.

Grants can range from $5,000 to $100,000 and can be used for the purchase of property, equipment and other assets.

This grant program is being administered in three rounds. The application process for round three will open in 2024.

Amegy Bank Small Business Boost Program

The Amegy Bank Small Business Boost Program, created by Amegy Bank and the Houston Texan football franchise, is available to small businesses in the greater Houston area.

Program winners receive a $5,000 grant, access to event opportunities and marketing and promotional support.

Dayton Community Development Corporation grant programs

Dayton Community Development Corporation offers grants for small businesses that focus on the Downtown District of Dayton.

To qualify for these programs, businesses must be within designated locations in the city.

The Dayton Downtown Improvement Grant provides up to $25,000, as a 50% match for activities such as interior renovations, signage, landscaping and improvement to the building and parking lot. Along the same lines, the Dayton Small Business Grant offers funding up to $7,500 for exterior projects and also $7,500 for interior projects — on a 50% match basis.

San Antonio Economic Development Department grant programs

The San Antonio Economic Development Department grant programs are available to small businesses in the city. A variety of grants are offered to assist businesses with exterior improvements, noise mitigations, improved outdoor amenities, increased staffing and expanding into new markets.

Grant amounts are available from $2,000 to $50,000, depending on the program.

Lubbock Economic Development Alliance grants

Lubbock Economic Development Alliance grant programs are open to businesses located in downtown Lubbock or in a designated commercial revitalization area. The Commercial Revitalization Grant Program is designed to assist with expenses related to property improvements with reimbursements ranging from 10% to 50% of qualified expenses up to $50,000, depending on the project.

In addition to being located in the required areas, the applicant must be the owner or tenant of the property and be current on property taxes. Improvements must meet the city guidelines and the grant must be made before starting construction.

The Alamo Small Business Grant Program

The Alamo Small Business Grant Program is available to businesses located in the city of Alamo. It provides 50% reimbursement, up to $2,500, for projects such as storefront improvements, signage, repairs, renovations and equipment purchases.

For a business to qualify for the Alamo Small Business Grant, it must have been in operation for a minimum of 24 consecutive months. Also, the business owner must have a yearly lease. In addition to completing an application, owners will need to describe their business, their project and the project budget. Tax returns for the past two years and documented leases from the business’s landlord agreeing to the project are also required.


> Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

SBDC provides counselling and training to small business owners. They also help in working with Small Business Administration (SBA) – to support entrepreneurs and business owners.

The services provided are – problem-solving business assistance and help to develop new technologies. They are often associated with state agencies to help provide grants to small business owners.

> Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)

Companies considering shifting out of Texas, are awarded grants to make Texas an attractive location to invest in. Such businesses are required to contribute significantly and generate new employment opportunities (75% jobs in Urban and 25% in rural areas) in Texas.

> Grants.gov

Grants.gov is a comprehensive resource of available government business grants. Such small business grants are administered by various federal agencies. This helps them support a wide range of businesses such – as restaurants, elderly care services, and health clinics.


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