Idaho: A Beacon for Women Entrepreneurs with Thriving Resources & Support

women entrepreneurship in idaho

In focus: Some schemes, initiatives, grants and support systems available for women entrepreneurs in Idaho

#WomenEntrepreneurs #IdahoBusiness #EmpowerWomen #SmallBizGrowth #BusinessResources

Is Idaho a good place for business? Idaho, known for its business-friendly environment, is rapidly emerging as a prime location for entrepreneurial ventures, particularly for women. Known as the “Gem State” it’s impressive growth in small businesses underlines its appeal, driven by low taxes, limited regulation & a robust infrastructure. Women-owned businesses, while comprising 39.1% of U.S. firms, contribute only a small fraction to the workforce and revenue. Idaho is currently ranked 2nd in the United States for its economic outlook.

However, Idaho is surely committed to changing that narrative. The state offers a plethora of resources – including schemes, grants and funds specifically designed to support women entrepreneurs. With a skilled and educated workforce, strategic access to key markets, and a top ranking for economic outlook, Idaho provides an ideal setting for women to launch and expand their businesses.

Let us now explore various schemes, initiatives, grants and support systems available in Idaho that are paving the way for women entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed.

Idaho Women in Business (IWIB)

Idaho Women in Business (IWIB), a new affiliate of the National Women’s Business Community Network (NWBCN), has fixed a mission to create an inclusive and equitable ecosystem that breaks down barriers and promotes economic empowerment for those who wish to impact change. So, their mission is rooted in the belief that – women have the power to drive innovation, create jobs, strengthen local communities, and overcome social and cultural barriers.

Idaho Women in Business partnering with NWBCN is an exclusive membership community for founders – to connect, get educated, find vetted business solutions, and gain access to expertise to power their businesses and receive valuable national visibility through their robust online Idaho and National directory.

Here it is all about State & Federal Resources for Business. This site contains the information you will need to start or grow your small business.

To elaborate, it includes all information from both state and federal agencies that license, regulate or tax small businesses, as well as information about business funding, assistance resources and more.

Women’s Business Center (WBC)

Women’s Business Center (WBC) was launched in Boise, hosted by the Seattle Economic Development Fund, also known as Business Impact NW.

The center is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 152nd location throughout all 50 states; and it will allow the agency to continue playing a crucial role – in addressing historical inequities and barriers, in addition to bridging opportunity gaps so more of America’s potential entrepreneurs can build connections, find resources, secure access to capital and pursue transformative opportunities.

The Women’s Business Center (WBC) is a one-stop business resource shop. Individual business consulting, premium business training, credit building and business financing are all available at one convenient location. They also offer networking opportunities and access to business resources.

The WBC location offers counseling services, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance and mentoring to women business owners.

Idaho Government Agencies

State of Idaho – Business Services

This State of Idaho government website contains the information you need to start or grow your small business. It includes information from both state and federal agencies that license, regulate or tax small businesses, as well as information about business funding, assistance resources, and more.

Business topics include starting a business, running a business, Idaho business incentives, employer issues, professional licenses, managing and hiring employees, business taxes and reporting, paying business taxes, and tax and credits.

Idaho Secretary of State

The Idaho Secretary of State’s office is the place to go – to register your new business, access business forms, better understand uniform commercial code, register a trademark, get help with your notary needs, and do a business records search. You can manage an existing business, file documents for a new business & much more.

Idaho Small Business Administration – SBA

The Idaho SBA is supported by a total of three offices across Idaho and Washington. They provide services including – funding programs, counseling, federal contracting, certifications, and disaster recovery. They can also connect you to partner organizations, lenders, and other community groups that help small businesses succeed.

Examples of educational activities and events include – Marketing 101: Building a Brand for Your Small Business, Step Up Your Social Media Content, Common Credit Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Creating a Quick Business Plan in Three Hours, and Funding Your Working Capital Needs.

Idaho Agencies & Nonprofit Organizations

Idaho Women’s Business Center (IWBC)

The Idaho Women’s Business Center is hosted by the Idaho Hispanic Foundation and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small business resources include:

  • Business 101 Entrepreneurial Studio: The Entrepreneurial Studio is a six-week series that covers the basic principles of what it takes to be an entrepreneur, business 101 principles, and tools to take action towards turning your idea into a sustainable business.
  • Professional Business Development: Ongoing webinars and in-person business training events, covering all pillars of business – Finance, Marketing, Business Development, and Human Resources. These are professional development opportunities for new and established businesses.

SCORE – Eastern Idaho

SCORE Eastern Idaho consists of a group of experienced business professionals, who provide guidance to people who want to start a new business or assist an existing business in improving their profitability. The office in Idaho Falls serves Idaho’s five Eastern counties.

SCORE volunteers are business professionals and experts with experience in areas including – accounting, finance, human resources, consulting, import/export, law, operations, production, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, sales, marketing, management, business plan preparation, strategic planning, and other business disciplines.

SCORE provides – Volunteer mentors who share their expertise across many industries; Free, confidential business advising in person, via email, or by video; Free business tools, templates, and tips & Inexpensive or free business workshops local or online.

SCORE – Treasure Valley

The Treasure Valley SCORE serves Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, and surrounding communities.

This SCORE office is dedicated to helping rural entrepreneurs achieve their business goals. Get help with personal mentorship opportunities, free business training, and a large number of resources, designed especially for rural business owners. Whether it’s applying for rural development grants or navigating local economic organizations, Treasure Valley SCORE can help you manage and grow, plan and start, or transition and exit your business.

Idaho Small Business Development Center – SBDC

The Idaho Small Business Development Center empowers small business success – by providing no-cost, confidential consulting and low-cost training to entrepreneurs throughout Idaho.

The Idaho SBDC is a statewide, university-based organization helping small businesses succeed. Here, experienced Idaho SBDC consultants meet with clients – to provide guidance in developing and growing a successful business.

With six office locations throughout the state (each affiliated with one of Idaho’s colleges or universities), Idaho SBDC is uniquely positioned – to serve as a focal point for linking together partners from higher education, the private business community, and federal, state and local government.

Idaho SBDC assistance is available to anyone interested in expanding or starting a private small business in Idaho. Consulting is available at no cost to you. Approximately 98% of all firms in Idaho qualify as small businesses and, therefore, are eligible for assistance from the nearest Idaho SBDC office.


A group of experienced entrepreneurs came together in 2015, with a vision to create a community where anyone with an idea can receive the mentoring and the experience needed to succeed in the startup world. And, Trailhead was born!

Trailhead helps you learn, grow, and scale by planting seeds of entrepreneurship and nurturing them into thriving businesses.

The organization provides: Co-working space for inventors, builders, creators, and doers; Educational programs designed to teach you the skills necessary to achieve success with your business; Mentorship to succeed in the startup world; Fundraising opportunities including awards and investments for members and their businesses; Networking opportunities with prominent businesses, public officials, and organizations in the Boise community & Experiential learning to engage members in hands-on, real-world situations.

Funding – State and Federal Sources

U.S. Small Business Administration – SBA

The US Small Business Administration provides loans, investment capital, disaster assistance, surety bonds, and grants to start and grow a business as well as to recover from a disaster. The SBA also offers the Women-Owned Small Businesses – WOSB – Federal Contracting Program that helps women-owned small businesses compete for federal government contracts.

The SBA also works with federal agencies – to increase contracting opportunities and achieve the government’s five percent contracting goal for women-owned small businesses.

Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission – IGEM – Grant Program

A program of the Idaho Department of Commerce, the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) grant program advances the growth of Idaho’s economy through commercialized research at Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho.

The IGEM program is focused on commercializing new technologies, scientific developments, and industry-changing services – through facilitating sponsored research and accelerating technology transfer out of Idaho university research facilities and into the private sector.

The Idaho Department of Commerce disperses approximately $950,000 in funds annually through this grant program.

Amber Grants for Women

WomensNet helps women find legitimate grants, loans, and other funding for their business venture, and they have done so since 1998. A simple, hassle-free place to start is with their Amber Grants for Women. They award three $10,000 women’s small business grants every month.

Businesswomen from Idaho (and all over America) are eligible to apply for one of the three $10,000 Amber Grants. Their judges award THREE every month.  They are awarding a $25,000 year-end Amber Grant to three of the winners. So, do apply and you never know what $35,000 would do to boost your business!

Idaho Women Entrepreneurs LLC

What Idaho Women Entrepreneurs LLC does is – strive to empower women in the community and provide a support system where women can build friendships, network, and receive education and business development.

TRUiC Startup Savant

If you are thinking – how to become a certified woman-owned business in Idaho here is a solution.

Woman-owned Business Certification in Idaho can really have a serious impact on your business! It can mean the difference between being approved for the new federal government contracts you want or keeping a business struggling to stay afloat.

Choosing and applying for a woman-owned business certification can be a little daunting though, especially if you’re new to the process. You will get all information about what it means to apply for a certification, how to qualify, what the benefits are in Idaho including additional businesswomen resources available. They have also developed this list of the best startup ideas to help you make money in 2024.

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