Grant Guidelines

Apply for the 2023 StartHER Grant


The purpose of this program is to foster greater economic development activity in Texas by encouraging and enabling woman-owned small businesses to undertake new and innovative projects. 

Grant amount:


Who can apply?*

Eligible businesses must satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • Existing or to-be-formed woman-owned businesses (at least 51% directly owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents) with five or fewer employees may apply.
  • The business must be located and operated within the state of Texas.
  • The business must be a for-profit corporation, partnership, LLP, LLC, or sole proprietorship. Non Profit Organizations (501(c) 3 & 501(c) 6) are not eligible.
  • If the business or business owner owns the premises from which the business operates, all property taxes must be current.
  • All sales, payroll, and other taxes must be current.
  • Business owner(s), must not have any felonies or conviction of a crime of dishonesty or breach of trust.
  • The business, business owner, and applicant must not be involved in any pending or current litigation.
  • The business, business owner, and applicant are operating with all required permits and licenses and are conforming to all required laws.  Please check the Texas Taxable Entity Search page to verify your business is in good standing with the state:

*TWU faculty/staff (or immediate household members) students, trustees, advisory committee members and past grant recipients are not eligible to apply.

Ineligible applicants

  • TWU faculty/staff (or any immediate family member of the applicant's family, including spouse, child, parent), trustee, and advisory committee member.
  • TWU Students are not eligible to apply.
  • Prior grant winners of any CWE grant program.
  • Applicants who have taken part in any CWE program in the last year including AccelerateHER, TechFW or NTEETC awardees.

What can the funds be used for?

  • Purchase of machinery, equipment or technology.
  • Addition or acquisition of new inventory or raw materials.
  • Purchase and installation of merchandising fixtures and display units.
  • Property improvements that will result in increased sales and revenue.
  • Marketing, advertising and social media campaigns.
  • Any other business-related activity that CWE deems is aligned with the stated purpose of this program.

Funds can't be used for:

  • Wages, salaries, bonuses or compensation of any kind are explicitly ineligible activities under this program and will not be funded.
  • Real Property – Buildings, Land, etc. cannot be purchased with this grant.
  • Paying your regular monthly bills

What will need to be uploaded to the grant application:

  1. Proof of 51% woman-owned documentation – cannot be business name only
  2. One PDF with the Company Background and Project Information below (best to just copy this information and answer each question)
  3. Documentation for all expenses in your budget.  These could include proposals from a vendor, quotes or estimates, pictures from Amazon, preliminary invoices, etc.

Company Background and Project Information

Copy & Paste this information in a PDF that you will upload to your online grant application — each question must be answered, put N/A if not applicable. This information is mandatory.

Company Background

  • Description of the company’s current operations including products, markets, etc.
  • Description of the company’s current operating facilities – both owned and leased
  • Summary of the company’s current full and part-time employment
  • Description of the company’s need to undertake the proposed project

Project Narrative

  • Budget for the project, including project costs and source and use of funds (see faqs)
  • Physical description of the proposed project, including any business or residential relocation which may result from the undertaking of the project
  • Projected new employment for each of the three years following project completion including job title
  • Explanation of how your project will contribute to the economy of Texas

What are the grant requirements?

  • Awardees will receive an initial $2,500 upon signing a grant agreement. The second half of the grant award ($2,500) will be disbursed following satisfactory completion of a small business training course hosted by the CWE, 3 hours of small business advising and submission and approval of a completed business plan.
  • Funds must be matched by a minimum of 10% ($500) owner investment (cash, property or equipment). The investment must not be associated with debt of any kind and must be committed and available to the project at the time of the grant application. (see faqs)

Application process:

  • Applications will only be accepted through the online portal and must be submitted by 5:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. Revisions are not permitted following submission. Applications received after 5:00:00 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, will be automatically rejected.
  • All questions must be answered and all required information and documentation must be included; when submitting an application, the applicant must attach back-up documentation for all expenses (for example: proposals from a vendor, quotes or estimates, pictures from Amazon, preliminary invoices, etc.). Incomplete and second applications will be automatically rejected.

After you’ve been awarded:

  • The successful applicant will receive two installments of the award:
    1. $2,500 after signing the grant agreement, a photo release and all required paperwork for payment. For planning purposes, the funding won’t be awarded until late November/early December.
    2. $2,500 following completion of a small business training course hosted by the Center for Women Entrepreneurs, 3 hours of small business advising/mentoring and submission and approval of a completed business plan with three years of financials. Additionally, itemized receipts or proof of purchases made with initial grant funds of $2,500 (costs must have been incurred after receiving grant funding) must be provided to CWE to receive the remaining $2,500.
  • You need to meet with CWE staff to talk over the grant specifics and ask any questions you have.
  • Use the spreadsheet that the CWE provides for documentation.

The University will send winners a 1099 for the grant funds received.



Page last updated 2:33 PM, March 21, 2024