_Grants_Women-Owned BusinessesThe EILEEN FISHER Women-Owned Business Grant supports innovative, women-owned companies that are beyond the start-up phase and ready to expand their business and their potential for positive social and environmental impact.

Instilling confidence in women entrepreneurs is a personal passion for company founder Eileen Fisher. “I know how important it is to have someone believe in and validate your work,” says Eileen. “I want to encourage women entrepreneurs, especially those who firmly believe that business can be used to create social and environmental change.”

In support of this vision of women entrepreneurs as creators of change, the EILEEN FISHER Women-Owned Business Grant Program was launched in 2004 with a single grant as part of the company’s twentieth anniversary celebrations.

Presently, we award $120,000 in grants for up to 10 grant recipients (minimum grant $12,000) on an annual basis. In addition, grant recipients are invited to New York City in the spring following their award for two days of learning and celebration with the EILEEN FISHER community

Program Requirements
Businesses must meet all eligibility requirements in order to apply. We strongly advise potential applicants to review both eligibility and evaluation criteria prior to applying in order to self-assess if their businesses are a good fit for this program.

Eligibility Criteria
All businesses applying for the program must meet the following criteria:

  • Majority women-owned and women-led (majority defined as minimum 51%)*
  • In operation for a minimum of three years at time of application and able to provide accompanying financials
  • Revenues not exceeding $1 million in year prior to application
  • Business founded on creating environmental and social change

Organizations not eligible for the grant include:

  • Businesses in the start-up or idea phase
  • Nonprofits solely dependent on donations/grants**
  • Current EILEEN FISHER suppliers***
  • Self-employed practitioners
  • Religious or political organizations
  • Franchises
  • Current EILEEN FISHER employees and their families
  • Past recipients of the Women-Owned Business Grant

*Organizations that have forward-thinking ownership structures, such as a cooperative or other worker ownership model, are encouraged to apply as long as the organization is majority women-led.
**While traditional nonprofits with no earned revenue sources are not eligible to apply for this program, we encourage organizations that identify as social enterprises, regardless of legal structure, to apply. However, social enterprises that are registered nonprofits must demonstrate clear sources of revenue and should not be reliant on donations or grants alone.

***Businesses are permitted to become EILEEN FISHER suppliers after their selection.
Evaluation Criteria
Businesses that meet all eligibility criteria will be evaluated based on:

  • Alignment with the EILEEN FISHER company mission and leadership practices
  • Feasibility of business plan
  • Integration of social consciousness practices in core of business
  • Innovation in business idea, practices and/or products
  • Clear need and use of funding to achieve next phase of growth
  • Passion and resilience of the entrepreneur(s)
  • Willingness to share responsible business practices with peers and participate in EILEEN FISHER grant community

Selection Process
The annual selection process is led by the Social Consciousness team and an internal employee committee. Exact dates are tentative and may vary depending on circumstances of each year.

  • April–May: Applications open. The initial application requests basic information about you and your business, an executive summary and responses to several essay questions.
  • June–August: Eligible applications are reviewed by a committee of EILEEN FISHER employees.
  • August–September: Applicants who reach the Finalist stage are notified and asked to submit additional information, financials, interview availability and (if relevant) product samples.
  • September–October: Finalists are interviewed by phone.
  • November: Winners are notified.

Please note:

  • Applicants who do not reach the Finalist stage will not receive a status notification or feedback on their application.
  • No late applications will be accepted.
  • No phone inquiries on questions of eligibility and/or application content will be accepted. It is up to the applicants to self-assess their eligibility and determine if they should apply.
  • No organization or agency may charge for this application. Please report any unauthorized solicitations to [email protected]

Read more at http://www.eileenfisher.com/grants/grants-overview/