Center for Women Entrepreneurs marks grant program’s fifth year

DENTON StartHER, a highly successful grant program of TWU’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs that offers financial support to women-owned businesses in Texas, is marking its fifth year.

The center, which is part of the university’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership, will begin accepting applications for its latest round of grants on Sept. 22. The center will award 25 grants, each valued at $5,000.

Since its inception, the grant program has awarded $450,000 in grants to 90 women-owned businesses. The program receives hundreds of applications each year, highlighting the tremendous demand for such opportunities.

StartHER grants have supported and empowered women entrepreneurs across Texas in realizing their business dreams. The program provides a crucial boost to women business owners, both current and aspiring, by offering opportunities for innovation and growth.

“It’s with immense pride that we recognize the fifth anniversary of the StartHER Grant Program,” Tracy Irby, the center’s director, said in a news release. “Over these years, we have witnessed the transformative impact these grants have had on women entrepreneurs. By nurturing their ideas and providing financial support, we contribute to a stronger, more diverse business landscape.”

The grants provide financial support for a variety of business needs, including the purchase of equipment, technology, inventory, and property improvements. The grants do not cover wages, salaries or sales tax. Awardees must submit a business plan, spend three hours with a business advisor, and complete a virtual, small-business training course starting in November. The course covers topics such as business plan development, marketing, legal matters, and financial management.

To apply for the StartHER grant, businesses must submit a completed online application by 5 p.m., Oct. 22. For detailed information, FAQs, and the application process, visit the official website at Any inquiries related to the grants can be directed to [email protected].

The Center for Women Entrepreneurs is a program of the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership at Texas Woman’s University. The institute is dedicated to preparing more women to take on successful roles in business and public service. Its three specialized centers ensure women have the education to establish careers as successful executives, the skills for building entrepreneurial businesses, and the framework needed to run for public office.