Hunting for scholarships can feel like a full-time job, and – for most students – there’s really no time for that. Add in the fact many students are running their own business while attending school, and it’s even more important to find funding sources that not only recognize their challenges as students but also as entrepreneurs. Thankfully, running even a small company or doing freelance work as an independent contractor is becoming more common, and scholarship sponsors are taking notice.
See this growing list of places to get college cash to help you on your educational journey while you continue to nurture your fledgling biz.
GreenPal Scholarship for Tomorrow’s Entrepreneur
If you’re a high schooler with interest in business or an undergraduate at a college of business, you can apply to receive GreenPal’s $2,000 scholarship – which will be awarded at $500 over four semesters of your post-secondary education. The money is given based on a business-based essay answer (which changes each year.) This scholarship is scheduled to open on December 1st, so get ready!
Apply here: https://www.yourgreenpal.com/scholarship
Grasshopper Entrepreneur Scholarship
For the past five years, Grasshopper has been giving out large chunks of money to students who are enrolled in an undergraduate program and have an interest in small business. While the rules don’t specifically say that you have to own a business to be eligible, it really is designed to support budding start-ups. They grant $5,000 annually to the winner of their essay contest. Read the past year’s essays to get an idea for what they like.
(While it hasn’t opened up yet for 2019, the page has been updated. Stay tuned around January 1st for your chance to apply!)
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Mulberry’s Garment Care Scholarship
Earn $1,000 for college when you win the Budding Entrepreneur Scholarship from Mulberry’s Garment Care. Geared solely for those who want to start (or have started a business), you’ll be asked to describe your business idea and why it will succeed. This is the second year for this lesser-known scholarship. Apply by December 7th, 2018 to be considered!
Kitchen Cabinet Kings Scholarship
Do you know a bit about blockchain and cryptocurrency? Share your knowledge (and predictions) about their role in the future of business to be eligible to win a $5,000 college scholarship. Open to high school seniors and undergraduates; you must apply by December 30, 2018.
Apply here: https://kitchencabinetkings.com/scholarship/
Blitz Sales Software Scholarship
Open until July 1st of each year, this $1,000 scholarship is for high school seniors and undergrads who can answer some basic questions about sales, networking, and marketing performance. As a small business owner, these are essential skills. Tell them what you know and get much-needed money for college!
Apply here: https://www.nowblitz.com/blitz-scholarship/
While these have closed for the year, they have a good track record and are expected to return in 2019. Bookmark these pages to follow-up for the next year:
TestPrep HQ Annual Entrepreneur Scholarship – Offered for two years in a row, it’s given out $2,500 to entrepreneurs based on an essay
Voy Media Entrepreneur Scholarship – This ad agency gives out four separate $2500 scholarships a year to budding business owners. While the submission period is closed, they are expected to open again soon.
FranichiseOpportunities.com $2,000 College Scholarship – Closed for the year, it’s announced to be back in 2019 to give one enrolled college student money to help fund their classes (and their business goals.) Be prepared to talk about your bright business idea in your application!
NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award – There’s no official word yet on if this program will be returning, but – in the past – it’s given out 100 awards each year ranging from $2000 – $15,000! Open to high school seniors only, it requires you to talk about your business and is funded by the National Federation of Business. Check the link after the first of the year to see if this comes back for 2019. It’s a big one!
SelfLender Scholarship Award – Giving out $1,000 each year to a small business owner and student, it’s expected to return again in 2019.
HostGator Technology Scholarship – This company has a soft-spot for budding business owners. (They started as a dorm room gig!) To help encourage future business owners, they are giving out $1,500 annually to help. Check back at the site often. The 2018-2019 window closed on August 30th.
Finally, while not quite the same as the other, one-time scholarships on the list (which can usually be used at any school), micro-scholarships are growing in popularity. These are smaller milestone grants that are awarded for any number of accomplishments completed in high school, from participating in sports to getting A’s. You have to enroll in the program and indicate the college you wish the money to be applied to before you earn, but many of the milestones are entrepreneurial in spirit. Raise.Me money may replace money earned through a traditional award for grades or achievement from the college, so be sure you are ready to accept the highest amount in any form, from any program, when you finally get that award letter.
Apply here (before you graduate from high school): https://www.raise.me/
Other Places to Look
Competition for scholarships is fierce, and with so many people applying, it may seem that you don’t stand a chance at winning. Keep trying, however, because the mere act of trying improves your writing, networking, and social skills. You never know if you might make it big.
In the meantime, look for local scholarships within the business community near you for more opportunities with less competition. You can check with industry-based groups (such as those that serve insurance or real estate professionals), your city’s Chamber of Commerce, or very prominent, Fortune 500 business that may operate in your area. Finally, don’t discount the effort of checking with your local school or college. They often hear about scholarship opportunities that haven’t been announced yet. They are usually more than happy to give you the info you need to get started applying.
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