There are many different types of grants for women. The federal government is a major source of grants, as are private foundations and corporations. One thing to keep in mind is that grant money is set-aside for a specific purpose. You must have a plan for the money that fits with their goals.
The best place to start when considering different types of grains for women are your own goals. What will you use the money for? If you are starting or expanding a business, then you will need to clearly show how you venture supports your community or helps the cause of a private funding organization. If your business is in energy, for example, you might get a grant to expand your company's solar development capabilities. This kind of grant could come from a variety of sources. You are not likely to find a grant to simply start a new business. In some cases, minority owners starting businesses in distressed areas can qualify for either public or private grants.
These are generally available for high tech businesses or businesses that will benefit the community with development and jobs. You will find these grants at the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA.gov). You can also try Grants.gov. In either case, you will be able to search opportunities using the word "women." That will bring up a variety of search results, some without the word women in the title. This is acceptable, since there may be a mention of how the grant is for women later in the content. If you are serious about finding a grant, then you will want to spend a lot of time on this site searching for the one that fits you.
Grants from the federal government have very stringent requirements. You must detail exactly how you plan on spending the money, as well as establish key dates for accomplishments and review. Everything must be verifiable.
Like federal grants, private grants have specific goals in mind for the grant. Because of this, they usually have guidelines on how the grant money can be used. Applicants will need to show that they can meet those requirements. Private grants can come from an individual, organization, or foundation. Celebrities and other public figures give grants. Some of the better known are Oprah Winfrey and Bill and Melinda Gates.
Pell grants are offered by the federal government for education. Unlike a student loan, it does not have to be repaid. The maximum amount awarded for the 2011 - 2012 school year was $5,550. The amount you receive will be determined by your financial need, the cost you face to attend school, whether you are full-time or part-time, and whether or not you intend on going to school for the full academic year. Private organizations also offer educational grants, as do some schools. Check with the financial aid department of the school you plan on attending.
These are similar to private grants. The money is almost always intended for study, research, or business in a field that is related to the corporation's business. For example, a food processing company would be more likely to give agricultural grants.