Women-Led Business

Investing in women and our communities

Women leaders change the world

We see them not just succeeding—but thriving. We're inspired by women business leaders and care about supporting growth in their careers and endeavors. In fact, at First Citizens, 52% of our managers are women.

This collection of resources is meant to empower women entrepreneurs as they continue to reach bold new heights.

Sharon Bryant

"Women are natural entrepreneurs. They are confident, empathetic and extremely resilient. Women-led businesses are growing significantly in our footprint, and investing in their achievements is critical to our long-term success."

Sharon Bryant
Regional Executive Vice President at First Citizens

Strength in leadership

12.3 Million

Women-owned businesses in the US in 2021

$1.8 Trillion

In yearly profits generated from women-owned businesses


Of all US businesses are owned by women

9 Million

People employed by women-owned businesses since 2017

Michelle Chan-Ponder

"I'm proud of the bank's commitment to women-owned businesses in our community. The culture here has allowed me to stay true to myself and focus on long-term goals and objectives. When it comes to supporting my career growth in a male-dominated industry, First Citizens walks the talk."

Michelle Chan-Ponder
Area Executive Vice President at First Citizens


Further your goals

Certifying your business as woman-owned can open the door to a wide range of financial opportunities, federal contracts, development programs and a network of support to help you grow.

SBA Certification

The Small Business Administration, or SBA, offers certifications for your Woman Owned Small Business or Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business.

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WBENC Certification

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council, or WBENC, certifies women owned businesses across the US, granting access to support, targeted business opportunities, networking and mentorship opportunities.

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NWBOC Certification

The National Women Business Owners Corporation, or NWBOC, provides business resources to help its "certified members to scale, become more sustainable—and ultimately more procurement ready—to do business with government and private sectors."

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These grant programs are offered specifically for women-owned and -operated businesses. Even if your business is only an idea, these grants can help you get started.

Grants.gov℠ Federal Grants

Since 2002, Grants.gov has made it easy to search and apply for grants for small business owners—with over 1,000 heavily vetted federal grant programs available.

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37 Angels

Founded by women investors, 37 Angels offer grants up to $150,000 to women-owned small businesses. They're determined to close the gap that women entrepreneurs face when seeking out small business loans.

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The Amber Grant

One of five finalists can be a monthly $10,000 Amber Grant winner. The other four will each receive $1,000. Each winner qualifies for the year-end grant of $25,000—for a total of $35,000.

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IFundWomen Universal Grant

IFundWomen has secured more than $8,000,000 in corporate grants for women-owned small businesses. 

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Kapor Capital

Kapor Capital invests in tech-driven companies committed to closing gaps of access, opportunity or outcome for low income and/or communities of color—especially those focused on African-American and Latinx communities.

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Explore. Learn. Grow. Discover what's possible with educational opportunities, tutorials and tools for women in business.


Ascent is a free learning platform designed to help women entrepreneurs grow their business. Journeys topics include: Strategic Marketing, Your Business Financial Strategy, Access to Capital and more.

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SCORE for Women Entrepreneurs

SCORE, a nonprofit organization, offers education and mentorship services to help women-owned businesses achieve greater success.

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America's SBDC

As a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers, or SBDCs, America's SBDC offers no-cost business consulting and small business resources for women across the US.

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Monica Hummel

"First Citizens has allowed me to share my experiences and growth with other women who aspire to be in banking, or other professional businesses. It makes an impact on them when they see a woman playing a leadership role at an executive level."

Monica Hummel
Area Executive Vice President at First Citizens


Women-focused insights

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