The AWBC works to secure economic justice and entrepreneurial opportunities for women by supporting and sustaining a national network of more than 100 Women’s Business Centers (WBC). WBCs help women succeed in business by providing training, mentoring, business development, and financing opportunities to nearly 200,000 women entrepreneurs each year.

Now Accepting Upskilling Grant Applications!

For businesses that intend to train and upskill low-wage workers age 50+, this grant program will reimburse employers up to $2,500 per employee for training.

Grant Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Applicant is a small business with qualifying employee(s) 50+ years of age
  2. Applicant intends to train qualifying employee(s) to improve or add to their job skills
  3. Qualifying employee(s) currently earn $16/hour or less on average
  4. Training to be completed by December 1, 2021
  5. Applicant attests to increasing wage at least $2/hour once training is completed ($2.50/hour min. increase to earn the maximum grant award)


In 2020, AARP Foundation funded, and AWBC administered, the Upskilling grant program which benefited 23 small businesses and increased the wages for 41 individuals collectively increasing their annual earnings by $63,836. We are grateful to AARP Foundation for renewing this program and funding more opportunities for small businesses to provide better wages for their employees 50+ years of age.

Why is this grant important to AWBC? 

Small businesses, especially in segments most represented by women entrepreneurs, are experiencing challenges to economic recovery. While grants are more widely available now than in recent history, access to capital remains the greatest barrier for women to grow their businesses. 

AWBC seeks to support businesses that are investing in and upskilling their existing labor force in an effort to help address the widening talent gap. 

Simultaneously, our grant funder, AARP Foundation, is working to address the unique challenges faced by older adults:

"Every day, millions of older adults are forced to choose 

between paying for heat … or medicine … or nutritious food. 

More than 37 million seniors are already living in poverty 

or just one life event away from slipping into it.

AARP Foundation is investing in bold, innovative programs — 

from fighting senior hunger to providing job training 

to helping older adults connect with their neighbors and communities."

Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis so be sure to apply early. If you have questions, drop us a line at

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