By Karen Axelton

photo huggiesHuggies diapers has launched a program that will give venture capital funding to entrepreneurial moms, BrandWeek reports. Parent company Kimberly-Clark will award grants of up to $15,000, with a total of $250,000 being given out in the first year.

The site,, is accepting open submissions for new business ideas. According to the site, Huggies is seeking grant proposals “for thoroughly considered product ideas that nurture the relationship between mother and child.” (And no, the ideas don’t have to be diaper-related.)

Huggies’ criteria is that the ideas be original and designed to help make life easier for parents so they can better enjoy everyday moments with their children. “Our judging panel will also take into consideration Huggies® innovation standards for mom-designed creations, including originality, relevancy, potential commercial viability, and the joys of parenting.”

Kimberly-Clark launched the program because women-owned businesses are growing twice as fast as overall small businesses, according to a 2008 research report from the National Association of Women Business Owners. But women still have more difficulty getting funding for their startups. Kimberly-Clark cites Babson College research that shows just 3 percent of venture capital funds go to women.

Eligible applicants must be women 21 years and older living in the United States. Huggies will award grants twice a year. The current submission period ends June 8. Winners will be notified within six weeks after that. For more information about grants, eligibility and how to apply, visit