If you’re looking for starting a business or you want your small business to get off the ground, then you know that you’ll need some money to start.
It’s not easy to get money to your business, that’s why the grants have become a great option for small-business owners who want to take their idea to another level and make it profitable.
With some extra money, you’ll be able to give a financial boost to your startup, so you better follow the pieces of advice to find one and get everything you need to successfully obtain it.
How to find a grant to start a business
The first thing you need to do is consider all the options available that can help you get a grant for your small business. Government-funded grants are the most popular, which include the federal government, state and local governments, and government agencies that have a grant program for small businesses.
There are also private grants offered by some companies and non-government organizations, as well as there are small business startup grants for minorities, women, veterans, and other vulnerable groups.
How to submit your application
Grants are non-repayable funds, unlike loans, that you have to pay over time. That is the main advantage of this type of funding because you’ll practically receive free money for your business.
This is why it’s so hard to get one since many people want to receive money for their idea and there’s a lot of applications and competition. You’ll have to make your grant application shine to get it.
Make sure to read thoroughly the application and all the details before you submit your application. Read fully the requirements beforehand so you can have everything ready and prepared.
The most important is to provide all the information about your small-business by crafting your application so you can make it look innovative and be a good candidate.
Where to find a grant?
You’ll probably want to apply for a grant, and you’ve tried to look for the information on the internet but the problem is that countless websites will make you lose your valuable time.
This is why you need to know exactly where to look for, so you can go directly to the application and start preparing all you need to submit it and get the money you need to take your business off the ground.
The biggest distributor of grants is the government agencies, which receive the money from the federal government since they don’t fund the entrepreneurs directly.
Although the applications might be intimidating, the grants distributed by these agencies are great opportunities for small businesses that are looking to grow.
One of the main databases that you should look for is Grants.gov that comprises all the grants given by various government agencies. You can look for all the information you need and start reading about the grants and your chance of eligibility.
The STTR program (Small Business Technology Transfer) and the SBIR program (Small Business Innovation Research) are a good option for tech-driven startups, and those oriented to technology innovation and scientific research; both programs funded by the federal government and with associations with non-profit research organizations.
State and regional grants
Another aspect you should consider when looking for applying for a grant is your location since states have many offers for small-businesses within their communities.
The Economic Development Administration is one of the agencies that provide grants and also assistance to communities to encourage entrepreneurs to start being innovative with their ideas.
Some states also offer specialized grants if they want to boost a determinate business, such as those for farmers to improve agriculture. The local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) is another provider of support for small businesses within a community since it helps to connect the entrepreneurs with financing opportunities. This is great for small businesses since it helps them networking and receive mentorship to improve their business skills.
Many corporations offer grants as part of their philanthropic component. Although many companies provide grants to non-profit organizations, there are some oriented to for-profit companies.
One of the corporations that offer grants to small-businesses is FedEx in their Small Business Grant Contest that is carried out each year to benefit 10 startups with different prizes. The grand prize winner earns $25.000 while the other receives different amounts of money and some free business services.
The NASE (National Association of the Self-Employed) also offers grants monthly to small businesses, but it’s only available for NASE members.
If you own a business you should consider your background before applying to a grant since many corporations are focused on encouraging entrepreneurs in each demographic sector.
The Minority Business Development Agency is one of the organizations that offer support to small-businesses run by minorities since they help the business owner to get financing resources. The best part is that there are local MBDA business centers to serve each community. Another great option for minorities is the Operation Hope Program that offers grants to entrepreneurs that are living in low-wealth neighborhoods. In this program, the entrepreneur receives training, mentorship, and financial counseling, along with financing options.
If you’re a female entrepreneur, then you should know that you can also search for information in the Women’s Business Center where you can get access to the capital you need. The Girlboss Foundation is another great source for getting a grant for your small business and you can receive up to $15.000 if you have a fashion, arts, music or design business-oriented.
When it comes about veterans, they should know that they also have access to many grants and resources to start a successful business. The Boots for Business program is a great way to start since they offer training to become an entrepreneur.
The StreetShares Foundation offers three monthly awards to small-business run by veterans or their spouses, based on the potential and innovation of their idea and the influence of their business in their community.