Obtaining Small Business Startup Grants – Sources and Strategies
If you have an innovative business idea, but you don’t have the financial means to turn it into a successful business, applying for grants to start a small business might be the solution for you. Small startup grants are great solutions because they are interest-free and they don’t need to be repaid at all, provided that the awardee business is able to achieve the goals stipulated by the grantor. These grants come in all sizes and they are available from a varied range of grantors – here are the most important sources.
Government Grants to Start a Small Business
There are two ways the government is involved in helping start-ups get funding:
- By providing grant opportunities to start-ups planning to carry out activities that are in line with the endeavors and projects of government agencies, such as technological development, education, and medical or other scientific research
- By helping small businesses and start-ups find out about grant opportunities via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Business Grants for Start-Up Companies from Other Sources
Private foundations, large corporations operating in your industry, industry associations and non-profit organizations also provide grants for start-up companies. Your local SBA office and the Chamber of Commerce are great sources of information – the grant experts there will probably provide you with extensive lists of available grant programs. You can also carry out an online research to find grant provider listings and databases.
How to Apply for Small Business Startup Grants
Make searching for the right grant an ongoing project – the more grants you apply for, the higher your chance to obtain funds. Always read the grant synopsis carefully and eliminate programs for which you don’t qualify 100% – there is lots of competition out there for this kind of free money and the applications that do not match the description perfectly will be rejected right from the start. The same goes for incomplete applications, for applications submitted late and for applications with errors, so pay attention to every detail before sending your file.
More Tips about Preparing Your Start-up Grant Proposal
Grantors usually require applicants to submit a description of the business plan they need the money for. This document is probably one of the most important ones in your application – it is the picture you show to the grantor about the future of the business, the summary that will convince the grantor that your venture is worth investing in, that you are a capable and responsible business owner who has a great business idea as well as the capacity to make it reality. Pay as much attention to your summary as possible – write it and re-write it until you think it is perfect, edit it, spellcheck it, proofread it, show it to others for reviewing, and so on. It may seem a tedious and difficult process, but a well-written summary can be adapted and re-used with some minor modifications for all the applications you send to providers of small business startup grants, so you will have to write it only once.
Are you thinking of starting a business and need some help with financing? Why not try getting Start Up Business Grants to assist you with starting your own company? As you have seen if you have tried to find grants to start a business, the granting process is sometimes difficult and hard to maneuver through when you are not familiar with the process. The most important step toward successfully applying for a business startup grant is to search out websites and organizations that are out there to assist you.
The most known organization out there to assist startup businesses is the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is focused on providing assistance that will help you be successful in today’s economy. The SBA does not give out startup business grants directly to small businesses or individuals, but they are willing to assist you with identifying startup business grants opportunities, financing, planning, and a variety of other needed activities. As a startup business it is important that you create a business plan, which is required by all government granting agencies. The SBA has representatives all over the USA that will meet with you free of charge to discuss your plans, help you prepare needed documents, and assist you to better develop your small business so that you can qualify for a startup business grant.
Whether you are a startup business, existing business, or an individual you can gain access to grant opportunities through grants.gov. Accessing the system does not mean you qualify for the grant opportunities listed! However, it does offer you the chance to browse the federal business grants to see what is out there for startup and existing businesses. If you haven’t completely formed your business, you may be able to develop a business plan or idea around some of the granting agencies’ priorities listed for grants to startup a business. This will increase your chances of receiving a business startup grant.
Some startup business grants are available through state and local programs, foundations, and other groups. When looking for grants to startup a business, it is important to decide if an aspect of your community is to be positively affected by your business. Areas such as child care centers, energy efficiency technology, life science areas, advanced manufacturing sectors, and etc. are highly promoted by state and local agencies and usually qualify for a startup business grant or loan.
Other agencies such as foundations and not-for-profit organizations sometimes offer startup business grants based upon the creativity of your overall idea. These organizations can usually be located by using GOOGLE or by contacting your SBA representative. Go ahead and take the first step toward applying for a startup business grant today.