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.