Grant Money To Start Your Own Business – Small Business Giveaways: 21 Ways to Apply for Free Money for Your Business By Siege Media, Contributor
No matter what type of small business you own, there are grants available to help your business grow. Read details about 21 gift options and databases.
Grant Money To Start Your Own Business
Small business grants provide money to grow your business in a number of ways. In many cases, you can use grants like operations, marketing or expanding your team. It’s important to know which ones you may qualify for so you can start applying.
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In this article, we’ll cover the basics of grants and give you tips on how to score more of them.
Small business grants are seed money given to entrepreneurs to build on their business. Gift money is considered a “gift,” and you are not required to return it. Sometimes, you may have to pay tax on the amount you receive, so please consider this and consult a tax professional.
Tip: Search grant databases like GrantWatch to find grants available in your industry. GrantWatch is an online hub for finding more than 26,000 grants in the United States and Canada, allowing you to easily explore different funding opportunities by checking your list.
A loan is a financial aid that you have to pay back to the lender who lent you the money. In contrast, a grant is “gifted” money that you don’t need to pay back.
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You must apply for both grants and loans, but while the loan application takes into account your ability to repay the money, the grant application is subject to the rules of the grant.
Many types of grants are available to small business owners and fall into four main categories. Your eligibility for these grants will depend on your products and services, how you own your business, and your business mission.
There is a lot of grant money available for entrepreneurs. Check out funding from the following sources to help your business. These giveaways were available at the time of publication and may still be unavailable.
The US Department of Health and Human Resources created Grants.gov in 2002. It is an e-government program administered by the Office of Management and Budget. The program provides resources and assistance to grant seekers to find and receive financial aid.
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The website allows you to search for federal grants and check your eligibility before applying for one. Once logged in, you can track your grant applications.
Although some grants have stipulations such as industry, business type, size, and location, your local chamber of commerce should be able to connect you with grants that fit your situation. Their team can also provide your small business financing services, tips and resources.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a competitive grant program for small businesses. This program helps finance entrepreneurs in the research and development industry to support scientific and technological innovation.
A solid business plan is a must before you apply. A plan explains the direction of your business and how it will benefit your community.
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Small Business Technology Transfer Programs are similar to SBRs but are focused on the technology industry. This grant is awarded to businesses in the technology industry.
FedEx hosts a small business competition to provide funding to great entrepreneurs. The competition is fiercely competitive, with nearly 18,000 applicants for the tenth annual grant in 2022.
This grant is open to small business models with a story “worth telling,” so if you plan to apply, highlight what makes your business unique.
The National Association of Self-Employed (NASE) Development Grant was established in 2006. Over the years, NASE has awarded approximately $1,000,000 to entrepreneurs to help them grow small businesses.
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You must be a NASE member to apply for this grant, but winners can receive up to $4,000 to go toward marketing, team development and other needs.
Many small business grants are available only to women, and more are raised every year to address financial inequality.
WomensNet founded the Amber Grant Foundation in 1998. Its mission is to help aspiring female small business owners finance their dreams in honor of the grant’s namesake, Amber Wigdahl.
Every first week of the month, $10,000 will be awarded to a woman pursuing her entrepreneurial passion, from “scientific inventors to bakers,” according to the WomensNet website. It gives $25,000 to a woman at the end of each year. .
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Each year, Your Dream Foundation awards $2.1 million in education funds to women on behalf of Soroptimist International. This foundation focuses on women survivors of sexual assault or other traumatic events.
The Live Your Dream Foundation provides programs and grants to help women build confidence, advance their careers, and overcome adversity. Although the prize money ranges from $1,000 to $10,000, being an international finalist allows the winners to receive a maximum of $16,000.
This support program is for eco-friendly and sustainable women-owned businesses around the world. Cartier offers three types of funding: regional awards, diversity, equity and inclusion awards, and science and technology pioneer awards.
The American Association of University Women provides not only academic and research support, but also career development grants to women who want to change careers or return to the workforce.
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In addition to grants for individual career development, AAUW funds projects that encourage and launch careers for young women in technical fields.
Stacey Snacks is a female-led brand that launched the Rice Project to empower women in the food industry to grow their businesses. In addition to mentorship, the project also provides financial support and community and networking opportunities.
Designer Tory Burch has a fund with the goal of mentoring and empowering female entrepreneurs in all walks of life.
In addition to financial aid, the fellowship program offers a one-year educational model with mentorship tailored to your needs. The foundation provides peer networking of other recipients and travel to Burch’s New York office.
Infographic: Can I Get A Grant To Start My Business?
Many small business grants honor this distinction by providing assistance specifically to minorities to help you and your business grow.
MBDA offers business centers across the country that provide “high-quality technical support to small business enterprises.” Entrepreneurs can get mentoring, advice and help with funding and growth.
Sephora is a cosmetics retailer that launched its Accelerated Grant program to foster minority business leaders. Each fall, this program helps fund and mentor entrepreneurs in the beauty industry.
Although the rewards of this grant are non-monetary, they include significant financial benefits. Winners will receive access to a six-month bootcamp and are eligible to launch their products directly at Sephora.
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The National Minority Supplier Development Council is a premier corporate membership organization that provides business services and networking opportunities to connect you with investors and build your experience.
Although grant opportunities run the gambit, NMSDC’s list of mentors and access to community small business mentors is top notch.
The SBA grant program offers a few funding options: research and development, export, and affiliate awards. Grants vary by year, and eligibility may vary based on each grant offer.
The SBA provides business development center services to veterans to assist with operations, financing and other business needs.
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The mission of the Second Service Foundation is to encourage and support military entrepreneurs. It provides financial support to businesses, shares educational content, provides mentoring and training, and hosts networking events.
Since 2016, the Foundation (formerly the StreetShares Foundation) has built a strong community of over 85,000 members and helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs build their businesses.
If you’re a veteran with a disability and a passion for entrepreneurship, discover the VR&E Self Employed Track Program. This program helps coordinate services to build your business – starting with your business plan. Team members assist with small business operations, marketing and financing.
While the program is not a grant, the resources provided to recipients are valuable in planning and growing a business as a veteran.
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Either way, you need money to take your business model to the next level. Consider these startup grants instead of taking out a business loan.
The Build to Scale (B2S) program seeks to build regional economies by funding startups through various grant competitions. Total funding is in the millions, with $45 million in federal funding available for startups by 2022.
It has supported small businesses with $6 million in grants and services from the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League.
Small business grants come in many forms and have different requirements. While there’s nothing you can do to guarantee you’ll get a grant, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of being selected for one.
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National grants can be attractive because of their larger rewards. Before you spend countless hours preparing submissions for national grants, consider starting locally.
Look for whatever little help your town or city has to offer. Then branch out at regional level and regional level. These grants may not be as large as some offered nationwide, but you’ll be competing against a smaller pool and have a better chance of winning funding.
If you find a giveaway that sounds good to your business, do some digging and see who the previous winners are. Note any patterns you see between trades.
Seeing what businesses are eligible for a specific grant will help you narrow down what you can do if your business is a good fit
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