Find A Relevant Grant
If you want to get a startup business grant, first you need to find a grant to apply for.
Maybe you already have one in mind. In that case, you can skip ahead to the next step. If you dont, its time to start looking. We have some tips on where to look .
Remember, though, that youre not just looking for any grant. Youre looking for a grant that you can use for your business. Most grants specify how the funds can be used. So if you want to buy equipment, for example, dont bother with grants that have to be used to hire more staff.
Once you think youve found a grant, its time to take a closer look at the application requirements.
Small Business Technology Transfer Program
Small Business Technology Transfer Programs are similar to SBIRs but focused on the technology industry. This grant is issued to businesses in the technology industry.
- Award amount: Phase 1, $50,000$250,000 for six months or one year Phase 2, $750,000 for two years .
- How to apply: Apply with a specific solicitation if you meet industry requirements.
These grants help fund innovative technological advancement in many fields with the intention of boosting the economy.
Small Business Grants Specifically For Women
While grants offered by private companies and grants for startups are available to a broader range of business owners, there are also grants specifically for women-owned businesses. You can find resources and information at womens business centers, but here are two business grants for women to start with.
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Read The Eligibility Requirements Carefully
It sounds obvious, but its not hard to overlook aspects of grant eligibility requirements and end up putting a ton of effort into applying for a grant youre ineligible for. Read the requirements carefully and evaluate whether you qualify for the grant. If youre unsure whether you qualify, contact someone from the organization and ask.
Grants & Small Business Financing
How can I get a grant to start or expand my business?
Unless your business involves the development of new technology or is a non-profit organization, it is difficult to find a grant to start or expand a small business.
Even though many publications and talk shows publicize grants to small businesses, there are only certain types of government grants available to small businesses. SBA, for instance, offers “Small Business Innovation Research” and “Small Business Technology Transfer” grants. Grants from other agencies may also be available for new technologies, inventions, or products.
Finding and identifying government agencies that give grants for specific purposes or in specific subject areas requires considerable time, effort, and research. Getting a grant is hard work. Don’t be fooled by advertisements and promotions that state that you can get “free money” just by asking for it. There is a lot of competition for grant funds. To be successful in winning a grant, you must provide the funding agency with a well-written proposal that clearly states your objectives and sets forth a plan and budget for your activities. Grants are “free” in that you do not have to pay back the money. However, if you are awarded a grant you may be required to provide periodic progress, program evaluation, and/or financial reports to the government.
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Texas Small Business Grants
With more than $55,671.00 million dollars in grants and additional local government funding sources of $35,330.00 million dollars, the majority of the federal budget in government grants is put into the business sector every year as small businesses and large corporations are the foundation of the economic growth in Texas. There are 392,378 business establishments in the state of Texas, and they break down to the following:
Texas Business Sector Breakdown by Size:
- 225,599 registered businesses in Texas have 0 to 4 employees. People who work at home with sole proprietorship are included in this breakdown.
- 70,517 registered businesses in Texas have 5 to 9 employees.
- 43,826 registered businesses in Texas have 10-19 employees.
- 38,385 registered businesses in Texas have 20-99 employees.
- 8,755 registered businesses in Texas have 100 to 499 employees.
- Over 5,296 registered businesses in Texas have over 500 employees.
Texas Business Sector Breakdown in Service Industries:
- 58,176 registered businesses in Texas are in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector.
- 25,854 registered businesses in Texas are in the Administrative, Support, Waste Management, and Remediation Services sector.
- 43,907 registered businesses in Texas are in the Accommodation and Food Services sector.
- More than 47,995 registered businesses in Texas are also service orientated businesses but are not categorized to the above sectors.
Free Money From The Government
The federal government does not offer grants or free money to individuals to start a business or cover personal expenses, contrary to what you might see online or in the media. Websites or other publications claiming to offer “free money from the government” are often scams. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission.
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Rural Innovation Stronger Economy
Rural Innovation Stronger Economy grants, also funded by the USDA, are designed to accelerate the formation of new businesses in eligible low-income rural areas. The aim is to maximize the use of local productive assets. RISE serves rural regions small enough to allow close collaboration among partners.
RISE grant recipients may use funds to:
Build or support a business incubator
Provide worker training for new jobs
Train the existing workforce for higher-paying skilled jobs
Develop a skilled worker base and improve opportunities for them to obtain higher-paying jobs in local industries.
Make Sure Your Business Aligns With The Organizations Mission
Organizations that provide small business grants do so in the hopes of achieving a specific goal they care deeply about. Ask yourself how your business model helps contribute to achieving this goal. If the answer is hard to parse, you might want to consider applying for grants with another organization.
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How Can I Get Business Grants For Women
You can take steps to boost your chances of success when you apply for business grants for women.
- Read the application requirements carefully. Make sure you choose a grant that really fits your business, so you don’t waste time applying for a grant you are unlikely to receive.
- Dont skip any documents that the application asks you for, and dont be late for the application deadline.
- Prepare a clear business plan. Describe what your business does and exactly how the grant will help. Be as detailed as you can.
- Bring in outside experts, like an accountant or a business advisor. It looks good to have an expert on your team.
- Check that your business has all the necessary licenses. Make sure you have valid business insurance. It shows that you are responsible and reliable.
Wait To See If You Get The Grant
While we know you want to hear back about your application right away, you probably wont get an answer for a while.
Most grants get quite a few applicants. And the more broad the grant requirements, the more applicants theyre likely to get.
Because so many business owners apply, it can take a long time to find out whether or not you won the grant. After all, someone has to review all those applications.
So settle in for a long wait. But do make sure you check your email and voicemail regularly to make sure you dont miss any important communications about the grantlike telling you that you won.
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Small Business Grants And Business Start
Business start-up grants are available across most sectors, with some grants being specific to industries themselves. For example, there are grants available from the Architectural Heritage Fund which is designed to aid those looking to transform and develop high streets and town centres.
The British Business Bank also offers start-up loans, offering up to £25,000 with 12 months of free mentoring. The scheme is government-backed and has significantly contributed to the £54 million in loans made to start-ups since 2012. This is a loan rather than a grant, but is a quick and straightforward way to raise capital for your new enterprise with a fixed rate of interest that wont cripple your business.
Alternatively, a good option for new businesses is the Enterprise Investment Scheme , which works by offering tax relief to individual investors who may buy shares in your company throughout the course of a calendar year, which is a smart way to raise capital. Although you will be selling shares, you can remain in complete control and maybe even gain support from your new investors in the form of mentoring and guidance.
Best For Tech Startups: Sbir Program
Grant amount: $150,000-$1 million
The SBIR program provides grants for startups and entrepreneurs to enable them to develop and research high-tech innovations for federal agencies that have the potential for commercialization. Common areas for startups that receive this funding include homeland security, clean drinking water, healthcare, green construction, and more.
The mission of this program is to support scientific excellence and innovative technology to grow and build the US economy. For technology startups, the SBIR program provides substantial seed money and contracts with government agencies that will help qualifying startups research and develop new technologies.
To apply for an SBIR business grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:
- Applicants must be a for-profit business.
- Applicants must have less than 500 employees.
- A majority of ownership must be held by one or a combination of the following:
- One or more individuals that are citizens or permanent residents
- Other for-profit businesses
- Venture capital-operating companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms
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Where To Find Startup Grants
Now that you know how to get a startup business grant, how do you actually find one you want?
Mostly, youre going to have to put in some time and effort to look.
As we said earlier, we suggest looking locally if possible. Ask around at local small business development centers, business expos, and other places.
But yes, you can look online too. Thats how we found some of our favorite grants for startup businesses.
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Grants By Business Type
Grants usually have a narrower scope than loans, meaning that each grant is usually for a specific type of business or purpose. Type, however, can refer to anything from specific industries to localities, the demographics of the business owner, or to a specific problem the grant is trying to address.
Lets take a look at some of the more common categories.
What Are Small Business Grants
Small business grants are funds given to a business by an organization for a specific purpose. Grants are available to small business owners during their startup phase, company expansion, and for research and development.
Unlike small business loans or credit cards, grants donât need to be repaid, they wonât hurt your business credit score, and you wonât have to worry about lender fees to get your money.
But grants do come with restrictionsâthe money has to be spent in a particular way as outlined by the grant provider. And if you donât play by the rules, there could be penalties.
Further reading on small business loans:
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Sogal Black Founder Startup Grant
The SoGal Foundations mission is to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital. Their Black Founder Startup grant supports black women by providing multiple cash grants of $10,000 and $5,000.
Awardees will also get tactical help and advice for navigating fundraising environments, focusing on financing, as well as lifetime access to the SoGal Foundation and Ventures team.
American Association Of University Women
The American Association of University Women not only offers academic and research grants but also grants for career development for women looking to change careers or reenter the workforce.
- Award amount: $2,000$20,000
- How to apply: Visit the website for a timeline and eligibility requirements.
In addition to grants for individual career betterment, the AAUW also grants funds for projects that encourage and jump-start young girls’ careers in technical fields.
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What Happens After The Raise Is Over
After you successfully raise capital through equity crowdfunding, you have a few ongoing requirements to your new investors:
You have to file two reports a year with the SEC: annual reports with audited financials, and semiannual reports with unaudited financials.
*These reports are also public and can be found in the SECs EDGAR database.
Focus Your Pitch On Innovation And Expansion
Organizations that issue small business grants typically favor business that they see as innovative, forward thinking, and on a path to growth. Focus your pitch on how you plan to scale, any new technologies you might be developing, and what your business can do to help the organization with its mission.
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Good For: Community Businesses
The Caleb Brown Venture Capital and Consulting Project hosts a $1,000 grant aimed at promoting and nurturing young urban entrepreneurs with vision who plan to rebuild local blocks, neighborhoods, and communities by providing training and jobs to the next generation. The grant is open to startups and young businesses in urban areas. This contest is run every monthsubmit your application by the 15th to enter.
The Eileen Fisher Women
Though temporarily suspended, the Eileen Fisher grants are eligible for nonprofits with a positive social and environmental impact on women. The program awards $200,000 annually, ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 to eligible nonprofit organizations registered with the IRS.
Although this grant does not require a business to be woman-owned, organizations without executive leaders who identify as female are not eligible to apply.
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The Amber Grant Foundation
This nonprofit gives away $30,000 each month to women-owned businesses. The application for funding opportunities is straightforwardâthere are no forms to fill out, but the AGF wants to hear about the applicant and her business dream. The AGF awards numerous other grants, including marketing grants, a quarterly nonprofit organization grant, business category grants, and mini-grants of up to $2,000.
Fearless Strivers Grant Contest
The Fearless Fund invests in women of color-led businesses and holds a contest specifically for black women-owned businesses. The Fearless Strivers Grant Contest will award eleven $10,000 grants to small businesses across the country along with digital tools and mentorship opportunities to help bolster business.
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How To Get A Startup Business Grant: Tips For Applying
Youre probably wondering about how to get a small business grant. If getting a grant were easy, thered be no such thing as loans. Getting a grant means competing to stand out from the crowd of other applicants. While every grant is slightly different in terms of qualifications and expectations, here are some general tips for applying for grants.
Grants And Help For Your New Business
If youve launched a new business or become self-employed, help is at hand. Government support such as grants, low-cost business advice and mentoring will help you get off the ground.
Help from the government shouldnt be mistaken for free money. If your business is still young, most government assistance focuses on building your skills and knowledge, and linking you with advisors and networks.
There are many free or low-cost opportunities available if youre in the early stage of business.
The more fully formed your business idea is, the more help youll be able to get. Whether youre self-employed, own or run a business, its a good idea to do some business planning before you approach any advisors, mentors and funding officers.
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Best Corporate Grant For Startup Growth: Fedex Small Business Grant Contest
Grant amount: $15,000-$50,000
FedEx offers one of the best-known small business grants. Developed to support businesses looking to grow this is a great grant option for businesses looking to scale their small business. Twelve contestants are chosen to receive grant money, with the first place winner earning $50,000 and $7,500 in FedEx credit.
Unlike other grants with formal application processes, the FedEx small business grant only requires a one-minute video, a logo submission, photos that capture your businesss personality, and a short profile to enter.
To apply for a FedEx business grant, you need to meet the following criteria/eligibility requirements:
- Applicants must have been in operation for over a year.
- Applicants must have less than 50 employees.
- Applicants must have been using business shipping services within 12 months of applying.