Begin your search for a grant from the federal government at Grants.gov. This government site offers the most comprehensive database of funds the government is going to give away. There are thousands of grants to apply for, with opportunities for companies from all backgrounds.
Keep in mind that not all assistance flows directly from the federal government to small business. Some funds are distributed to state and local governments and agencies, nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher learning. These entities, in turn, distribute the funds, or use them to provide technical or educational assistance on a local level.
The federal government spends billions of dollars on goods and services each year. A lot of that money is spent through a competitive bidding process. Programs have been put in place to assist some small businesses with the process, allowing them a better chance to compete for those federal dollars.
In addition to the billions of dollars spent purchasing goods and services, the federal government also sells large amounts of natural resources and surplus property. The SBA Natural Resource Sales Assistance Program sets aside a percentage of these goods for bidding by small businesses only. In addition, federal agencies sometimes divide surplus materials into smaller parcels, making it easier for small businesses to purchase. The five categories are:
There are many nonprofit and corporate entities offering grants and other assistance to small businesses. Here are a few such programs that are open to qualifying small businesses in any industry:
Some small business grant programs are confined to a specific entrepreneur demographic or business profile and they often have an application process that is easier to navigate. This is a sample list, so be sure to check with nonprofits and large corporations in your geographic area or industry.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Although the SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses.
Small Business Innovation Research ProgramThe Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is a highly-competitive program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs. SBIR targets the entrepreneurial sector because that is where most innovation and innovators thrive. However, the risk and expense of conducting serious R&D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for small business, SBIR protects the small business and enables it to compete on the same level as larger businesses. SBIR funds the critical startup and development stages and it encourages the commercialization of the technology, product, or service, which, in turn, stimulates the U.S. economy.
Small Business Technology Transfer ProgramThe Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) is an important small business program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small business and the nation's premier nonprofit research institutions. STTR's most important role is to foster the innovation necessary to meet the nation's scientific and technological challenges in the 21st century.
Small business grants offer funds to grow your business in a variety of ways. In many cases, you can use grants for things like operations, marketing, or expanding your team. Finding out which ones you may be eligible for is crucial so that you can start applying.
Small business grants are amounts of seed money given to entrepreneurs to build upon their business. Grant money is considered gifted,\" and you are not required to pay it back. Sometimes, you may need to pay taxes on the amounts received, so please consider this and talk to a tax professional.
Tip: Search grant databases, such as GrantWatch, to find available grants in your industry. GrantWatch is an online hub for more than 26,000 grants in the United States and Canada in which you can browse various funding opportunities easily by filtering your specifications.
You will have to apply for both grants and loans, but a loan application considers your ability to repay the money while a grant application considers your merit as it applies to the rules of the grant.
Grants of many types are available to small business owners and grouped into four main categories. Your eligibility for these grants will depend on your products and services, how you own your business, and your business's mission.
There's plenty of grant money available for entrepreneurs. Look into funding from the following sources to help your business. These grants were available at the time of publishing and may not still be available.
Although some grants have stipulations like 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 funding services, tips, and resources.
The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is a competitive grant program for small businesses. This program helps fund entrepreneurs in the research and development industry to support scientific and technological innovation.
In the first week of every month, $10,000 is awarded to a woman pursuing her entrepreneurial passions, from scientific inventors to bakers,\" according to the WomensNet site. At the end of each year, it also grants one woman $25,000.
Each year, the Live Your Dream Foundation grants $2.1 million in educational funds to women on behalf of Soroptimist International. This foundation focuses on women who have survived sexual violence or other traumatic events.
This grant program is for eco-friendly and sustainable women-owned businesses around the world. Cartier offers three funding types: regional awards, diversity, equity, and inclusion awards, and science and technology pioneer awards.
Stacy's Snacks is a women-led brand that launched the Rise Project to help women grow their businesses in the food industry. The project offers funding in addition to mentorship and opportunities for community and networking.
The MBDA offers business centers across the nation that offer high quality, technical assistance to minority business enterprises,\" according to its site. Entrepreneurs can receive mentoring, counseling, and assistance with funding and growth.
The National Minority Supplier Development Council is a top corporate membership organization that offers business services and networking opportunities to connect you with investors and build your practice.
The Second Service Foundation's mission is to inspire and support military entrepreneurs. It grants businesses funding, shares educational content, provides mentorship and coaching, and hosts networking events.
Small business grants come in many forms and have various requirements. While there's nothing you can do to guarantee you get a grant, there are some things that can increase your likelihood of getting picked for one.
Look for any small grants offered by your town or city. Then, branch out to the state level and regional level. These grants may not be as big as some of the ones offered to the entire country, but you'll also be competing with a smaller pool and have a greater chance of winning funding
Seeing what kinds of businesses are awarded a certain grant can help you narrow down if your business is a good fit, what you could do to increase your chances, and ultimately help you save time by not applying to a grant you're unlikely to land.
Similarly, take your time developing your story before you start writing grant applications. Many grants may ask entrepreneurs to appeal to emotion in their applications, wanting to hear about the why\" behind your motivation to grow a business besides financial gain. A confident story can be a great asset before embarking down a path of grant applications.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides counseling, capital and contracting expertise. It offers loans and training to help small businesses to grow and optimize opportunity. It also provides disaster loans during times of crisis. The SBA has six offices in Texas. For more information, please visit the below links to each district office:
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are non-profit lenders. They offer favorable terms, such as low interest rates, as well as advice, mentoring and workshops. They focus on lending to disadvantaged businesses and entrepreneurs. Some non-profit lenders in Texas include:
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) offers the Skills for Small Business grant. This supports businesses with fewer than 100 employees and incentivizes training for new, full-time workers. Support is also available to upgrade the skills of existing full-time workers. Training is provided through community or technical colleges, or the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
Grants.gov catalogs federal grants and provides additional information for those interested in applying. Some grant providers require applicants to register on The System for Award Management (SAM). For research and development focused businesses, the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Funding programs may be of interest. 59ce067264