Federal Loans For Small Business Startup – Small Business Grants: 21 Ways to Apply for Free Money for Your Business by Siege Media, Contributor to
No matter what type of small business you have, there are grants to help you grow. Read details on 21 scholarship options and databases.
Federal Loans For Small Business Startup
Small business grants provide funds to grow your business in several ways. In many cases, you can use grants for things like operations, marketing or expanding your team. Finding out who you might qualify for is key to getting your application started.
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In this article, we’ll cover the basics of grants and give you tips on how to get more of them.
Small business grants are amounts of seed money given to entrepreneurs to build their businesses. Scholarship money is considered “donated” and you don’t have to pay it back. Sometimes you may have to pay taxes on the amounts received, so consider this and talk to a tax professional.
Tip: Search grant databases like GrantWatch to find grants available in your industry. GrantWatch is an online hub for over 26,000 grants in the United States and Canada, where you can easily view different funding options by filtering your specifications.
A loan is financing that you have to pay back to the lender that lent you the money. In contrast, a scholarship is “donated” money that does not need to be repaid.
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You will need to apply for both grants and loans, but applying for a loan takes into account your ability to repay the money, while applying for a bursary considers your eligibility as it applies to bursary rules.
There are many types of grants available to small business owners, which 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. Look into funding from the following sources to help your business. These scholarships were available at the time of posting and may not still be available.
Grants.gov was created by the US Department of Health and Human Resources in 2002. It is an e-government program administered by the Office of Management and Budget. The program provides resources and assistance to grant applicants in finding and receiving funding.
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The website allows you to search for federal grants and check your eligibility before you apply for one. You can track your grant applications even after they have been submitted.
Although some grants have conditions such as industry, type of business, 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 small business financing services, advice and resources.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a competitive grant program for small businesses. This program helps finance entrepreneurs in research and development to support scientific and technological innovation.
A solid business plan is essential before applying. The plan will show the direction of your business and how it can benefit your community.
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Technology transfer programs for small businesses are similar to SBIR, but focus on the technology industry. This scholarship is issued to companies in the technology industry.
FedEx is holding a small business grant competition to provide funding to startups. The competition is very competitive, with around 18,000 applying for the tenth annual scholarship in 2022.
This scholarship is open to small business models that have a story “worth telling,” so if you’re planning to apply, find out what makes your business unique.
The National Association of Entrepreneurs (NASE) Growth Grant was established in 2006. Over the years, NASE has awarded nearly $1,000,000 to entrepreneurs to help small businesses grow.
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You must be a NASE member to apply for this scholarship, but winners can receive up to $4,000 for marketing, team growth, and other needs.
Many small business grants are available exclusively to women, and more grants are added every year to address funding inequities.
WomensNet founded the Amber Grant Foundation in 1998. Its mission is to help aspiring small business owners finance their dreams in honor of Amber Wigdahl, the grant’s namesake.
According to WomensNet, $10,000 is awarded the first week of each month to a woman pursuing her entrepreneurial passions, from “scientific inventors to bakers.” It also gives one woman $25,000 at the end of each year.
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The Live Your Dream Foundation annually gives $2.1 million to women for education on behalf of the International Association of Sisters of Charity. This foundation focuses on women who have experienced sexual violence or other traumatic events.
The Live Your Dream Foundation offers programs and funding that help women build self-confidence, advance their careers, and manage unexpected situations. Although prizes range from $1,000 to $10,000, advancing to the international finals allows winners to receive a maximum of $16,000.
This grant program is for environmentally friendly and sustainable women-owned companies worldwide. Cartier offers three types of funding: Regional Awards, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards and Science and Technology Pioneers Awards.
The American Association of University Women offers not only academic and research scholarships, but also career development grants for women looking to change careers or re-enter the workforce.
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In addition to individual career enhancement grants, AAUW also provides funding for projects that support and launch young women’s careers in technical fields.
Stacy’s Snacks is a female-led brand that launched Project Rise to help women grow their businesses in the food industry. The project offers funding as well as mentoring and community and networking opportunities.
Designer Tory Burch has a fund that aims to mentor and uplift women entrepreneurs in all walks of life.
In addition to the financial grant, the scholarship program offers an annual education model with a focus adapted to your needs. The foundation also offers a peer network of other recipients and a trip to Burch’s office in New York.
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Many small business grants celebrate this diversity by offering special grants for minorities to help you grow your business.
MBDA offers business centers across the country that provide “quality technical assistance to minority business enterprises,” according to its website. Entrepreneurs can get advice, guidance and help with funding and growth.
Sephora is a cosmetics retailer that launched its Accelerate grant program to uplift minority entrepreneurs. Every fall, the program helps fund and mentor entrepreneurs in the beauty industry.
Although the awards for this scholarship are not monetary, they have a huge financial benefit. Winners will receive access to a six-month boot camp and the right to market their products directly with Sephora.
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The National Council for the Advancement of Minority Contractors is a premier corporate membership organization that offers business services and networking opportunities to connect you with investors and build your practice.
Although grant opportunities are maneuverable, access to NMSDC’s roster of small business mentors and community advisors is first-rate.
The SBA scholarship program offers several funding options – research and development, export and associate awards. Scholarships vary by year and eligibility may vary for each scholarship offer.
The SBA also offers Veterans Business Outreach Center services to veterans to help with operations, financing and other business needs.
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The mission of the Second Service Foundation is to inspire and support military entrepreneurs. It provides funding to companies, 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 disabled veteran with a passion for entrepreneurship, join the VR&E Self-Employment Pathway Program. This program helps coordinate services as you build your business—starting with your business plan. Assists team members with small business operations, marketing and financing.
Although the program is not a cash grant, the resources provided to recipients are valuable for planning and growing a business as a veteran.
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You will most likely need funding to take your business model to the next level. Consider these startup grants instead of getting a business loan.
The Build to Scale (B2S) program seeks to build regional economies by funding scalable startups through various grant competitions. Total funding is in the millions, with $45 million in federal funds available to startups in 2022.
Supporting small businesses with $6 million in grants and services with the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League.
Small business grants come in many forms and have different requirements. Even if you can’t do anything to get a scholarship, there are a few things that can increase your chances of being selected for a scholarship.
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Nationwide scholarships can be attractive because of their large awards. Before spending countless hours preparing national grant applications, consider starting locally.
Explore any small grants your town or city offers. They then branch out to state and regional levels. These scholarships may not be as large as some nationwide grants, but you will also be competing with a smaller group and have a better chance of receiving funding.
If you find a grant that seems perfect for your business, start looking and find out about previous winners. Notice any patterns you see between the pieces.
Knowing what types of businesses are awarded a specific grant can help you narrow down whether your business is a good fit and what you can do.