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Small business grants may help you expand your company in a number of ways. Grants may be utilized for a variety of purposes, including operations, marketing, and growing your staff.

Grants are given to companies by both governmental and private organizations. Grants aren’t required to be paid back, but they do take time to apply for. You may be required to fulfill eligibility criteria, submit applications, and participate in interviews in order to get the award. In return, you may be given financial resources to help you develop your brand, team, and network.

Make a business strategy before you look into funding opportunities. A good strategy will provide you with clarity about the future of your company and how it will help your community. Start presenting your hard work to programs, non-profits, and groups that may be interested in financially sponsoring you after you’ve completed your business plan.

What Are Small Business Grants and How Do They Work?

Small business grants are small sums of money provided to entrepreneurs to help them start or expand their businesses. Grant money is regarded as “given.” “and does not have to be repaid.

The majority of grant programs are created by government agencies or private companies that wish to assist others in achieving their goals. Federal, state, business, and nonprofit entities are the most common grant recipients.

Grants for Businesses of Various Types

The goods and services, ownership, and purpose of your company will determine your eligibility for these awards. The most common types of business grants are divided into four categories: federal, state, local, and corporate.

Grants from the Government

Federal grants are funded by the general federal income of the United States government. Grants are given by the government to assist the economy and people in need. As a consequence, they often patronize non-profit organizations in the fields of technology, health, science, and education.

Grants from the State

A state small business award, unlike a federal grant, is provided by a particular state. These awards are typically less than federal grants, but the competition is sometimes tighter due to state-specific criteria. Many groups will find them more accessible as a result, and even if they are less than a government grant, they may still provide a much-needed financial boost.

Grants from the Local Government

Small companies are given local subsidies to help them grow or sustain their operations. These awards are aimed at small businesses that have a direct impact on the community.

Grants to Businesses

Corporate small business grants are awarded by a limited group of companies. These awards may have a variety of criteria, range in value, and be tailored to highly specialized or wide kinds of companies. In the majority of instances, businesses put aside cash at the start of the fiscal year and then hold contests to distribute the monies.

The first step is to learn about the various funding possibilities. The next step is to look for and apply for grants that are appropriate for your small company. For more funding possibilities, go through each area that pertains to you.

Entrepreneurship Grants for Newcomers

Are you just starting out? To get your new company off the ground, look for extra financing from the following sources.

Grants.gov

The Department of Health and Human Resources launched Grants.gov in 2002. The Office of Management and Budget manages this e-government initiative. This online team assists grant applicants in finding and receiving funds by providing information and support.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Chamber of Commerce in the Area

Begin by looking for grants in your area – your local Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start. Although some grants have requirements such as industry, company type, size, and location, your local Chamber of Commerce can help you find grants that are right for you. Their staff can also assist you with small company financing, advice, and resources.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: For additional information, contact your local Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research Program) is a grant program for small companies that is competitive. This initiative aims to promote scientific and technical innovation by providing funding to entrepreneurs in the research and development sector. These funds are intended to develop company concepts that will help create a robust national economy.

BIR (Small Business Innovation Research Program) is a grant program for small companies that is com

Phase one awards are worth up to $259,613 while phase two awards are worth up to $1,730,751.

If you meet the criteria of the industry, you must apply to a particular solicitation on their website.

Technology Transfer Program for Small Businesses (STTR)

SBIRs are comparable to Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, except they are focused on the technology sector. Businesses in the technology sector are eligible for this award. These awards aid in the funding of new technology development, which benefits both the economy and company owners.

Phase one awards are worth up to $259,613 while phase two awards are worth up to $1,730,751.

If you meet the criteria of the industry, you must apply to a particular solicitation on their website.

Nav’s Small Business Grant

Nav is a firm that assists companies in finding the finest loans and credit cards to help them develop. Every April, a small company owner receives a Nav’s Small Business Grant.

Amount of award: $5,000–$10,000

Where to apply: To get started, go to their website and create a free account.

FedEx Small Business Grant Competition

FedEx holds a small company grant competition every year to help ambitious entrepreneurs get financing. They conducted their 9th annual contest in 2021, awarding $50,000 to a small company. Most small company models are eligible for this award, as long as your business plan is “worth telling.””

Amount of award: $15,000–$50,000

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Growth Grant from the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

In 2006, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) created the Growth Grant. NASE has given out over $1 million in grants to small company owners throughout the years. To apply, you must be a member of NASE, but winners will get up to $4,000 in marketing, team development, and other expenses.

Amount of award: Up to $4,000

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Women’s Business Grants

Despite the fact that women control four out of every ten companies in the United States, just 25% of female entrepreneurs seek extra funding, compared to 34% of male entrepreneurs. Women-owned companies, on the other hand, get plenty of assistance.

Amber Grant Foundation

WomensNet established the Amber Grant Foundation in 1998. Their goal is to assist women in achieving their life goals. Every month, the first week of the month, they award $10,000 to women who are following their business dreams. They also provide $25,000 to one exceptional lady at the conclusion of each year.

Monthly awards of $10,000 are offered, with a $25,000 prize for the yearly winner.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Grants for Women-Owned Businesses (Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grants Program)

Eileen Fisher is a women-owned apparel company with a goal to help other female entrepreneurs. Their Women-Owned Business Grant program gives $200,000 to female entrepreneurs each year. You must fulfill the following requirements before applying:

Demonstrate how your company benefits the environment and women’s representation.

Provide and show useful climate change, mitigation, and advocacy information.

Assist in the leadership and engagement of other women in the sustainable economy.

To be eligible for Eileen Fisher, you must be able to fulfill all of her criteria.

Amount of award: $10,000–$40,000

To apply, go to: Although funding has been temporarily halted, keep an eye on their website for updates to see whether the program has been reinstated.

Live Your Dream Award

The Live Your Dream Foundation awards $2.1 million in educational scholarships to women each year. This organization is dedicated to inspiring and empowering women who have experienced sexual assault or other terrible experiences. They provide resources and money to assist women gain confidence, progress in their professions, and overcome adversity.

Amount of award: $1,000–$16,000

Where to apply: This online site accepts applications from August 1 through November 15.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

This award program was established to support environmentally friendly and sustainable women-owned companies all around the globe. Regional grants and science and technology pioneer awards are the two kinds of financing available. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award program has a high possibility of awarding scholarships to women from all around the world. Cartier’s team assists ambitious women leaders with monetary, social, and human capital assistance.

Amount of award: $30,000–$100,000

Where to apply: Applications will be delayed until Spring 2022, however you can find more information on their website.

Grants for Veterans’ Businesses

Veterans contribute to our nation and society in a variety of ways. They may be eligible for small company grants and programs thanks to the efforts of specific groups.

The StreetShares Foundation

On November 11th, 2016, the StreetShares Foundation was established. Their organization was founded with the goal of inspiring and assisting military entrepreneurs. They offer financing to companies, instructional material, mentorship and coaching, and networking events. Since 2016, they’ve grown to over 85,000 members and assisted 5,000 entrepreneurs in growing their companies. Amount of award: $4,000–$15,000

VR&E Business Ownership Track in Virginia

Reach out to the VR&E Self-Employment Track program if you’re a disabled veteran with an entrepreneurial spirit. This program assists you in coordinating resources to help you develop your company from the ground up, beginning with your business plan. Members of the team help with small company operations, marketing, and accounting.

Benefits of the program include help with your business strategy, training, and advice. Where to apply: Visit their website for more information

 Boots to Business Training Program

Although not a grant, this program provides veterans with entrepreneurship training to help them start their own companies. Veterans are connected with specialists and their networks throughout the two-day program. Veterans and their spouses may continue their education at Mississippi State University for free after completing the first program.

Training, coursework, and networking opportunities are all part of the program.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Grants for Minority-Owned Businesses

People come from various walks of life, each with their own set of challenges and accomplishments. Many small business grants recognize this diversity by providing awards tailored to minorities to assist you and your company.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) provides programs, services, and financing to assist minority business enterprises (MBEs) develop. They are now accepting applications for two awards in the spring of 2021.

Amount of award: $375,000–$415,000

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Sephora Accelerate

It is a grant program established by Sephora, a cosmetics store. This initiative helps finance and encourage beauty industry startups every autumn. This might be a fantastic chance for you if your company sells cosmetics, skincare, or hair products.

Advantages of the program include: A six-month business boot course with first-look access to Sephora launches.

To apply, go to their website on October 1st and fill out an application.

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)

One of the major business membership groups is the National Minority Supplier Development Council. They provide business services and networking opportunities to help you grow your practice and connect with investors.

Benefits of the program include access to 1,450 other members and 23 regional councils, as well as resources.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

How to make an application: The NMSDC offers a variety of financing options throughout the year. They’ve concentrated their financing efforts in 2020 and 2021 on small minority companies affected by COVID-19. Check their website for qualifying awards as 2021 progresses.

Small Business Empowerment Program of Operation Hope

The Operation Hope Small Business Empowerment Program is aware of the difficulties in obtaining financing and other essential resources for new companies. They provide an 8- and 12-week entrepreneurship training program with financing possibilities to support minority businesses. This program assists small companies in developing their practice by teaching them new tools and abilities.

Entrepreneurship training programs in 8- and 12-week courses are available as part of the curriculum.

To apply, go to: Visit their website for additional details.

The USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program

The USDA’s goal is to assist in the improvement of the economy and the quality of life in the United States. Their group provides subsidies to help people find work and grow their businesses. Healthcare, first-responder services, water, electricity, and communications are among the services provided. They just established a small business venture grant program to help small company entrepreneurs in rural areas.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Funding Programs of the Small Business Administration

COVID-19 alleviation, research and development, exporting, and associate incentives are some of the financing possibilities available through the SBA grant program. Grants change every year, and your eligibility for each one may fluctuate. They also have a Veterans Business Outreach Center that can aid with operations, financing, and other business requirements for veterans.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Grants for New Businesses

You may need funding to advance your company concept. Consider these startup subsidies instead of taking out a company loan.

Grants from the Economic Development Administration (EDA)

The Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Build to Scale (B2S) Program has made $38 million in government funding available to entrepreneurs in 2021. Plus, they offer an up-to-date financing technique for entrepreneurs that are eager to expand their companies each year. Applications are accepted for two contests in the B2S program: Venture Challenge and Capital Challenge.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

GrantWatch

GrantWatch is a searchable database of all grants available in the United States and Canada. By selecting your criteria, you can simply explore different financing possibilities. On its website, GrantWatch lists over 26,000 grants, funding opportunities, awards, and contracts.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

The Database of State Business Incentives

The State Business Incentives Database lists a broad range of financing options from around the country. They now provide over 2,000 financial programs, 537 of which are grants. You must be a member of the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) team to get access to programs, projects, and networking opportunities. It costs $345 per year to work as a normal research professional. It costs $1,055 a year for teams of up to ten persons.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

The aim of the Small Business Development Centers is to equip entrepreneurs with information and tools to help them grow their businesses throughout the country. They assist anyone who wish to start a company by providing funding, training, and mentoring. Loans, investment money, catastrophe aid, surety bonds, and grants are all available. The majority of resources require a variety of data and business standards.

The amount of the award varies.

Where to apply: Visit their website for more information.

The Best Ways to Get a Small Business Grant

Small company grants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of criteria. While there is nothing you can do to ensure you get a grant, there are certain things you can do to improve your chances of receiving one.

Because of their high rewards, big national grants may be attractive. Consider beginning local before spending endless hours on proposals for national funding.

Begin on the Local Level

Look for any minor grants that your town or municipal may provide. After that, expand to the state and regional levels. These awards may not be as large as those available to the whole nation, but you’ll be competing against a smaller pool of applicants and therefore have a better chance of receiving one.

If you find a grant that seems to be a good match for your company, conduct some research to find out who the past winners were. Make a mental note of any trends you see between the companies. Viewing the kind of companies that have been granted a particular grant may help you determine whether your company is a good match, what you can do to improve your chances, and, ultimately, save time by avoiding applying for a grant that you are unlikely to get.

Look into Previous Winners

If you find a grant that seems to be a good match for your company, conduct some research to find out who the past winners were. Make a mental note of any trends you see between the companies. Viewing the kind of companies that have been granted a particular grant may help you determine whether your company is a good match, what you can do to improve your chances, and, ultimately, save time by avoiding applying for a grant that you are unlikely to get.

Take Your Time While Filling Out Applications

Grant applications may be time-consuming and exhausting. Filling them out carefully will prevent you from being overwhelmed if you attempt to hurry them. A mistake on the application may cost you the award, so make sure you use your time wisely by correctly completing out the paperwork. Think of hiring a grant writer.

Hire a Grant Writer

A grant writer will know how to utilize specific wording to make your application stand out from the crowd, which may have a big effect when you’re competing.

It’s worth mentioning that grant writers may be very costly, so if you’re short on funds, you might want to wait off and instead enroll in some free grant writing classes.

Rather of taking out loans that you will have to repay, grants allow you to make money without getting into debt. Before you begin applying for grants, be sure you’ve covered all of your legal bases.