What Are Good Places to Look for Grants to Start a Business?


What Are Good Places to Look for Grants to Start a Business?

Acquiring the necessary funding to get your dream business off the ground can be a daunting task. Most businesses get the necessary backing through business loans, venture capitalists, friends and family. Grants are one way to secure funding, but can be very difficult to qualify for.


The best resource for grants is through the federal government. While you can find the direction you need, it is important to note that the federal government does not actually hand out grants. You can check out federal government sites in order to narrow down exactly what you may qualify for. The actual money and amount of grants that exist vary from state to state. States will often provide grants to businesses that will benefit a given community in one way or another.

Before you even begin the search for grants, you need to be very specific as to the type of business you are looking for a grant to help fund. You need to know exactly and be able to articulate the goods and services you will be able to supply and why anyone should help you finance it.


Once you begin the search, check to see if the kind of state grant you seek even exist. You may be better off opening your business in a neighboring state in order to meet the specifications of a certain grant. You will want to ensure the grants are there before you get too involved in the application process. Some grant seekers even hire professional grant writers to ensure professionalism and also free up their time while they seek alternate funding for their start up business.


Private foundations also exist as a means to funding a start up business. Naturally, the business you wish to start must meet very specific guidelines and mesh with the principles of the foundation. If you seek the private grant route, expect fierce competition and also be aware grant money of this kind often accompanies very specific terms of use.


Be aware of certain aspects of your business, your mission, or yourself that may set you apart and give you an advantage in the world of grant-seeking. The government often has grants lined up for various groups. Many grants are available for women and minorities. If you plan to open a business in an urban area that is in the process of revitalization, you may find grants to help make your business a reality. Women who are single moms who have had to venture into the work force may qualify for a grant that a married woman may not. There are many resources for women entrepreneurs to pursue. People over the age of 65 may also qualify for certain grants that others do not. Many grants have come about which are aimed to stimulate rural development. Relocating your potential business to one of these areas can open a world of grants that is just waiting to be claimed.


It takes a lot of time and a lot of filtering through seemingly endless leads, but if you find the right grant for your business, the payoff may well be worth it. Utilize any help, paid or not, to narrow down the search. Know ahead of time that you have a solid business plan and be able to show specifically how the grant money will be used before you need to answer those specific questions. After you have found the perfect grant and properly applied for it, keep checking on the status. Much like when you apply for a job, you need to keep communication open and try to make a connection with whoever will ultimately make the decision. While these grants can be difficult to locate, they are out there and the right one is within your reach.


Last modification: Wed 10 Aug 2011

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