Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Ben Franklin Technology Partners has been investing in startups in central and northern Pennsylvania for more than 30 years. Tech startups can potentially receive up to four yearly infusions of cash totaling around $500,000. Small manufacturers may be eligible for a one-time investment of up to $250,000. To learn more about eligibility, check out their website.
How Do You Qualify For A Small Business Grant
When you read about qualifying for a small business grant, most people are talking about eligibility.
Each individual grant specifies which businesses are eligible to win it. Anyone can apply for a grant, but if you dont meet the eligibility criteria, you have zero chance to get it.
Of the grants listed on this page, almost every small business can apply for the grants in the government and corporate grant sections.
If youre a woman, you have several grant opportunities on top of that.
The majority of the rest of the grants I included here are for a specific type of business, so youll need to look at them individually and see if your small business is eligible.
Business Grants For Minorities
There are many loans available for minorities, but few grants, just like veterans.
Minority Business Development Agency : The MBDA offers very restricted grants to all types of American minorities. The grants are only given to those interested in running one of MBDAs Minority Business Centers, and only in specific locations that they want to expand to. Youll need to offer consulting services, and help them secure financing and investments. Youll need to show that you have experience doing this, so very few people are eligible.
In addition to those grants, MBDA also occasionally runs other grant competitions. Youll have to monitor their news to find these opportunities in the future, but there are no set schedules or eligibility guidelines for them.
First Nations Development Institute Grants: Monitor this page to find grant opportunities for small businesses owned by Native Americans. This organization has given over 1,400 grants for a total of almost $30 million dollars from 1993 to 2017. There are no restrictions on the types of businesses eligible for the grants, as long as the owner is Native American. You can subscribe to their email list to be alerted to any new opportunities.
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Iowa Business Development Grant Recycling
Iowa provides a wide range of business development grants. The states focus is on businesses that create manufacturing jobs and enhance Iowas other industries. There are also grants for retail businesses that are rehabilitating downtown buildings. You can see the latest opportunities on Iowas grants portal.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
The Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program has closed, but the SBA says that it will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount, capped at a total of $10 million.
Those eligible businesses include:
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
- Motion picture theater operators, or
- Talent representatives
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Free Government Grant For Business Owner In The Us
The Government grant administration has their grooming centres in each state to assist entrepreneurs who aspire to get their businesses elevated from the root or to grow already existed businesses.
This is aligned with the objective to offer business owners a planned development, manufacturing assistance, lending assistance, financial packaging, disaster recovery assistance, exporting and importing support, procurement and contracting aid.
Heres a breakdown to let you sort through what grants is available in the United States:
Quick Tips For Getting More Grants
There are a lot of simple things you can do to improve your chances of winning grants. Most are easy to understand, but you need to make sure you keep them in mind.
Heres how to get more grants:
- Always look for new grant opportunities .
- Make sure the time spent to apply for a grant is actually worth the grant amount.
- Read over the individual application instructions to each grant. Some are similar, but few are the exact same.
- Double-check that you are eligible before spending a lot of time on an application.
- Provide specific numbers on how the grant will be used and how it will help.
- Double-check your spelling and grammar.
- Submitting your application early may make you look more prepared than late-submitters.
- Back up claims with credible citations.
- Be realistic when mentioning your business costs or revenue.
- Find a book from your library on grant writing if you want to write better grant proposals.
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Small Business Grants For Startups
Many small business grants are open only to businesses that have been operating for a few years and have an established product or service. However, its often the newest businesses that need the most financial assistance and traditional loans to start a business can be hard to find. Therefore, you might check out these grants for small business startups.
Write And Submit A Grant Proposal
Various government small business grants exist that provide funding for a wide range of problems. Some of these government small business grants are discussed later in this article. Each grant has specific requirements you should ensure that your business can meet these requirements before investing time and money into creating a grant proposal. It often works best to hire a grant proposal writer because writing a grant proposal is a time-consuming and detailed process.
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What Are Business Grants
Government business grants are financial grants given to small business to help them get started, move in a new direction, or expand to new markets. They function like business loans in that they can be used to cover certain expenses related to your businesss operation and development. Unlike business loans, a government grant does not need to be paid back. It is essentially like receiving free money for your developing business.
Jack Daniels Pitch Distilled
Jack Daniels hosts an annual pitch competition with the goal of inspiring entrepreneurs to surface the next big idea. Small business startups can apply and if accepted, theyll pitch their ideas at the Pitch Distilled event to a group of business owners. The winner of this pitch contest will win a $5,000 prize, plus advice and guidance from the panel of judges to help make their idea a reality.
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National Minority Supplier Development Council
The National Minority Supplier Development Council is one of the top corporate membership organizations. They offer business services and networking opportunities to connect with investors and build your practice.
- Program benefits: Resources and access to 1,450 other members and 23 regional councils.
- Where to apply: For more information, visit their website.
How to apply: Each year, the NMSDC hosts a few different funding opportunities. In 2020 and 2021, they’ve focused their funding efforts on small minority businesses impacted by COVID-19. As 2021 carries out, check their website to seek eligible grants.
Your Local Womens Business Center
One specific way that the SBA supports women small business owners is through its support of a national center of womenâs business centers, which offer businesses mentoring and networking opportunities, business development training, business plan development, and access to funding.
Use the SBAâs lookup tool to find an SBA-supported Womenâs Business Center near you.
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Small Business Innovation Research Program
This government grant is awarded to businesses making strides in technology innovation. Funds are provided for research and development with additional support being given for the commercialization of the technology or service created.
The grant began in 1982 as a part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act and has provided funding for a variety of companies in the defense, environment and healthcare industries. Funds are obtained from the Federal Research and Development Project. Any small business that is awarded this grant must complete the three phases of the program to receive the full grant award.
- Phase I The budgetary allocation for this phase does not usually exceed $150,000. The Federal Research and Development team determines whether your project is truly viable.
- Phase II The results of Phase I determine the funding requirements for this phase. Funding usually does not exceed $1,000,000 and is dispersed over a two- year period.
- Phase III This is a non-funded phase where the product is commercialized. Other government agencies associated with the project may be the main consumers.
Us Department Of Agriculture Grants
USDA grants focus on agricultural development in rural areas. Some of the government grants offered include:
- Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program
- Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants
- Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
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What Is A Grant From The Government
A grant is one of the ways the government funds ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research, and many other programs. You can find a list of projects supported by grants in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance . You can also learn about the federal grant process and search for government grants at Grants.gov.
State Government Grants For Small Business
State-level small business grants are generally geared toward that particular stateâs social or economic concerns. Theyâre meant to work in tandem with federal or other state grants, so youâll usually get less funding. That said, theyâre much more accessible due to lower competition. Also, many are matching grants: Instead of just providing the funds for you to use for a certain purpose, some will require that you match the money they give as well.
You can search for business grants in your own state and industry by looking at your states department of commerce website or grants portal. Below, we list some popular state grant programs and resources.
Also, an important note: While weâre listing state-specific government grants for small businesses, many of these run across multiple states, so donât give up if the grant looks right but your states donât match.
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Other Government Funding Options For Your Business
These federal and state programs can also help finance your business:
Small Business Investment Company Program The SBA partners with private investment funds licensed as SBICs to provide growth capital to small businesses. Find out if SBIC financing is right for your business.
Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs The SBIR/STTR programs are competitive and awards-based. They encourage small businesses to pursue federal research or research and development projects. While exploring their technological potential, businesses can profit from commercialization. Learn how to apply.
State and Local Business Assistance Find out about state and local business financial assistance where you live. This includes financing for business expansion, state credit initiatives, and more.
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Local Small Business Grants
In addition to statewide government grants, cities, towns, and nonprofits finance their own small business grant programs. Continuing the trend, these usually carry smaller payloads but less competition. For local small business grants, youâve got a substantial upper hand if you serve your community in a tangible and demonstrable way.
Plus, is your small business aimed at promoting health, environmental consciousness, or similar initiatives? If so, youâll be looking at even more local grants to apply forâand get funding for your eco-friendly business. Because local small business grants are so geographically specific, weâve pulled just a few to show you what kinds of opportunities may exist in your nearby city or town. Again, make sure to look for similar programs in your own locality.
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Small Business Innovation Research And Small Business Technology Transfer Programs
The SBIR and STTR programs are some of the best government grants available to for-profit small businesses innovating in science and technology. They are highly competitive and incentivize small businesses to conduct research and development, in hopes to eventually commercialize their product.
In addition to funding, these programs also offer opportunities for small businesses to work with nonprofit organizations. To be eligible, you must operate a U.S.-based small business that is more than 50% U.S.-citizen owned and has less than 500 employees.
These programs are broken down into three phases:
- Phase I: Award is between $50,000 and $250,000 for six months or one year . The objective is to determine technical merit, commercial potential and feasibility.
- Phase II: Award is generally $750,000 for two years . The objective is to continue research and development efforts from Phase I.
- Phase III: Funding is not provided by SBIR or STTR programs. The objective is to pursue commercialization.
The Mbda Grant Application In 5 Easy Steps
Let MBDA help you better position your company.
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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.
Ottawa Announces $4 Billion In Funding To Help Small And Medium
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday that the government is allocating $4 billion over four years for small and medium-sized businesses to accelerate digitalization in an effort to advance their competitiveness in an increasingly online, borderless economy.
Ottawa is launching the Canadian Digital Adoption Program that will provide loans and grants to 160,000 business owners, giving them capital to, for example, create an online e-commerce platform or acquire technologies to make operations more efficient.
Todays announcement is all about empowering small businesses with digital tools so that they can reach their full potential, Trudeau said at a press conference with Trade Minister Mary Ng.
Adoption of digital technologies and bolstering online presence is becoming increasingly important in a post-pandemic world, where new habits of online shopping and conducting business virtually have become more commonplace. Small and medium-sized businesses employ about four-fifths of the labour force, according to Statistics Canada, making them a vital part of economic prosperity.
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Applying For Grants To Small Business Owners
- Staying selective: Youll want to pick grants that youre eligible for. Youll also have a better shot if your products or services align with the goals of the company thats offering the grant. They look for businesses that are a good match for what they stand for.
- Sharing your passion: Throughout your grant application you should communicate your passion for your business. This helps the reviewer get behind your ideas and feel invested in your goals.
- Using numbers to back up your points: Organizations want to invest in businesses that are thriving and show growth potential. This means that youll want to use numbers like sales figures and growth percentages to show you have the potential to grow your business.
- Providing accurate information: If you make any mistakes in the application process or the information you provide isnt up to date, it can slow down the reviewing process. To help prevent this, you can have multiple people proofread your application before you submit it.
- Getting advice from others: You can talk with program staff, experts, customers or former grantees for advice and tips on filling out applications. Its also a good idea to run your products and services by them for advice.
How Do I Qualify For A Small Business Grant
Each grant has specific qualifications youll need to meet in order to apply. Its important to review these first so you dont waste your time applying for grants you arent eligible for.
Some may require you to be in a certain industry. Others may require you to be in business a certain amount of time or be generating a certain revenue. You may have restrictions on how you use the funds.
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Live Your Dream Award
Each year, the Live Your Dream Foundation grants $2.1 million in educational funds to women. This foundation focuses on passionate women who have survived sexual violence or other traumatic events. They offer programs and funding that help women build confidence, advance their careers, and overcome unexpected situations.
- Award amount: $1,000$16,000
- Where to apply: Applications open from August 1 to November 15 at this online portal.