Federal Small Business Grants – How to Get One For Your Business

One of the most common questions that an entrepreneur has is where to get a grant so as to finance their business. As with any other business, starting a small business requires not only a business model and a market for the product but also capital to finance the business.

However with recession taking its toll it has become difficult for small businesses to entice private investors or acquire loans to start their business.

The solution to this problem may lie in federal grants which are available by the Government throughout America. These grants are paid to entrepreneurs who wish to start their own business and meet a certain criteria.

This “seed” money is not a loan and does not have to be repaid by the government. There are several types of small business grants that are available by the federal government such as grants for women entrepreneurs, minority business owners or people wanting to set up business in underdeveloped areas.

Grant applications usually have a deadline period and this it is essential to start the application process as early as possible to avoid the possibility of rejections. The decision for approval of the grant can take somewhere between six to seven months after the entire application process.

There are three government resources from where you can derive information about these grants. The Small Business Innovation Research center, the SBA and the US government’s grants portal known as Grants.gov.

It is important to keep in mind that the federal grants provided by government is not a loan nor is it free money doled out by the government. An entrepreneur needs to show why he/she needs a loan and whether it satisfies some social cause like providing unemployment in economically backward areas.

The stronger and more detailed the presentation with hypothetical budgetary allotments the better is the chance of the grant being approved. Once the federal small business grant is approved it then becomes a contract between the government and the small business owner.

It is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to satisfy the conditions of the grant where time limits may be setting up for the business. Moreover the government may regularly send agents for audits and approvals.

How to Find a Small Business Grant For Your Woman-Owned Business

A small business grant is more desirable than a small business loan because the funds do not have to be paid back. In saying this remember that a government grant that is awarded for a business means that business cannot make a profit, or rather it will need to be setup as a non-profit. A profitable business will need to seek funds from other sources.

If you are thinking about starting a small business, you may be wondering how you can obtain this grant money and if you qualify for it. There are federal and state agencies that offer help and funding for small start up businesses as well as private foundations. Seeking them out may be a bit of a challenge but if you search diligently you will find them.

There are a few steps you can take to finding a small business grant that will fit your needs. These funding sources can be found by:

1. Doing an online search of Federal and State government websites. State funding is usually easier to find. Most states have an online web site that will help you find local funding as well as business incubators available. These websites will have information listed on what they offer small businesses and the types of funding they can obtain. Often you can apply for the grants online or download the paperwork to get started. Your local SCORE office is always a good source of business information as well.

2. Looking at private web resources that offer small business grants. There are some public and private sources for grant money that is offered for businesses that fall into a certain category such as research, and innovation. A lot of large corporations offer funding for small business and other projects that will help a local community. You can visit these sites online to obtain information on their community development grants, etc.

3. Attending seminars that will help you to learn how to write a grant proposal. Often these seminars know of resources for grant money that is not available to the general public. By attending the seminar, you will not only learn how to write a grant proposal but will be put in contact with agencies that offer grants. Your grant proposal should be professional.

There is much competition for grant money so getting educated on the grant writing process, and how grants work is paramount to increasing your chances of getting one. If your start up business has anything to do with specialized research, technology, or energy, the Federal government may be interested in helping you. The government is always looking for innovative business ideas that stand out from the crowd and help society in general.

There are other grant resources offered from independent sites that relay news and information about foundation grants and private individuals giving funds to small businesses. Be aware however that there are scams out there who do not offer legitimate information. It is best to use legitimate websites when you are looking for a grant as they will have the information that you need to apply for them. Some of these web sites offer information for a one time fee. Beware of sites that offer the information for free. READ their “terms” as some of them have hidden fees of up to 97.00 a month if you don’t return their CD within a few short days. It’s better to use a site that offers a one-time-only fee.

Do Small Business Grants For Women Exist?

The US economy over the past few years has been tough on everyone and it may not seem like the best of times to start up a new company. But, when jobs are scarce, the entrepreneurial among us follow our passions and DO start up companies at a time just like this! Entrepreneurs recognize opportunities and are not afraid of some risk, in return for rewards down the road.

If you are a woman, just starting up a company, or you are trying to expand your already existing company, then you may want to look into some of the many small business grants for women that are still available.

However, there is a misconception about federal government grants for business. US government agencies do not give grant money directly to businesses and individuals for startup. That being said, the government does routinely give out grant money–to states and local communities. The state and community projects, funded by the federal grant funds, can mean money to your business, in the way of contracts and sub-contracts.

The government knows that the most affordable way to create more jobs is to create a climate where small businesses can access money to grow and thrive. If you are a woman owned company, then you are in luck. Many state, and local governments all have programs available that provide small business grants for women who own either part or the whole of their business.

Private foundations and non-profit organizations may have grants available for women-owned businesses in your state or local area. The funds may be matching funds or may be issued in some other way.

If you come to a website that promises they will get you a grant, be careful. There are grants and loans for women entrepreneurs but you may or may not qualify, based on a variety of factors.

However, if you are willing to adapt your business model to the specifications of the grant, then you may be to reap the benefits. Also, keep in mind that grants are not paid back. They are not loans – they are funds given to your company, which you will use to fulfill a particular requirement of the grant. Whether that is create more jobs, or just complete a project, you must comply with the grant in order to receive the money.

That being said, however, getting small business grants for women owned enterprises is a great way to make a move up to the next level with your business. Whether you are just starting up or you have been in business for years and want to start growing, now is the time to go find your grant.