Financing your business through a grant is ideal because you’re not typically required to repay the money. As a result, starting or expanding your venture can be done with minimum risk and maximum profitability.
While obtaining a grant is by no means easy and requires “stringent compliance,” there are definitely opportunities available. You just need to know where to look and how to utilize those resources to find a grant for your small business.
This is arguably your number one resource to find a grant. The Grants.Gov website is a vast one with a wealth of information including:
- Grant Eligibility
- Grant policies
- Application information
Visit the grant search page that’s specifically intended for small businesses. As of the most recent posting, there were over 1,000 different grants available with the majority focusing on research and development.
By browsing through this resource, you’ll see:
- The grant opportunity title
- Opportunity status
- Post date and end date
By clicking on the opportunity number, you can learn the details to determine if you’re eligible and get other details on what you need to do to apply. Just remember that you must first register before you can apply to any grants.
The SBIR Program
The Small Business Innovation Research program is a, “Highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization.”
You can search for open funding topics to see if there’s anything that your small business would qualify for. Then, you can browse through the results to learn more about each grant. For instance, you’ll learn:
- A program overview
- Contact info
- Eligibility Requirements
- Open date and close date
- Application due date
You must register first to participate in the SBIR program. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the website before diving in head first. You can even check out the tutorial section to get up to speed. The good news is that the SBIR reported that it awarded 300 grants in 2014 with an average funding amount of $624,807.
Grants for Women-Owned Businesses
This resource from Entrepreneur can be helpful for female business owners. It’s much less formal than the previous two resources and is basically a compilation of private grants.
There are 11 different programs in total, and you’ll see a quick rundown of the details as well as links to learn more and apply. Additionally, Entrepreneur offers some additional advice on the steps involved with applying for a grant.
It can be difficult to find a grant for your small business. Because the money for many grants comes from tax dollars, your venture needs to fit the right criteria, and you’ll need to do a substantial amount of research. If you’re diligent, there’s always a chance that you’ll find financing for your small business.