Starting a small business can be a costly venture. You need to invest in equipment, pay for supplies, rent and utilities, as well as marketing and advertising costs. These expenses can quickly add up, which is why many entrepreneurs look for funding opportunities.
One fantastic way to get funding for your small business is through grants. Grants typically have an extensive application process and require you to put together a proposal outlining your business or project and how it will benefit from the grant money. If you get one, many grants send the funds straight to your business bank account and you don’t have to pay it back. If you’re a startup in need of funding, here are five grants you should apply for.
The Grants.gov program is a centralized location for federal grants. The site has over 1,000 grant programs, offering the most comprehensive database of free government money. Every year federal agencies post funding opportunities that amount to more than $500 billion.
With grants.gov, you can find specific programs that fit your business type, and the application process is straightforward and streamlined. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can gain the necessary funding to take your startup to the next level.
2. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA provides several programs and services to help small businesses get started and grow. One of the ways it does this is through grants. While the SBA does not provide direct grants, it partners with a number of organizations that offer grants to small businesses. To learn more about SBA grant programs, visit its website or contact your local SBA office.
3. Fedex Small Business Grant Contest
Fedex has awarded more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes to over 100 small businesses since 2012. The contest awards unique and innovative small businesses. In 2022, nearly 18,000 small businesses entered the contest.
Any eligible for-profit small business that has been in business for at least six months, has a FedEx shipping account number, has fewer than 99 employees, and has a shipping need for their business is eligible to enter the contest.
4. Fresh Start Business Grant
This grant is for an entrepreneur to receive $2,500 to put toward business start-up costs. They will also receive free formation services from IncFile. IncFile’s Gold plan includes ($385 value) incorporation services in your state, free Registered Agent services for a year, and a free tax consultation.
Applicants need to create a short, two-minute video telling IncFile how entrepreneurship will impact their life and submit a sample business plan.
5. The National Association for the Self-Employed
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is a membership organization that provides a variety of resources and services to self-employed individuals and micro-businesses, including grant opportunities.
One example is its Growth Grants program, which provides financial assistance of up to $4,000 to help businesses grow and create jobs. Since 2006, the NASE has awarded nearly $1 million to its members.
These are just a handful of the thousands of grant programs that offer funds for small businesses of all types to get off the ground and succeed. Though the grant application process can be quite competitive, taking the effort to research and apply for the right grant can pay off in the long run. With these five small business grants, your startup is one step closer to achieving its goals.
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