Building a small business is tough. But getting business grants is even tougher. Without the right infusion of capital, fledgling businesses struggle to find a foothold in the market. Nearly 33% of small business owners struggle or fail due to lack of capital
Around 20% of new businesses close within a year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Business owners who secure funding manage to keep their company running and give back to the local community as nearly half the money consumers spend stays local.
According to the Small Business Administration when consumers spend $100 at a small business, $48 stays in the community. This is why it is important to encourage small businesses and startups. An entrepreneur takes massive risks for the well-being of the company and its employees.
The primary difference between a grant and a loan is that most loans are given based on your ability to pay it back while grants are given after experts evaluate your business’ potential. The government offers grants to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
Small business grants and business funding
Although it is a tedious and time-consuming process, finding the right business funding can help your company make the right decisions at the right time. There are various state, federal, and private business grants and resources on offer for entrepreneurs.
Before applying for business funding, an entrepreneur must study local grants and ones specific to their business. This increases their likelihood of getting picked over others.
Other than the standard research, business owners must thoroughly research past winners, prepare a clear and crisp application that reflects the business’ goals, and seek the advice of grant winners.
We have compiled 10 popular small business grants that promote entrepreneurship.
1. Business Warrior Small Business Loans
The company Business Warrior understands just how difficult it can be to get traditional loans. To help small businesses get the right capital, the company has launched Business Warrior Funding. Launched in early 2022, the fund will let small business owners apply for loans between $5,000 to $50,000. The interest rates are expected to be around 10% and takes approximately 48-hours for the application to be processed. The Business Warrior funding is open to all applicants here.
2. 500 Global Flagship Accelerator Program
The flagship fund opens up applications on a rolling basis and provides business grants to small businesses. It offers founders the opportunity to scale up their company and make the right decisions. The application rules can be found here and the website mentions that they offer different services, along with funding to help a company find its wings. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and they also offer a host of services to startups.
3. Fresh Start Business Grant
An entrepreneur looking for a fresh start can turn to the Fresh Start Business Grant. The website mentions, “One adult entrepreneur will receive $2,500 to put toward business startup costs and will also receive free formation services from Incfile.” The deadlines are December 31, 2022, and March 31, 2023. The company requires that the applicant is a US citizen and 21 years-old or older. More details on how to apply can be found here.
4. The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund
The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is meant to help small businesses that are struggling to survive. The fund is backed by GoFundMe and corporations like Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, GoDaddy and Bill.com. Small businesses can also apply for a matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund. The fund is mainly aimed towards helping businesses that were affected by COvid-19 get back on their feet. Businesses owners can find more details on how to set up the fund here.
5. The Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program
The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and FedEx have teamed up to create the Small Business Readiness for Resiliency (R4R) Program. The Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program aims to equip businesses to face disasters and offers immediate relief funding, when disaster strikes. A real case of being prepared for the worst, the business grant is designed to encourage preparedness and resilience. Details on how to submit an application and why can be found here. There are over 100 grants available to be distributed until June 2023.
6. Walmart Local Community Grants
Walmart recognizes that big ideas start small and has launched the Walmart Local Community Grants to help small businesses. The applications started in February 2022 and will close on December 31, 2022. The community grants range between $250 to $5,000. Organizations applying for the business funding must complete a checklist before submitting their application form. There are eight areas of funding and business owners must thoroughly review their organizational goals to figure out which areas they fall into.
Specialized Grants for Women and Black business owners
According to Incfile, women-owned businesses employed over 9.4 million people as of 2022. Having women in business has also increased diversity, profits, and work-life balance.
Minority women are also aiming for a slice of the pie, with businesses owned by minority women growing over 163% since 2007. It is estimated that less than 0.5% of venture capital funding is received by black women entrepreneurs.
As per the latest census data, there were 3.12 million Black-owned businesses in the US, generating $206 billion in annual revenue and supporting 3.56 million US jobs. To help these businesses stay the course and bring social change, many organizations have launched funds aimed at women and Black-owned companies.
7. Amber Grant for Women
The Amber Grant for Women as the title suggests is to encourage women-owned businesses. WomensNet gives away at least $30,000 every month in Amber Grant money. The grant was set up in memory of Amber Wigdahl, a young woman who aspired to be an entrepreneur, but sadly passed away at 19 before her dreams could come true. You can submit your proposal via the application form listed here. The grant winners are often announced by the 23rd of the following month.
8. Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator Program
For black entrepreneurs, Amazon’s accelerator program can be the thing that helps them jump-start their business. The program offers $5,000 in credit to assist business owners along with a host of other professional services. Eligible sellers will get access to educational material, personalized insights, resources, operational support and more. Testimonials by other Black entrepreneurs highlight the benefits of the Business Accelerator Program. In case you want to learn more about the opportunity, you can check out the details on their website.
9. SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant
If you self identify as a Black woman or Black nonbinary entrepreneur, the SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant will help you realize your entrepreneurial dream. The foundation provides grants of up to $10,000 to qualified entrepreneurs and coaching on how to navigate the business landscape. The SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams will also guide them on how to shape their ideas and dreams. SocGal has partnered with Winky Lux, bluemercury, twelveNYC, Twilio, Walmart.org’s Center for Racial Equity and other sponsors to offer this life changing business funding to struggling Black entrepreneurs. Applications are rolling and additional details can be found here.
10. IFundWomen Johnnie Walker First Strides Grant Program
Johnnie Walker and IFundWomen are supporting women-owned businesses to push boundaries and redefine what is possible by providing them with the required capital. By giving female entrepreneurs capital and coaching, the IFundWomen Johnnie Walker First Strides Grant Program hopes to make the business landscape more gender-neutral and aspirational for future generations. Applications are open until December 31 and more details can be found on their website. Ten recipients will receive $10,000 each to nurture their company and grow their business.
Many established companies provide business funding to help small business startups succeed.
In case businesses do not receive grants from established institutions, entrepreneurs must do their homework and compare the benefits, interest rates, and other variables to choose the right financing.
Raising money for your small business involves exploring multiple avenues as most states also have their own programs to encourage upcoming businesses.