Grants for Business

Grants for a new business start-up are often overlooked by many people who are trying to finance a new enterprise. There are a couple of main reasons for this; the first being that they are either not aware free money is available or they just don’t know where to find reliable grant resources. The second most common reason is the process of qualifying and applying can seem overwhelming and intimidating.

It is true that trying to find the right grant opportunity that matches your skills and business can take hours and hours of research. Most entrepreneurs begin by looking to the federal government for free money to launch their business. The truth is that although grant funding is generally initiated by the federal government, it is through state, local and community agencies that this money is made available to the public. There are also a number of large nonprofit corporations and foundations that offer grants for specific projects. The areas that tend to be more popular in terms of grants to start a business are those in research and development, the technology sector, medicine, education and programs that directly benefit a particular community group that is in some way disadvantaged.

If you are thinking about starting a new business but have not yet decided which direction to go in or have several areas of expertise that you are passionate about, it is advisable to research where your best chances for receiving free grant money are. Take the time to speak with other successful business owners as most are only too happy to give you valuable insight into how they started out. Read trade magazines and the business section of your newspaper, either in hard copy or online. There is an abundance of free professional advice for the asking; if you know where to look.

Once you have found one or more small business grants start-up opportunities, it is easy to become discouraged by the application process and the amount of information they require from you. Before you apply for any free grant money, it is imperative that you have a completed business plan as most agencies will include this as an integral part of the application package. It is not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on this phase as once again, there are many resources that offer free expert help in putting together a professional business plan including templates that you can use for your own business.

The same process applies to existing business owners who wish to expand their company and are looking for grant opportunities. Nonprofit entities tend to have more choices when it comes to finding the right grant offers. Even if your business is for-profit, adding a related nonprofit department can be a relatively easy one. A grant for business expansion is an ideal way to grow your company without having to exhaust your own personal finances.

In all areas of starting a business and applying for grants for small business start up or expansion should begin with research. Since time is a valuable commodity, it is important to narrow your focus by knowing where to look in order to find information that you can understand and make direct use of. Remember that the more information you have the better your chances of launching a successful business and finding grant opportunities that match your business and your skills.

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