Federal Grants for Small Business

October 31, 2010

If you have had to put a hold on starting you new business venture due to lack of financing, it would be wise to look into how to get free money from the government. There is such a wide array of grants available that it is worth the investment of time to research these unique opportunities. Of course, certain programs in specific fields tend offer more government grant money than do others. Understanding this will make it easier to match your company’s expertise and skills to the types of grants that are more readily available. The biggest hurdle for most people is in knowing where to look for these financial assistance programs.

The federal government regularly allocates large sums of money to help individuals throughout the U.S. launch new enterprises or expand existing ones. One of the difficulties in finding federal grants for small business ventures is that although these funds are initiated at the federal level, it is through state and local agencies and corporations that these monies are distributed and administered. Some of the agencies that post grant opportunities through their various departments include:

  • Health and Medicine

o   National Cancer Institute for cancer research

o   U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration in the field of health care services

o   National Institutes of Health through NIH grants

  • Community and Social Services

o   U.S. Department of Justice in the area of law enforcement

o   U.S. Department of Labor with employment and labor grants

o   U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for housing projects

  • Science, Technology and Environment

o   National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the area of telecommunications

o   U.S. Department of Energy for energy sciences grants

o   National Institute of Standards and Technology for technology grants

o   Environmental Protection Agency provide environmental grants and fellowships

o   National Science Foundation for scientific research grants

o   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the area of natural resources

  • Arts, Humanities and Education offers grants through various government agencies such as:

o   The U.S. Department of  Education

o   Institute of Museum and Library Services

o   National Endowment for the Humanities

o   National Archives and Records Administration

With so many grant proposals being offered by so many different agencies and a number of nonprofit corporations, it can be difficult and frustrating to find the one that fits your expertise and experience. Spending some time researching the most popular types of grant proposals available for small business will allow you to revamp or adjust your business set-up to better match a larger number of grant opportunities. Having a completed business plan is also essential as most agencies require that one be included with your application.

It is important to make the best use of your time as possible when gathering all the information you need to put together a professional grant application which will include your business plan. The key to this lies in knowing where to find the right grant opportunities as well as free professional advice on all aspects of acquiring federal grants for small business purposes.

Government Business Grants

October 29, 2010

There are many resources available that entrepreneurs can explore when looking to finance the launch of a new business or the expansion of an existing one. The common first step that most people take is using their personal savings as well as loans through family members. When these options either fall short or are simply not available many people will turn to their financial institutions for a personal loan. Unfortunately, due to today’s difficult financial climate this option is rarely successful. There are other alternatives that many people are either not aware of or feel that their small business venture would not be eligible for. This area is money from the government in the form of government business grants or low interest loans.

The initial search for government business grants usually leave would be entrepreneurs frustrated in locating useful information on agencies and corporations that offer financial aid to small businesses. The difficulty in locating the right grant or any useful grant at all stems from the fact that although the federal government does set aside large sums of money for this purpose they are filtered through state and local agencies. It is these agencies and other large nonprofit corporations that disperse and administer government business grants to the general public. Another factor that makes is hard to find grant opportunities is that even within each agency these grants are generally categorized under specific areas of specialty.

There are a few things that every entrepreneur who is looking for government business grants can do to increase their chances of success. There are definitely certain types of businesses that qualify more than others for grants so that matching your skills and experience to those will open more opportunities. Having a completed business plan is another crucial step as you will need to include one as part of the grant application package. Many granting agencies are also looking for a company that can show long term sustainability beyond the grant period. Any government agency or corporation that decides to invest in your company needs to be assured that you understand the goals of the project at hand and are capable of seeing it through to completion and have in place means to measure the outcome of the project.

If finding the right grant opportunities and completing a business plan seem to be overwhelming tasks, keep in mind that there is plenty of free professional advice both on the internet and often within your own community that can help you. It is also important to be able to spot and avoid the many grant scams that exist. Always keep in mind that no government agency will ever contact you personally with offers of free government grant money. There should never be a charge for filling out a grant application and no one can guarantee that you will be awarded a grant either before or after you have filled out an application form. It is not necessary to pay someone to help you fill out application forms as each granting agency does post helpful hints along with the application.

Although you may spend a considerable amount of time in researching grant opportunities and completing a business plan, remember that government business grants are a form of financial aid that never has to be paid back! The key is to know where to look, how to match your skills with existing grant opportunities and where to get free professional advice.

Government Grants for Small Business

October 27, 2010

Financing the start-up or expansion of a small business can be the most challenging aspect of owning and running a business. Two of the more popular choices when looking for start-up or expansion funds are asking family for help and securing personal loans from a conventional banking institution. Unfortunately, in today’s difficult economic climate both of these options are usually not available to the average entrepreneur. The resources that most people overlook are grants and other forms of financial aid from the government. Although the federal government sets aside large amounts of money for just this purpose, they can be difficult to find since the funds are actually filtered through state and local agencies. It is these local agencies and nonprofit corporations that are responsible for posting and administering government grants for small business purposes.

Before pursuing this avenue, it is important to understand just what a government grant is and what it can and can not be used for. Federal grants are a form of financial assistance to help small businesses provide direct programs or research and development projects that serve the general public or a certain segment of a community. A federal grant may not be used for any purpose that would directly benefit the government in anyway. A government grant for small business is designed to assign services, property, money, etc. in order for the grantee to carry out a specific project that supports or benefits the public in some way. Hence, government grants are created in order to have a positive impact or benefit to a particular segment of a community and never for the benefit of the government.

Since there are certain types of small businesses that are more likely to have grant opportunities open to them than others, it is a good idea to match your skills and experience with those that have the greatest chance for success. There are several federal government agencies that routinely offer postings in a wide range of specialties such as:

  • Science, Technology and Environment

o   Scientific Research Grants – National Science Foundation

o   Environmental Grants and Fellowships – Environmental Protection Agency

o   Natural Resources – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

o   Energy Sciences Grants – U.S. Department of Energy

o   Telecommunications – National Telecommunications and Information Administration

o   Technology Grants – National Institute of Standards and Technology

  • Arts, Humanities and Education

o   Museums – Institute of Museum and Library Services

o   Education – U.S. Department of  Education

o   Visual and Performing Arts – National Endowment for the Arts

o   Humanities – National Endowment for the Humanities

o   Libraries and Archives – National Archives and Records Administration

  • Health and Medicine

o   NIH Grants – National Institutes of Health

o   Health Care Services – U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration

o   Cancer Research – National Cancer Institute

  • Community and Social Services

o   Law Enforcement – U.S. Department of Justice

o   Housing – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

o   Employment and Labor Grants – U.S. Department of Labor

Whatever area your business will be in, it is imperative that before you begin applying for any type of grant or other financing option that you have a completed business plan. Most grant and low interest loans for small businesses will require a business plan as part of their application package. The key factors in putting together a professional business plan and applying for government grants for small business lies in doing your research and of course knowing where to find grants that match your skills and experience.

There is plenty of free professional information and advice on all aspects of starting or expanding small business. It is extremely important to know where to find the best help as there are also many grant scams that you will want to avoid. Remember that no legitimate granting agency will charge a fee for filling out a grant application and they will always offer helpful information on how to fill out the application form. Keep in mind also that no government department or other granting body will ever contact you personally with offers of free government grant money nor can anyone guarantee that your request for grant funding will be approved.

Small Business Grants for Minorities

October 25, 2010

Most budding entrepreneurs face difficulties in financing the launch of a new business or the expansion of an existing small business. In most cases, even the most promising privately owned companies are not able to secure conventional bank loans and money borrowed from family is often just not enough to get the business going. The federal government acknowledges the important role small business plays in both the state and local economy and routinely sets aside large sums of money to aid small business start-ups and expansions. While this is a tremendous help for individuals who wish to run their own company, it often still leaves those that belong to minority groups in the US at a distinct disadvantage. For this reason many grant opportunities have been developed with very specific criteria in order to include small business grants for minorities.

These and all grants can be of immense value as this method of financing is one that never has to be paid back. In many cases the granting agencies do want to see that once the grant period has expired, the company is capable of sustainability and continued growth. For this reason it is extremely important that any businesses applying for a government or other grant have a completed business plan in place.  It is also important to note that although grants are initiated by the federal government, it is through state and local agencies that they are awarded and administered. Even at the local levels, grants are not usually awarded to individuals but to the business itself. Grants are also created to serve a direct and measurable benefit to underprivileged groups or a specific community in some way. Many of these opportunities are aimed at aiding such groups as veterans, women, African Americans, Native Americans, etc. and are often designed to help individuals who belong to these groups launch or expand their own business.

When applying for one or more minority small business grants, it is crucial to read all eligibility requirements that are posted by the granting agency. If for example your proposed program provides direct services only to women over the age of 21 with HIV and the grant proposal stipulates that the program being funded must be for both men and women your application will automatically be rejected.  Likewise some grant opportunities specify that the owner of the business be of a certain minority group, or reside in a specific community. Since putting together a grant application requires considerable time and effort, it is important that the applicant fully understands and meets all eligibility requirements of the proposal.

Matching your particular skills and experience to the small business grants for minorities that are available will help you narrow your choices and save valuable time. If your expertise is in the area of providing programs for children with speech or communication disabilities, wading through pages of grants that cater to the high tech sector is not a good use of your time. The saying that suggests we strive to work smarter rather than harder is a valuable piece of advice. Knowing where to find the right grants and free professional help will go a long way to reaching your goals of becoming an independent business owner. If you belong to a minority group and aspire to own your own business, take advantage of the government’s commitment and seek out all the free help they are prepared to offer including small business grants for minorities.

Minority Small Business Grants

October 23, 2010

Minority Small Business Grants may not be plentiful but are still available. Financing the start-up of a new company or the expansion of an already existing one is often the biggest challenge even the most seasoned entrepreneurs face. Minority small business grantsare designed to help individuals who would otherwise not have the means to start a viable business in becoming business owners. All levels of government as well as many large corporations understand the tremendous financial and social contribution made to communities by privately owned small businesses. With this in mind, a wide array of minority small business grants are available to individuals who wish to start or expand a business that in some way benefits his or her community or state.

Although the federal government does set aside money for small business grants, these funds are filtered through state and local agencies which are responsible for administering them and making them available to the public. These grant opportunities are designed to be used for innovative research and development projects or for programs that directly involve members of a community resulting in a positive benefit to them.

The government’s objective in providing minority small business grants and other forms of low interest financing are to enhance the lives of underprivileged minority members of society as well as funding specific, innovative research and development projects. There are generally strict guidelines regarding eligibility and what the money being awarded can to be used for. The most popular types of businesses that meet the required criteria tend to be ones involved in the technology sector, education, public housing, medicine and the Arts and Humanities.

A small sample of government grants opportunities that are funded by federal government agencies are:

  • Science, Technology and the Environment

o   The National Institute of Standards and Technology

o   Environmental Protection Agency

o   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

o   National Science Foundation

  • Arts, Humanities and Education

o   Institute of Museum and Library Services

o   U.S. Department of  Education

o   National Archives and Records Administration

o   National Endowment for the Humanities

o   National Endowment for the Arts

  • Health and Medicine

o   National Institutes of Health

o   U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration

o   National Cancer Institute

  • Community and Social Services

o   U.S. Department of Justice

o   U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

o   U.S. Department of Labor

Once you have decided on an area of business that is best suited to your skills and experience you can begin searching for the Minority Small Business Grants that fall into your business’s specific category. This can of course be a difficult and time consuming task as there are hundreds of state and local government agencies as well as many large corporations that offer minority small business grants. The key will be in knowing where to find the right minority grants, how to avoid the many grant scams that exist as well as how to create a professional business plan. Understanding which businesses are more likely to get grants, matching your skills to the many minority small business grants available and having a completed, professional business plan will greatly increase your chances of success. Remember that no legitimate granting agency will ever approach you personally with offers of free money nor can anyone guarantee that you will receive a favorable response to any grant application.

Minority Business Grants

October 21, 2010

Minority Business Grants: Launching a new business can present many challenges for anyone but belonging to a minority group can pose additional obstacles for even the seasoned entrepreneur. No matter which minority group one belongs to, there are a number of agencies and government departments that are designed to help with locating minority grant offers, other forms of financial aid, training, free professional business advice and more.

One important factor that is often considered by a granting agency is the sustainability of a business at the end of the grant period.  A completed business plan will show grantors that the owner has a solid plan to grow the business through the grant period enabling the company to continue successfully in the long term. Finding a business that matches your skills and experience, locating the right grant opportunities and creating a business plan are the first crucial steps in becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Searching local resources is often the best place to start as the federal government filters grant money through state and local agencies who are then responsible for offering and managing these projects. Each state will have its own guidelines and opportunities specific to their respective areas. Organizations such as Fame Renaissance, Operation Hope and Brotherhood Business Development offer a wealth of information on alternate financial assistance as well as free advice to those who are looking to either launch a new minority business or expand and existing one. A wealth of information on minority business grants can also be found on the state level at the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) site.

Just as important as gathering all the information you can is, knowing where to find the right grant opportunities as well as tips on putting together a professional minority grant application package.  An unfortunate reality is that the majority of applications for minority business grants that are rejected are due to incomplete forms, missed deadlines or not meeting all the eligibility requirements. Paying attention to the following tips can help to avoid some of the common mistakes that many people make.

  • Make sure that every space on the grant application form has been filled in. If a question does not pertain to your circumstances simply insert N/A.
  • Never include anything that is not true. Answer each question to the best of your knowledge or if uncertain ask for advice or place N/A in the space.
  • Have your completed business plan handy for reference and make sure to add it to the package only if it is requested.
  • Double check all immigrant citizen and state residency requirements to ensure you meet all the specific demands of each grant you are applying for.
  • Have all your financial records complete and handy.
  • Always send your application in before the posted deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be rejected.
  • Proofread everything before it is sent in. It’s a good idea to step away from your work for a day and go back to it with a fresh mind. It is also recommended that you have someone else proofread all your work.
  • Make sure your presentation is professional. Any grant application package that is put together in a sloppy or unprofessional manner may cause the reviewing panel to be concerned that you will display the same lack of professionalism in your business.

There exists an enormous pool of money through federal, state and community organizations in the form of minority small business grants. Be sure to do your research and seek out all the free advice you can. Many local organizations offer seminars and courses at no charge that deal with all aspects of starting and running your own business. Many minority business grants are never awarded due to the simple fact that people were not even aware they existed. Knowing where to look will save you time and help narrow your search.

Remember that legitimate granting agencies will never contact you personally with offers of free money for your business nor do they charge a fee to fill out a grant application. No group or organization can ever guarantee that you will receive a grant so beware of offers that make such promises.

Women Business Grants

October 19, 2010

Contributions to both the state and local economies resulting from businesses owned by women have been significant and are recognized by the number of grants, free professional advise, low interest business loans, etc. that are available to women entrepreneurs. The federal government and other agencies have focused considerable efforts and resources on women small business grants opportunities. Education and other financial resources are also available from the U.S. Small Business Administration agency through the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO).

Grant opportunities for women who are looking to launch a new business or expand an existing one are also made available through the National Institutes of Health. Their objective is to encourage a better understanding and create positive solutions on the effects of exposure to environmental agents as it relates to human health. Some of the projects that offer grant opportunities are:

  • Alcohol Research Programs
  • Human Genome Research
  • Oral Diseases and Disorders
  • Drug Abuse and Addiction Research
  • Deafness and Communication Disorders

In many cases, launching and running a successful small business is the path to financial security and greater independence for women. Even with the right credentials and years of experience, there is often a language barrier that prevents women from seeking financial advice and assistance in respect to starting a new business. A number of organizations devoted to helping women in business offer helpful free courses and tips on how to put together a high quality grant application package as well as writing a professional business plan. Some common tips on how to complete small business grants application forms are:

  • Grant Eligibility – Some grants have very specific eligibility requirements. Considerable time and effort is spent on putting together a professional grant application so it is extremely important that you meet any and all requirements. There is no point in applying for a grant that stipulates you must live in a certain state as even if you meet all other requirements except that one, your application will be automatically rejected.
  • Appearance and Arrangement – It is imperative that you fully understand the information the granting agency is requesting as well as the order and the manner in which they want it. No matter how professional your grant application package is, if they have asked for a hand-written essay of approximately 500 words be included, a two page typed essay will most likely result in a rejection.
  • Truth and Honesty Matter – it may seem obvious, however the temptation to lie on even what seems to be a small matter can backfire and have devastating effects. Although it is important to answer all questions it’s better to write in N/A if something does not directly apply to you or your business as in most cases these items will have little or no bearing on whether or not your application is successful. Many granting agencies have connections to one another and if word gets around that a lie was detected, you may very well take yourself out of the running for other grant opportunities.
  • A Completed Business Plan – A completed business plan is an essential component of most grant application packages. It shows the reviewing panel that you are serious about your company and that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of your business and recognizes the problems that exist and have come up with viable solutions to overcome them. Remember that there is no need to pay hundreds of dollars to have someone else write your business plan as there is plenty of free advice, tips and user-friendly templates to help you in completing a professional business plan.
  • Be Aware of Deadlines – All proposals for small business grants for women will come with a specific deadline. It is imperative that you give yourself enough time to complete the application and send it off before the specified date. If for example the granting agency requires a post-mark on the tenth of a certain month, sending it in on the eleventh will automatically disqualify you; no matter how terrific or professional your grant application package is.

As a female entrepreneur, make sure you take advantage of government agencies and private corporations that provide help, advice and grant opportunities specifically designed to help women launch and run new businesses and expand already existing ones. Since a considerable amount of time will be spent in researching the many opportunities available and in planning ahead, the key to better time management knows where to find the right grants and help that is appropriate for you and your particular business.

Grants for Women Starting a Business

October 17, 2010

Women in business play a significant role in the U.S. economy generating more than $900 billion in revenue annually with numbers steadily increasing. The federal government recognizes this tremendous contribution and offers a wide range of financial aid through its agencies including grants for women starting a business.  These grants are available for the start-up of new businesses as well as for the expansion of an existing business.

Organizations such as Womens-Finance.com provide tips, advice and financial aid for women who are launching a new business as well as those who currently own and business and are looking to expand, purchase equipment, develop new products, etc. These small business grants can range from as little as $100 to as much as $5000. In order to be eligible to apply one must be a female U.S. resident over the age of 18 and are required to make a minimum $15 donation to the Women’s Financial Fund.

The National Institutes of Health also provide grants for women and other socially disadvantaged groups within the private sector for businesses involved in the innovation of technology. These grants are designed to encourage women in small businesses to help meet the federal government’s research and development needs.  Some of these specialized projects are offered by the National Institutes of Health and include:

  • Environmental Health – to study the effects of exposure to environmental agents
  • Human Genome Research – to acquire physical and genetic maps and ascertain the deoxyribonucleic acid sequences of the human genome.
  • Drug Abuse and Addiction Research – to acquire new knowledge and means of approach in conjunction with basic, biomedical and clinical neuroscience, epidemiologic, disparity and health services including behavioral and social science.
  • Communication and Deafness Disorders – to explore positive, viable solutions that would directly affect people suffering from deafness or other disorders relating to communication in respect to balance, taste, hearing, voice, smell, language and speech.

The small business grants application process can be a daunting one and present some difficulties to even seasoned entrepreneurs. Unfortunately many women become intimidated by the amount of information required to fill out an application and their applications are often rejected due to simple issues that can be easily avoided. Some of the most common mistakes are found to be:

  • Blank spaces – Never leave any blank spaces in an application. If a specific question does not apply to your circumstances make sure to write N/A in the space. Leaving unanswered questions can raise concerns by the grantor that you may also not be as thorough as necessary in your business endeavors.
  • Business Plan – Most grant applications require a completed business plan but even if one is not requested, much of the information within your business plan will be questions in the application. It will also give the grantor confidence that you are well prepared and have investigated all aspects of the market and your business in particular.
  • Application Deadline – No matter how professional your grant application package is if it is submitted after the posted deadline; it will not be considered! Always make certain that the grant you are applying for has a deadline that gives you ample time to gather all the information you need and have it postmarked in advance of the specified date.
  • Personal Contact – It is recommended that you have the name of someone on the grant panel that you can contact with questions regarding the application or grant parameters. Make sure that any questions you have are well thought out in advance and not ones that are clearly spelled out in the proposal. It is always beneficial to have made a personal connection with those in charge of reviewing and awarding any grant proposal.
  • Proofread and Proofread Again – Your grant application package is the first impression that the reviewing and awarding panel has of you and your business. Once you have completed the application use a dictionary or the spell check feature of your computer to ensure there are no obvious errors. It is also a good idea to have someone else read your application; fresh eyes will often pick up small errors that the writer will not notice. Remember that typos and grammatical errors can cause your application to be rejected.

Grants for women who wants to start a business is a unique opportunity that can go a long way in helping to launch or expand a business that would otherwise not be possible.  A key component in finding the right grant lies in doing your research and knowing where to find the information that you need. Before you spend any money remember that there is plenty of free advice on such things as writing a professional business plan and key sites that will help you locate government and other grants for women who are starting a business or expanding and existing one. While conducting your research always keep in mind that no one can guarantee you will be awarded a grant and that legitimate grantors will never contact you personally with offers of free grant money nor is there ever a charge for filling out a government grant application.

Grant Money for Small Business

October 15, 2010

The likelihood of receiving grants for small business ventures significantly increases according to how much preparation goes into the initial stages of your business as well as the thoroughness of the grant application process. Being prepared with a completed business plan along with a clear understanding of the parameters of the grant proposal, are your company’s key elements for success. Applying for as many business grants including small business grants in Texas,  that correspond to your area of expertise as possible will also enhance the odds of being awarded the funds you need to carry out your proposed project.

There are literally hundreds of grant opportunities made available to the public through numerous government departments and large corporations. This pool of free grant money is there to aid in the start-up of a new business as well as for the expansion of existing companies. Providing free grants for small business start up or expansion is just one way that the federal government acknowledges the importance that small business has on the local economy. Independently owned businesses increase a communities tax revenue, create new jobs, provide valuable experience for today’s youth and so much more.

If you have more than one idea for a new business and are unsure which direction to go in, there are a few things you can do to help in making a decision. There are certain areas where grant money for small business ventures tend to be more popular than others. For example, companies that deal in medicine, research and development, education, the high tech sector and programs that have a direct, positive impact on people within a community have a substantial number of grant opportunities available to them. The trick of course is locating these grants. The federal government does require certain departments to set aside funds for external research and development programs. These monies are meant to help small, new and existing companies cultivate and test new technologies that have a high probability of success.

In some cases, grants for small business start up or expansion come with specific stipulations such as the company being able to match grant money dollar for dollar or to have available other sources of financing as in a low interest business loan. Depending on which state you will be doing business in, grants are often available for companies that plan child care center expansions, those dedicated to developing innovative and energy efficient technology as well as campaigns designed to expand and promote tourism. It is also important to know that nonprofit companies do have more grant opportunities that they can access than do for profit ones. That is not to say that a for-profit company should consider free grant money out of reach. Many for-profit businesses have come up with innovative ways of attaching a nonprofit department or entity to their existing business.

An important factor to keep in mind is that one must have a completed business plan to apply for most grant offers. There is plenty of free professional advice on how to write your own business plan, thus avoiding the need to spend hundreds of dollars to hire a professional to do the work for you. As an existing or budding entrepreneur you want to make sure that your time is being used in the most efficient way possible. The key to successfully finding the right opportunities lies in knowing where to find the right grant and understanding the grant application process.  Remember that no one can guarantee that your company will receive a grant and no legitimate granting agency will ever charge a fee for filling out a grant application. It is highly recommended that you avoid promises of free grant money and be aware that corporations, foundations or government departments will never approach you directly with offers of free grant money for small business ventures.

Grant for Small Business

October 13, 2010

When looking for a grant for small business ventures, the right planning and research can go a long way in saving time and increasing your chances of success. The first important step is to choose a business that you enjoy and one that matches your particular skills and experience. Once you have established what kind of work you are best suited for the next step is to search out the specific projects that offer the most grant opportunities. Both the federal government and large nonprofit corporations offer a multitude of grants in a wide array of fields. The most common projects to be awarded small business grants are those in research and development, the high tech sector, medicine, education and programs that offer a direct benefit to a disadvantaged group within a community. Chances of success also greatly increase if the company you wish to launch or expand is a nonprofit one. In cases where there is an existing company looking for a grant for a small business that currently operates as a for-profit company, it can be relatively easy to create a separate nonprofit department or entity thus opening the doors to a greater number of grant opportunities.
In all cases, it is important that one has a completed business plan as it will form a crucial part of most grant application packages. Many new entrepreneurs are of the belief that in order to produce a professional business plan, one must hire a trained expert in the field which can cost hundreds of dollars. This is certainly not the case as there are a number of websites that offer free professional advice and proven, easy to use templates that will walk you through each step of process.
Although the federal government sets aside huge sums of money for the purpose of encouraging entrepreneurs to start or expand a business by way of free grants, it is through the lower levels of government that these opportunities are made available to the general public. With hundreds of departments at the state, city, county and community levels as well as charitable foundations through large corporations, the task of finding and matching the right grant offer to your particular business can be an overwhelming one. Knowing where to find the right grant opportunity is as important as the preliminary work that is needed before the launch of any new business.
Once you have a clear idea of the specific business you wish to start along with a completed business plan, you are ready to begin your search. Reviewing the many grants for small business opportunities that fit your particular business will enable you to modify areas of your business plan where appropriate to better reflect your project proposal if needed. It is important to remember that a business plan should be considered a work in progress and not a one-size-fits-all document.
There will inevitably come a time in the planning stage when you may need to spend small amounts of money in order to reach your goal. Make sure that even those small purchases will result in measurable outcomes and that they will help save you time in the initial phases of starting your business. Take advantage of all the free information and advice that is available through your community or on the internet. Remember that no one or company can guarantee you a grant for small business purposes and that there is never a charge for filling out a grant application so don’t be fooled by such claims. It is also important to understand that no legitimate corporation, foundation or government department will ever contact you personally with offers of a free government grant.

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