Business Start up Grants

Business start up grants from the government are so often overlooked, yet they can provide an exceptional opportunity for individuals without their own financial means to become private business owners. There are countless people all around us who have unique skills to offer with programs and technological, educational and other advances that could greatly benefit all members of their community. Even though the federal government sets aside millions of dollars each year to promote small business start-ups and expansions most people are not aware they exist or simply assume that they would never be eligible to apply for one.

If you are in the planning stages and still uncertain what type of business would be best suited to your talents, there are few things you can do to help make the process easier. Begin by understanding your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. There is no point in getting into a business that involves work that you do not believe in, have no passion for or lack the specific skills required to perform the job. Understanding the field that is best suited for you helps you find what kinds of grants are being offered in those areas. It makes sense to get involved in a business that presents many opportunities for a number of grants for small business start up or other forms of financial aid from the government. It should quickly become evident that government aid is designed to support businesses, programs and research and development projects that have some sort of measurable benefit to people within a certain community or a particular disadvantaged group. So if your dream is to open a local bakery, you might consider including a separate nonprofit department that offers say, after school baking classes to at risk youth within your neighborhood. Although you will have to find the financing for the core bakery, you would certainly be eligible to apply for a grant to open the after-school portion of the business.

Once you have a specific business in mind, it is time to create a business plan. This will be one of the most important steps you will need to complete as virtually all grant proposals will require you to include one in your grant application package. Be prepared to modify your business plan so that it fits into the goals, objectives and outcomes presented in the grant offer. All grants for small business start up will have their own well defined parameters that must be addressed. It is imperative that the application form be filled out in its entirety and that no spaces are left blank. If a particular question clearly does not apply to you, it is alright to mark an N/A in the space. Also make sure that you have plenty of time to gather all the information you need and submit your application before the deadline date posted by the granting agency. Hundreds of grant applications are routinely rejected due what applicants thought to be minor issues or omissions.

Be prepared to spend enough time to research the market, complete a business plan and apply for as many business start-up grants as you qualify for. Understanding which government agencies typically offer grant opportunities and how to find grants that fit into you area of expertise will help you make the best possible use of your time.

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