Grants for Starting a Small Business

Being awarded one of the many government grants for starting a small business that are available throughout the United States can be a pivotal point for any entrepreneur. In most cases however, it should not be the only source of funding being sought by someone looking to start or expand a small company. Another possible source of funding can come from low interest small business grants that are again funded by the federal government and dispersed through various organizations. Although government grants are initiated at the federal level, they are dispersed to various state and local departments as well as to large nonprofit corporations. Numerous grants are also made available by many charitable foundations which post specific project proposals on their websites.

In many cases, those offering grant opportunities want to see that a company applying for a free grant has made provisions to continue their work even after the grant period has expired. Since a number of grants provide funding for a specific and time limited project, the applicant must show both its past and present successes as well as its long term sustainability. The world of grants can seem like a maze and often takes you in directions that do not pertain to your area of expertise. For this reason having a definite set of parameters for your existing or proposed business will help you focus your search within the specific grant categories that apply to you.

Completing a business plan is one of the best ways to understand exactly what your business needs are and should be one of the first steps you take before applying for any grants for small business. Most grant proposals will include sub categories that offer other grant opportunities of a similar nature. It is recommended that you apply for all grants that pertain to your business. However, it is important to review each one separately and have a clear understanding of the specific requirements for each one before applying. Go over your business plan and modify it to fit each application while ensuring that all elements of the plan remain accurate.

Grants for starting a small business can come in a variety of ways and if you are a member of a minority group you may be eligible for further funding. If for example you lack certain skills that would enable you to start a business, there are often grants that can help you gain the skills to help you launch a new business enterprise. With so many government and other grant opportunities at both state and local levels, it can be difficult to maneuver through them efficiently. The key to finding the right grant opportunities that can help you get started lies in knowing where to look.

Take the time to do your initial research and to write a professional business plan. If the thought of creating a business plan seems overwhelming and somewhat intimidating, remember that there are plenty of free advice available as well easy and user-friendly templates that one can follow through each step of the process. Although it may take some time to find the right grant opportunities that fit into your business category, keep in mind that this is money that never has to be paid back! A little extra effort in planning ahead is well worth it.

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