How to Get Small Business Grants

Small Business Grants For You

Small business (SMB) grants are free money for your business. These grants are often provided by government agencies and organizations. They are specifically designed to assist SMBs start or grow.  Reach out to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Access a wealth of resources. Get help in finding grants that are a perfect fit for your business.

These grants aim to directly help SMB owners. They provide the much-needed funding to move your business forward. Discover the best grants available and secure the financial support your business deserves.

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What Is a Small Business Grant?

An SMB grant is a form of financial aid specifically designed to support SMBs. Governmental bodies, nonprofit groups, and commercial companies all provide these contributions. They aim to provide funding to start or grow small businesses. These are often awarded directly to eligible SMB owners.

These are available in various forms and amounts. Their usage may vary depending on the grant provided. You can use them to start a business or cover operational costs. You can invest in equipment or technology. You can also hire employees, or expand marketing efforts.

They are an invaluable resource to find the best funding opportunities. The grants help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Especially, those who have been in business for at least one year.

Types of Small Business Grants

Explore small business grants available. They can help you get the right funding opportunities specific to your business and industry. Grants are technically free money. This makes them an attractive option for entrepreneurs seeking funding.

  • General SMB Grants – Grants available to help entrepreneurs and business owners. They help start or grow businesses.
  • Grants for Women-Owned Businesses – Made for women entrepreneurs. They provide financial support to women-owned businesses.
  • Industry-Specific Grants – Contributions that are specific to certain industries. For example, technology or healthcare. They are providing funding for businesses in these specific sectors.
  • Small Business Grant Programs – They offer a combination of grants. This includes mentorship, training, and resources. They aim to help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed.

Best Federal Small Business Grants

Are you a business owner seeking financial help? Look no further than federal SMB grants. These grants from federal governments are free money to help small businesses launch, start, or grow. But note that each business grant has different requirements.

By exploring federal grants, you can find the right grants for your business. If you are a woman-owned business or looking for general grants, these funding opportunities can help you. You can access the free money you need to succeed.

1. is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs and SMB owners seeking financial aid. It is a centralized online portal. The site allows users to explore and apply for various federal grants. Business owners can seek out small business grants and programs.  They may be available to help start or grow their businesses.

The platform provides information on a wide range of contributions. This includes many small business grants for women. To apply, users can create an account and search for relevant contributions. They need to follow the application process outlined by each opportunity. This is a powerful tool to help you start or grow your business.

2. Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

There are small firms that want to generate new ideas. They market their research and development efforts. They might enjoy the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). SBIR offers contributions to start or advance groundbreaking projects and technologies. They work across various industries. To apply for an SBIR award, businesses must take part in a competitive application process.

The program encourages SMBs to explore technological and scientific possibilities. Grants may be available to conduct research and develop prototypes. Also, to refine products or services. SBIR grant opportunities directly support small businesses. They provide an opportunity to get funding. They also propel innovation within the entrepreneurial community.

3. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Development grants

The USDA Rural Business Development offers grants directly to small enterprises. These grants are specifically designed to assist SMBs access the funding they need to start or grow. Apply for a USDA Rural Business contribution. That way, business owners can explore the available contributions. To apply, you need to check the eligibility requirements on the USDA website.

In order to apply, you must submit a thorough proposal. You have to explain your company concept. You also need the intended use of the funds and the expected impact on the local rural community. These grants offer a fantastic opportunity to find small business funding. Help your business thrive in rural areas.

4. Department of Energy (DOE)

The Department of Energy (DOE) offers a range of grants to help small businesses in the energy sector. These grants provide assistance to small businesses involved in research and development. That also includes the deployment of innovative energy technologies. To apply for a DOE grant, businesses can visit the official DOE website. Then, navigate to the funding opportunities section.

Check out the eligibility criteria and application requirements for each of the many SMB grants. By exploring the DOE options, SMB owners can find the best grants that align with their projects. You can receive the necessary assistance to help your business get recognition in the energy sector.

5. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has many awards. They provide financial aid for a range of environmental projects. To apply for and secure an EPA grant, businesses can start by exploring the available grants on the EPA website. Review the eligibility criteria. Make sure that the business qualifies for the specific grant.

Once a suitable grant is identified, businesses can follow the application guidelines provided by the EPA. Use these grants to start a business or support existing initiatives. Ensure that this is what your local business needs.

Best Government Small Business Grants

Are you seeking financial support for a new business idea? Finding the best government SMB contributions can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs. Government grants give you an opportunity to secure funding for various business purposes. These grants can be used to start a business and expand operations. You can invest in technology or develop innovative projects.

Government grants are available through different agencies and departments. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a primary resource for entrepreneurs. Private grants given by corporations and foundations can also contribute to SMB growth. Explore and apply for these grants. SMB owners can access the financial resources they need.

1. State Business Incentives Database

The State Business Incentives Database is a resource that helps owners find government SBA grants. This database provides information on various incentives and grants. These are available to small businesses at the state level. It includes a wide range of grant programs, tax credits, small loans for business, and other financial assistance options for a startup.

Utilizing this grant program helps owners explore the specific grants that are available in their state. It also helps determine their eligibility. The State Business Incentives Database streamlines the process. It makes finding and accessing government grants easier. It provides a tool to help business owners navigate the grant landscape and get the funding they need.

2. U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is a federal agency. It promotes economic growth and development in the United States. This agency provides grants to support various initiatives. This includes grants specifically aimed at SMBs. The EDA offers funding opportunities for general business development, infrastructure projects, and innovation. It also helps entrepreneurship and regional economic development.

You can access the resources provided by the EDA, such as its website and business centers. This helps entrepreneurs explore and find government grants to small businesses. These align with their specific needs and goals. The EDA is a great resource to help businesses get funding for growth and success.

3. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

SMB Development Centers (SBDCs) are resource centers. They provide help and support to entrepreneurs and SBA owners. These centers are typically affiliated with universities, colleges, or state economic development agencies. SBDCs offer a range of services, including guidance on how to find small business grants.

They provide valuable information and resources about available grants. For example, eligibility criteria and the application process. SBDC advisors can help entrepreneurs navigate the complex grant market. They identify the right grants for their specific type of business and provide guidance on how to apply for a grant. SBDCs can also offer assistance with other funding options, like small business loans.

Best Private Small Business Grants and Awards

Private SMB grants and awards offer valuable funding opportunities. Especially for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses. These grants come from private entities, such as corporations, foundations, and philanthropic organizations. They provide financial assistance, mentorship, and other resources to help businesses thrive.

Private SMB grants and awards can be tailored to specific industries or focus areas. This makes them a great option for entrepreneurs seeking funding that aligns with their business goals and vision. Explore these grants to access the support you need to succeed.

FedEx Small Business Award Contest

The FedEx Grant is a program offered by FedEx to provide financial support to SMBs. This grant aims to help small business owners pursue their goals and contribute to economic growth. Recipients of the FedEx Grant receive an award that can be used to fund various business purposes. For example, marketing initiatives, technology investments, or expansion plans.

To apply for grants, applicants typically need to provide the following information:

  • Business details and background information.
  • Describe the company and its goods or services.
  • Overview of the business’s current operations and future plans.
  • Financial information, including revenue and expenses.
  • Impact of the grant on the business’s growth and success.
  • Marketing and growth strategies.
  • How the grant is going to be used.

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grant

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grant is a program designed to support self-employed individuals. This grant gives financial assistance to help entrepreneurs invest in their businesses and take them to the next level.

Recipients of the NASE Growth Grant get funding that can be used for many purposes. Like, equipment purchases, marketing campaigns, hiring employees, or expanding operations. This grant funding is great for self-employed individuals. Specifically those looking to expand their businesses and achieve long-term success.

The Second Service Foundation

The Second Service Foundation is an organization dedicated to supporting military veterans and their families in their transition to civilian life. It offers grants and financial assistance to help veterans establish and grow their businesses. The foundation aims to empower veterans. It provides them with resources and support to succeed as entrepreneurs.

To obtain The Second Service Foundation grants, applicants typically need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of veteran status (DD-214 or equivalent)
  • Business plan detailing the proposed venture
  • Financial statements or projections
  • Resume or professional background
  • Personal statement or essay explaining why the grant is needed
  • References or letters of recommendation
  • Any relevant licenses or certifications

Halstead Jewelry Grant Award

The Halstead Jewelry Grant Award is a prestigious grant program. It is designed to support emerging jewelry artists and designers in their pursuit of excellence and business success. The grant gives financial assistance and different resources to help artists develop their skills. It also helps them create new work and establish their jewelry businesses.

The Halstead Jewelry Grant Award features a grand prize. This is a substantial financial award given to one exceptional artist selected by a panel of industry experts. This grand prize serves as recognition for their talent, dedication, and potential impact on the jewelry industry.

Top Grants for Startup Businesses

Looking for top grants to kick-start your startup business? Explore these funding opportunities that provide financial support and resources. They can help you turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Secure the necessary capital and support to launch and grow your startup.

The Amber Grant Program

The Amber Grant Program is a unique initiative that supports women entrepreneurs in pursuing their business ventures. Each month, the program awards a grant of $10,000 to one outstanding woman-owned business. The Amber Grant aims to provide financial assistance and recognition. They want to help women overcome the challenges they face in starting and growing their businesses. The monthly award amount of $10,000 serves as a significant boost to the recipient’s business. It contributes to their success in the entrepreneurial world.

Black Founder Startup Grant

The Black Founder Startup Grant is a program designed to provide financial support and resources to Black entrepreneurs. Mainly those launching or scaling their startups. The grant aims to address the funding gap. It also wants to provide opportunities for underrepresented founders.  Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Self-identify as Black or African American.
  • Be a founder or co-founder of a startup.
  • Demonstrate a viable business model.
  • Showcase commitment and passion for their venture.
  • Give a thorough pitch or business strategy.
  • Highlight potential social or economic impact.

Hello Alice

Hello Alice is a program that supports SMB owners and entrepreneurs through its various grant programs. Here are some of the different Hello Alice grant programs and their respective prizes and requirements:

  • Business for All Grant: Prizes range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Requirements include: being a legal U.S. resident, at least 18 years old, and having a registered business.

  • Hello Alice x Verizon Grant Program: Grants up to $10,000 are available.

Requirements include: being a woman-owned business in the technology sector.

  • Hello Alice x Visa Grant Program: Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded.

Requirements: Businesses that have demonstrated resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible.

Each program has specific requirements and focuses on supporting businesses in different sectors or addressing specific challenges.

Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program

The Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program is a prestigious initiative. It supports women entrepreneurs in their business endeavors. The program provides a combination of financial support and mentorship. It gives networking opportunities to selected fellows. To qualify for the grants and participate in the program, applicants must meet certain mandatory conditions, including

  • Be a woman entrepreneur.
  • Have a registered and operational business.
  • Showcase a strong business concept and potential for growth.
  • Demonstrate financial need and the impact of the grant on the business.
  • Commit to active participation in the program, including attending workshops and events.

The Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program offers invaluable support to women entrepreneurs. It helps them navigate the challenges of building and scaling their businesses.

Visa Everywhere Initiative

Specific cash prizes for the Visa Everywhere Initiative’s Global Finals event may vary each year. The program offers significant financial rewards to the winners. Examples of cash awards that have been provided in the past include

  • First Place: A cash prize of $50,000.
  • Second Place: A cash prize of $25,000.
  • Third Place: A cash prize of $10,000.
  • Runner-up Awards: Cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $7,500.
  • Regional Finalist Awards: Cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.

How to Get Grants for Small Businesses – 3 Simple Steps

Obtaining grants for SMBs can be a valuable source of funding. With these three simple steps, you can increase your chances of securing grants. Research and identify suitable grants and prepare your grant application. Submit it with attention to detail and a compelling business case.

1. Make Sure You Meet the Program’s Requirements.

The specific requirements for business awards vary according to the funding source and grant program. Here are some common main requirements:

  • Eligible Business Type – Contributions are limited to certain industries or other sectors.
  • Enterprise Size – Some are specifically for SMBs or startups.
  • Purpose of the Grant – Awards might have specific purposes such as research and development, expansion, or job creation.
  • Geographic Location – They are available only for businesses operating in specific regions or communities.
  • Financial Need – Demonstrating the need for financial assistance is often a key requirement.

2. Gather Your Organizational Documents.

Organizational documents play a crucial role when applying for SMB grants. These documents demonstrate the legitimacy and structure of your business. This helps grant providers assess your eligibility. To increase your chances of success, ensure you have the following documents and information ready:

  • Enterprise registration and licenses.
  • Tax ID numbers.
  • Financial statements and projections.
  • Business plan with objectives, strategies, and target market.
  • Proof of ownership or partnership agreements.
  • Resume or background information.
  • Funding history.

3. Complete the Grant Application

Completing an application requires careful attention to detail and thorough preparation. Start by carefully reviewing the guidelines and requirements. Gather all documents and information, including financial statements, business plans, and supporting documentation.

Follow the instructions and answer all questions accurately. Highlight the impact your enterprise will have. Proofread and submit the application before the deadline. Ensure all sections are complete and compelling.

Business Grants vs. Business Loans

SMB Grants Business Loans
Non-repayable funding provided by government, organizations, or foundations. Repayable financing from banks, financial institutions, or lenders.
Awarded based on specific criteria, such as industry, location, or social impact. Accessible to businesses that meet certain creditworthiness and financial stability requirements.
No interest or principal repayment required. You can get a small personal loan. But, they come with interest rates and require regular repayments of principal and interest.
Limited in amount and availability. Loan amounts can vary based on the business’s financial wealth and the lender’s policies.
Often they have restrictions on how the funds may be utilized. They provide more flexibility in utilizing funds based on the needs.
Competition for grants can be high, and the application process may be more complex. Loan applications involve credit checks, financial documentation, and plans.

Alternatives to Small-Business Grants

Apart from SMB grants, alternative sources of funding for SMBs include:

  • Business loans from banks or online lenders.
  • Spaces for crowdfunding where people can make financial contributions.
  • Angel investors or firms that provide capital in exchange for equity.
  • Small-business microloans from nonprofit organizations.
  • Self-funding by utilizing personal savings or reinvesting business profits.
  • Business accelerators that offer funding, mentorship, and resources in exchange for equity.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Qualification for an SMB award depends on meeting specific criteria set by the provider, such as industry, location, or social impact.

You can find grants for SMBs by conducting research. Start by exploring government resources and leveraging online databases.

An SMB award can be used for various purposes. This includes funding startup costs, expanding operations, research and development, or hiring employees.

To apply for an SMB grant, research available options and gather the required documents. Complete the application following the instructions given by the provider.

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