Where to find a business startup grant
There are several sources of business startup grants that you can tap. These include:
Asking for a state-provided business startup grant is an excellent first option because it is relatively easy to apply for. Competing applicants are also lesser in number compared to those you will meet at the national level. Applying is also convenient and you're likely to receive a positive response since these state agencies have a good understanding of the market and the business industry in general.
A caveat, though: applying for a business startup grant from this source is easy but it does have a few challenges. Most grants are designed to address a specific need in the business, such as purchase of supplies or inventory, construction, etc. You'll have to be very creative in making sure that your business plan is a match to the available funding.
The national government offers several opportunities for you to apply for and receive a business startup grant. However, there are some specific requirements you'll have to meet to qualify. Most of the grants available through federal funding are designed to assist non-profits. If you want to win a grant from this source, make sure you look carefully for opportunities that for-profit businesses like yours can qualify for.
Local government departments
There are business startup grants that are available for entrepreneurs with special needs. Women, minority groups and people with physical disabilities are often recipients of these grants. These sectors usually have special needs that may not always be given priority by more traditional grant providers.
Advantages and disadvantages of business grants
Unlike loans, business startup grants are free money – that means if you do become a recipient, there's no need to pay it back. You only have to qualify for it and present a clear purpose as to how the money will be spent in the business. This is also the very reason why competition for business grants can be rather tough.
However, if you're prepared for it and have a clear and feasible purpose for your business, there's a good likelihood that you could get approved.