Business owners prefer business grants because they do not demand repayment. That in mind, it is important to know there is no such thing as “free” in business. Grant providers often require entrepreneurs to report on how they are putting the grant money to use and adhere to the criteria of the organization’s funding scheme.
Organizations with reliable business grant programs are many, but they only constitute a drop in the ocean of entrepreneurs in need of this generous type of funding. Among the most popular organization in the US is the Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers both loans and grants to worthy applicants.
The SBA’s aim is providing the necessary assistance – monetary or otherwise – that will lead to the success of small business in today’s economy. While the SBA rarely gives grants directly, it assists business owners to identify grant opportunities and agencies.
SBA has representatives all over the country that will point you in the right direction and help you prepare the necessary documents so that you can qualify for a business grant.
There are other state and local grant programs available, where lucky owners can acquire the much-needed funding for their businesses. The competition is stiff, and hence to increase your chances, here are a few pointers:
- Create a good business plan. A business plan is required by all government granting agencies, and the better your plan, the higher your chances are of qualifying and being awarded a grant.
- Research on how your new start-up can impact the general community for the better, and base your portfolio around it. Areas such as child care, energy efficient technology, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and environmental conservation solutions are highly promoted by both governmental and non-governmental agencies and usually qualify for business grants and loans
- Ensure your startup idea is innovative, creative and is highly likely to succeed. Foundations and Nonprofit organizations sometimes offer business grants based on how creative an idea is.
While every rational entrepreneur would prefer a grant to a loan, grants are far too scarce and competitive to be considered a viable alternative to small business loans.
To guarantee that you get the needed finances for your business, it is wise to keep other means of funding such as online lending avenues like OnDeck, merchant cash advance solutions like First American Merchant and crowdfunding channels like Kickstarter in the pocket while you apply for a grant.