Small business grants can get startup owners what they need in finance to start their ventures. There are different ways to gain that, including saving up beforehand or opting for a business loan. However, both of these can be problematic and have their own downsides. Small business grants are available, and there are different types available. But how do you find them? Where do you even start looking for them?
Start With the Government
One of the best places to start looking for a small business grant is with the government. There are a range of grants available for startup founders or growing businesses. However, you will need to do your research. Some of these business grants are only available for specific types of businesses, while others are only available for specific needs, in the UK for example it is usually customary to give startups R&D business grants, but many times the condition to receive a grant is that the intellectual property must stay in the UK. The other benefit here is that you get to pick the brains of someone vastly more experienced in the startup field, and the power of feedback really is incredible!
You will usually need to be a citizen of a country to apply for the government grants, so always check with your own government first. The good thing about these types of grants is they don’t usually need paying back. However, there may be constraints on the money or regular checks to make sure you’re using the money as intended.
Private Agency Grants
The next place to look is the various private agencies in your area. Many of these offer grants to growing businesses that work within certain areas. It could be grants for scientific research that helps their needs, or it could be grants for a specific service that will somehow benefit them.
Like the government grants, these types do have certain requirements and expectations. The agencies are not just going to give out money for free. They want to see results and see that you’re doing everything as intended. That doesn’t mean if you do fail that you will need to repay the money, but you need to prove that you tried everything to avoid failing.
Raising Funds Through Events and Fundraising
If your country doesn’t support businesses with small business grants it may be hard to think of ways to raise funding, lucky for you all is not lost. Another creative option is to raise the money through fundraising events. These could be dinners with a guest speaker, car washes or even yard sales. You can use a mixture of everything to get you on the track for your financial needs. But this does require some work on your part. You will need to put the effort into raising the funds that you require.
There are other ways to raise the funds, including through NGOs. These involve a small number of donors who are looking to invest in projects. Many of these donors prefer to invest in the larger, more well-known projects, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth the effort.
Search for Specific Types of Grants
What type of grant are you looking for? As the startup founders, you need to determine why you want the money, where it’s going to be spent and how you’re going to raise funds back if you need to. This gives you an idea of the specific type of grant you need. For example, a startup research firm will really benefit from research grants, while a growing store may need the training and development grants to help them. Once you know the type of grants you need, you can do an internet search for these. There are also governmental bodies within areas that offer advice to business owners. Your accountant may even be able to help. Doing an internet search online for a specific grant will narrow down your options and make it easier to start applying.
Don’t struggle on where to start searching for those small business grants. There are many out there and it’s very likely you could benefit from them. The trick is knowing what you want the money for and searching in the right places for them. The government grants are often the best place to start when it comes to grants for your startup.