Small business owners don’t always have access to enough resources to meet their goals. Luckily, there are many business grants and other funding programs available to help. Here’s a guide to several ways to fund projects for your small business.
How Do You Get Free Money to Start a Business?
Free money to start a business usually comes in the form of grants. These can come in many forms, from federal small business grants to those offered by local nonprofits. The process usually includes an application where you outline your need and how you’d use the funds.
Top Places to Get Free Money to Start a Small Business
Small businesses can receive grant money from several sources. The exact opportunities you apply for may depend on your location, industry, and other factors. However, there are several federal grants, nonprofit opportunities, and state programs that may appeal widely to small businesses. Here are several common ones.
Small Business Administration Grants (SBA)
The Small Business Administration is the main source of grant money through the federal government. Here are some specific programs run through the administration to provide free money to start or run a business.
General Small Business Grant Money
There are also small business grant programs offered by large corporations or other major groups across the country. Not every small business may qualify for these. But they should appeal to a wide audience.
Industry-specific Grant Money
Some grant programs, both through private companies and the government, aim to support small businesses in a specific industry. Here are a few that may help certain types of businesses.
Small Business Grants from State and Local Governments
Some government grants also come from state and local governments. You’ll have to search for specific opportunities in your location. But here are a few places to start.
Green Business Grants
If you’re a sustainable business or want to make some energy-efficient improvements, these grant funding sources may help.
Nonprofit Grant Money
Nonprofit organizations can also benefit from grants. These opportunities can come from federal agencies or private corporations. Here are a few to consider.
Startup Grants for Women-Owned Businesses
Women-owned businesses have traditionally been less likely to get funding. So many organizations offer small business grants specifically for female founders.
Startup Grants for Veteran-Owned Businesses
If you’re a veteran small business owner, you may also access grant opportunities that honor your service.
Competitive Small Business Grants
Financial assistance is sometimes available to all businesses that apply. But the following programs offer competitive grant funding opportunities to award the most deserving firms.
Are Small Business Development Centers the Same as the Small Business Administration?
Small business development centers are one arm of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA is a federal agency that runs many initiatives to support small businesses. Small business development centers include local agencies spread throughout the country that receive SBA funding to serve local business interests. Services often include funding support, technical assistance, and networking events.
Can You Start a Small Business Without Money?
Yes, it is possible to start a business without money, depending on your industry and goals. One option for funding a new business without money is to seek small business grants using the sources listed above.
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