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How to Land Government Grants to Start a Business

There are a number of infomercials and advertisements about how you can acquire free funds because of the hundreds of government grants available to start a business.

But it is important to note that while there are indeed business grants out there, only a few are directed towards individuals, and fewer still are created for personal financing needs or for creating a new business.

With that said, there are some government grant programs that can actually help you with your business. Listed below are some of the common categories where you would be eligible to apply for government grants:

  • Government institutions and agencies
  • Educational organizations, including private and public controlled academic institutions and independent school districts
  • Public housing organizations
  • Community developmental groups and minority betterment organizations
  • Non profit organizations duly recognized by the IRS and institutions of higher education.

For small business owners, government grants are given to those whose enterprises fit the definition of a small business as structured by the Small Business Administration (SBA). While sizes and standards may vary, the basic guidelines set by the SBA are as follows:

  • For companies involved in manufacturing and small-scale mining, number of employees must not exceed 500
  • For companies belonging to the wholesale industry, number of employees must not exceed 100

Again, company sizes may vary as well as net worth and profits gained in the last few years. It is best that you consult with an SBA official first and determine the size of your company before you apply for a government grant for your small business.

Among the most popular government grants aimed towards small business owners is the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG). However, it is not money directly given to small business owners, but rather to rural public bodies, rural nonprofit corporations, rural Indian tribes, and cooperatives with members who are involved in commerce that benefits the whole community. The RBOG is a grant aimed to fund training and technical assistance for business development, entrepreneurs, and economic development officials.

The Women’s Business Center Initial Grant is another popular grant that is geared for small businesses, particularly women-owned business ventures. Like the RBOG, the Women’s Business Center Initial Grant is given to non-profit organizations rather to business owners but with purpose of giving technical assistance to female entrepreneurs, both emergent and established in the fields of finance, management, and marketing.

Truth be told, it’s very rare that a starting business owner can find government grants to start a business. The US Government does not easily hand out free money for personal financing purposes. It instead tends to give financial assistance that can benefit the whole community. This is precisely why it’s critical to find the right business loan from the right bank.

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About the Author

  • Nelson James

Comments

  1. What about grants for real estate? A friend of mine said that he used grants to purchase an partment complex, renovated I it, and rented it out to senior citizens. Basically, assisted senior citizen living! The government sets aside money for blighted communities, the disabled, lower income groups, and senior citizens. What are the names of those grants, how do I find them, and who do I go to for this? I know it exists because I read it in the law books! Can you help me with this?

  2. the will be a life saver for small and upcoming businesses. a very good grant.

  3. walter clamser
    wclamser@yahoo.com
    why is there not any grants for veterans like me who want to start a business,buy or build a home.there grants for middleeasteraners.I been trying for grants for years middleeasteraners get theres in days.wheres my grant for 1 million dollars.Give vetrans who served 20 years or more a grant for a million not middleasteraners.

    • Walter,

      I’m with you. Why would you not do for your own people, instead of doing for the foreigners. This government has gotten so screwed up. We really need to get these crooked blood sucking animals out. Bring in some honest people, if there is any such thing anymore in politics.

      • to peggy
        THANK YOU

      • I say the same thing — I have tried to get grants and help to start my own business for years but don’t have any collatoral and was told NO 3 times now. It seem like anyone can come from another country and start a business right away! How is this possible and I live here and was born here. Why can’t I get my nation to help me too?????

        ceg

    • My boyfriend has found that out also and it is not far. We are good enought to fight for the US but not for there money to put food on the table buy starting our own company that is so wrong. I agree 110% that Vets should be able to get a US Grant before anyone from the middleeast!

  4. Our Company is looking for a Grant to continuing building of our Shopping and Entertainment Program. Please email me with correspondence to support the Grants that are provided.

  5. I have a need to expand. I have the building, but need inventory. A grant will supply me with the additional funds for the musch needed inventory.

  6. thank you to all who commented. i love peggys comment about the blood sucking goverment we have in office. i am an inspiering entraupanure who wants to open a security angency. i need training and some tools and a vehical. that is all i m asking. half a mill if possable. could be less. my local sba rep told me i should go for way less. i feel the security industry is a specal feild and should be taken serously by people picturlay thouse in charge of handing out lg amounts of dollars. i will be honest i have no background. but if i could get enough funding i would be happy to land the proper training and cert.

    • My friend, I would first suggest that you spend a little more on education, and are able to present yourself in
      a better manner. I only have a ged and 1 year of college.
      But, I have found that presentation has helped me in
      acquiring assistance.

  7. do they have grants for farming

  8. Hello, I am a independent clothing designer and i have been designing for a few years now, i have created a nice following of clients. But the demand has grown bigger and bigger and i actually have to turn people away because i simply do not have time to fill all the orders. Is there a grant to help me expand and possibly hire some employees to further my business???

    • Jared, hard to say about your chances on a grant. If you can’t get a grant, a business loan might be a good fit for you. If you create a Lendio profile, you’ll be able to see what loans you have a good chance qualifying for, or what loans have the best terms for you. Let us know how it goes.

  9. Well i’m tire of the system, in China you can open a Buisness in about an Hour, Here in Miami a friend of My Try to open a Restaurant and after 5 Years of Red Tape, well he open The Name “Por Fin” meaning “Finaly” That was the Name he Adopted …is not a Joke You can Google the story, He still open…
    Me, invested on a Buisness Plan To Open a Buisness, of Course not in US But In “Trinidad Tobago” were they Received me with Open Arms an Tons of Tax Breaks and Benefits so Janury i break Goruds, My Investor is Trill About the Benefits….so Bumbaya i’m Moving and the Best Part is “Ofshore Money”…

  10. What about getting scientific grants to do real science?

    What we’re doing will clearly benefit the world, and we’re not really a company. We’re more like Wikipedia, working with a completely volunteer crowd driven opens source development / non profit.

    Our proof of concept project is the “Consciousness Survey Project” (see: http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/105 ). We are working, quite successfully so far, to build expert consensus around the best theories of consciousness, and rigorously measure for how much consensus there is for each. Previous attempts, using primitive survey methodologies have failed miserably, while our is producing shockingly surprising results about just how much expert consensus there is in this field. Certainly this kind of scientific project is worth at least as much money as many of the other projects currently getting funding? My problem is, since I”m not an academic, I have no idea how to apply for any kind of such a grant.

    Anyone know of any experts that might be able to educate and help us out about how we might go about applying for such?

    Thanks,

    Brent Allsop

  11. I am interested in real estates grants. I have always been interested in having assisted living apartments for senior citizens and handicapped citizens. I need more information to get this program started in the area in which I live, in Louisiana. We need more facilites to help the seniors and the disabled.

  12. Smaller sums can be earned from several private investors if you’re willing to take the time to make proposals.

  13. I Looking For Free Grants To Start 4 Business If You can Help Me Free Call Me At 6156661012 Please