It can be financially prohibitive to start a business. Entrepreneurs turn to grants for starting a business to cover costs associated with starting a business. This is a growing trend. One reason for this is that most business startup grants also come with guidance and mentoring from established business leaders. It is not just about the money. It is unlikely an individual starting a new business will know everything about that particular industry as well as the overall requirements of running a business. The added-value of business mentoring is critical to sustaining the business after the grant ends.
Grants for starting a business are most likely to be awarded at the local level, particularly if you are in or near a large metropolitan area. Business incubators are designed to help with business startup. They offer grants to help with startup activities. Ongoing assistance with systems management, marketing, and customer service are provided to grant awardees.
Business startup grants may require feasibility studies pertaining to location, product idea, and market at the time of grant submission. Others focus entirely on the business concept and include feasibility studies in the costs covered by the grant. Before applying for new business grants, you should write a basic business plan to solidify your business concept. You may have to include all or a portion of your plan in your grant application.
Business incubators often sponsor business plan writing competitions. Winners receive cash awards as well as feedback and mentoring from participating business leaders. These competitions are an excellent way to establish relationships with local business leaders and grantors. Check your local business schools for business plan competitions. They often partner with local grantors and incubators, making them another resource for startup businesses.
Your local chamber of commerce may sponsor small business startup grants. These grants to start a business will be for specific types of business the chamber has determined is lacking in the community. In addition to the grant, you may become an honorary chamber member. This gives you access to all of the networking meetings, business information databases, and local grantors who are also chamber members.
Grantors include foundations. While the foundations generally cannot provide new business grants, they can provide scholarships for business school or training. In addition, they have access to wealthy donors who may be interested in supporting your startup.
Grants to start a business are available if you are willing to build relationships with business leaders. Subscribe to all newsletters local business incubators and business schools distribute. They will have up-to-date information on current and upcoming grant and competition opportunities for businesses.