Where To Find Business Grants

Key takeaways

  • Grants are a fantastic choice for small companies searching for monetary assist to start out or broaden their operations with out taking over debt
  • Federal grants, made obtainable via totally different branches of the U.S. authorities, present funds to small companies throughout a number of industries
  • Regional and state-level grants could supply smaller quantities than federal grants however are sometimes extra particular to a given area’s wants

Small enterprise grants are one of the engaging financing choices for enterprise homeowners since they don’t should be repaid and don’t require firms to tackle debt. However grant applications are typically extremely aggressive, with a lot of them focused at underserved teams.

For those who’re searching for small enterprise grants on your firm, there are a couple of locations to seek out them. Beneath, we’ll clarify the place to safe federal, state and native grants for small companies to get your organization the funding it wants.

Federal grants for small companies

Many authorities companies present small enterprise grants to advertise entrepreneurship, enhance the financial system and assist innovation. Listed below are some locations the place it’s possible you’ll discover federal grants for small companies.


For those who’re trying to find federal funding on your group, ought to be the primary place you look. Run by the U.S. authorities, is residence to an intensive database of grants from federal companies, such because the U.S. Division of Agriculture, the Division of Commerce, and the Division of the Inside. Funding quantities fluctuate by grant.

2. Small Enterprise Expertise Switch

Powered by the U.S. Small Enterprise Administration, the Small Enterprise Expertise Switch gives monetary assist to small companies that target analysis and growth for science and know-how. A few of the taking part companies in these applications embody the U.S. Departments of Protection and Schooling.

The funds from the STTR grants are awarded in phases, with the primary part normally equaling between $50,000 and $250,000 for six months or a 12 months of labor. Through the second part, companies will usually obtain $750,000 for 2 years of labor.

STTR doesn’t fund part three however reasonably recommends companies use this time to pursue the commercialization targets established within the first two phases. This part could embody STTR-funded R&D or manufacturing contracts meant to be used with the U.S. authorities.

3. Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis applications

Very similar to the STTR program, the Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis grant is operated by the Small Enterprise Administration and seeks to enhance analysis and growth for rising know-how amongst small companies. Particularly, the SBIR goals to foster know-how switch via cooperative analysis and growth between small companies and analysis establishments.

4. Rural Enterprise Improvement Grants

The US Division of Agriculture operates the Rural Enterprise Improvement Grant, which awards cash to companies that search to develop operations in rural areas. The aim of the grants is to supply technical help and coaching for small rural companies. A number of applications are made obtainable, together with Technical Help for Passenger Rural Transportation (RT) and the Rural Enterprise Improvement Grant (RBDG).

5. Financial Improvement Administration Construct to Scale Program

The U.S. Financial Improvement Affiliation’s Construct to Scale Program provides rising tech corporations funding to assist develop and develop their enterprise. This system, operated by the EDA’s Workplace of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is targeted on next-generation applied sciences.

In 2023, this system gave out a complete of $53 million throughout 60 organizations. The cash was distributed throughout two tracks: the Enterprise Problem for startups working in areas needing technological development and the Capital Problem for serving to to develop tech firms in areas with much less fairness funding obtainable.

Regional and state small enterprise grants

You may additionally have the ability to safe grants from regional or state authorities companies. Funding alternatives will fluctuate by location, however listed here are a couple of examples of the place you would possibly discover native and state small enterprise grants.

6. Small Enterprise Improvement Facilities

With chapters across the nation, SBDCs are designed to assist small companies succeed by providing counseling, training, and different sources. You possibly can attain out to your native SBDC and ask in the event that they’re conscious of any potential funding alternatives in your space.

7. Metropolis and county applications

Relying on the place you reside, your metropolis or county could supply financing for home-grown small companies. For instance, Miami-Dade County’s Mother and Pop Small Enterprise Grant helps rising companies cowl the prices of apparatus, advertising and marketing, insurance coverage, renovations and extra.

8. Small Enterprise Affiliation’s  State Commerce Growth Program

The Small Enterprise Affiliation operates a growth alternative generally known as the State Commerce Growth Program or STEP. This system gives monetary awards to states and native governments to assist small companies with export growth. Greater than $200 million has been awarded since STEP’s founding, and this system has helped small companies throughout the nation discover ways to export their merchandise, take part in overseas commerce missions, equip their e-commerce operation for international gross sales, and extra.

Personal small enterprise grants

Separate from government-sponsored enterprise financing, some personal firms additionally supply their very own grants – each for advertising and marketing functions and as a type of charitable giving. These are a few of the hottest personal small enterprise grants.

9. FedEx Small Enterprise Grant Contest

Annually, FedEx provides 10 small enterprise homeowners $30,000 every as a part of the corporate’s annual grant contest. On high of that, one veteran winner will obtain an additional $20,000 from USAA Small Enterprise Insurance coverage. Corporations also can win a folks’s selection award for a $1,000 FedEx reward card.

10. Quick Break for Small Enterprise Grants

Sponsored by LegalZoom in partnership with the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League, this grant program gives U.S. small enterprise homeowners with $10,000 grants. Recipients additionally get complimentary LegalZoom companies, akin to legal professional consultations and trademark functions.

11. Nationwide Affiliation for the Self-Employed Development Grants

NASE is a member group that educates self-employed folks about key enterprise ideas, akin to advertising and marketing, accounting and enterprise technique. As a part of this mission, the group provides grants of as much as $4,000 to assist its members advance their companies.

12. Incfile Entrepreneur Grant

Incfile, a web-based service for authorized doc preparation and submitting, provides an Entrepreneur Grant focused towards college students and younger people who find themselves pursuing their training with a giant concept in thoughts. Incfile provides out a $2,500 grant thrice per 12 months, which is meant to be put in direction of training bills by the recipients.

13. The Small Enterprise Development Fund

Hiya Alice, a platform for small enterprise homeowners, operates a Small Enterprise Development Fund that disperses funds to small companies throughout the nation. Operated in partnership with the International Entrepreneurship Community and funded by Etsy and Progressive, the fund provides capital in grants between $5,000 and $25,000 meant for use to assist small companies speed up their development.

14. The Chamber of Commerce Small Enterprise Development Fund

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce operates America’s Prime Small Companies, an annual competitors previously generally known as the Dream Awards that units out to honor the achievements of small companies throughout the nation and supply funding to additional their development.

This 12 months’s high prize is a $25,000 grant, plus free U.S. Chamber of Commerce memberships for all finalists.

15. CESAR Office Grants Software

Cesar, a pet meals firm, provides a Office Grant via its Higher Cities for Pets program for small companies that embrace pet-friendly insurance policies. The grants present companies with between $2,500 and $5,000 to enhance facilities all through their operation to raised accommodate pets and set up pet-friendly insurance policies.

16. Patagonia Company Grant Program

Patagonia provides companies that assist to deal with local weather change and enhance the surroundings entry to the Patagonia Grant Program designed to broaden impression and encourage development and alter. The corporate provides quite a lot of applications which it awards all year long. Grants vary from between $5,000 and $20,000.

17. Nationwide Black MBA Affiliation Scale-Up Pitch Problem

The Nationwide Black MBA Affiliation provides the Scale Up Pitch Problem, a grant that seeks to assist wealth-building alternatives for its members. Since 2017, the group has supplied the grant to startups seeking to develop their operation. The group provides 4 awards starting from $1,000 to $50,000 to competing companies and helps organizations join with potential traders.

18. Amber Grant

The Amber Grant, operated by WomensNet since 1998, awards grants to women-owned companies throughout quite a lot of totally different classes to assist assist their operations. The group provides out no less than $30,000 each month, plus two $25,000 year-end grants. The grants are awards for advertising and marketing, enterprise operations, and quite a lot of different functions.

19. Venmo Small Enterprise Grant

The Venmo Small Enterprise Grant is a brand new grant that started in 2022. It awards a $10,000 grant, mentorship and promotion on Venmo social channels to twenty small enterprise homeowners.

20. Service provider Maverick Alternative Grants

Service provider Maverick Alternative Grants are designed to assist small companies with points acquiring conventional enterprise funding. Service provider Maverick goals to create constructive change for small companies by offering training and assist in each space that impacts small enterprise homeowners. Prior to now, grants have gone to Black feminine enterprise homeowners, AAPI restaurant homeowners, Indigenous enterprise homeowners and Portland-area startups. Grant cash can be utilized for the next:

  • Enterprise house hire, utilities or renovation
  • Payroll
  • Reimbursement of enterprise loans or taxes
  • Enterprise gear
  • Enterprise advertising and marketing
  • Enterprise journey bills

21. Verizon Small Enterprise Digital Prepared Grants

Verizon Small Enterprise Digital Prepared — created in 2021 — gives under-resourced small enterprise homeowners with mentoring, training, peer networking and different instruments to assist them thrive in at this time’s digital financial system. Just lately, Verizon introduced $500,000 in grant funding via Verizon Small Enterprise Digital Prepared. Verizon estimates that it has helped over 200,000 small companies since 2021, with a aim to assist 1 million small companies by 2030.

Enterprise grants for underserved communities

Whereas there are many alternatives for companies to obtain funding, underserved communities like women-owned and minority-owned companies persistently face extra difficulties attempting to entry capital.

Based on the Small Enterprise Credit score Survey by the Federal Reserve Banks, minority-owned companies had been considerably extra prone to report challenges accessing capital. Likewise, these companies had been extra prone to must scale down operations because of this.

A number of teams and underserved communities have challenges accessing capital however can achieve entry to grants designed particularly to serve them, together with:

Learn how to apply for a enterprise grant

Whereas every grant is totally different, a lot of them have comparable software processes. Right here’s what to anticipate whenever you apply for a small enterprise grant.

  1. Earlier than submitting any grant functions, take into consideration what units your organization aside. Many grant applications are extraordinarily aggressive, so that you’ll want to supply a compelling clarification for why your small business deserves funding.
  2. For those who’re making use of for a federal grant, enroll with Understand that it could possibly take as much as 10 days to obtain your UEI, so that you’ll wish to enroll no less than a couple of weeks earlier than any grant software deadlines.
  3. After you have your UEI, register your group with (once more, should you’re making use of for a federal grant). At this level, you may as well create roles for different folks inside your small business who will likely be serving to with the grant software.
  4. Fill out your software. Relying on the grant, it’s possible you’ll be required to submit a marketing strategy, firm historical past, income info, tax returns and W-9 varieties. You may also must share particular particulars about why you’re making use of for the grant and the way you propose to make use of the funds.
  5. Wait to listen to again. Some grants settle for functions on a rolling foundation, whereas others have strict deadlines. In both case, the deadline ought to be listed on the appliance.

Assets for small companies

Finding small enterprise grants could also be a high precedence for enterprise homeowners, however tapping into numerous sources akin to mentorship, workshops and coaching can also be useful.


Backed by the SBA, SCORE is a nonprofit group that guides entrepreneurs and small enterprise homeowners via professional mentoring, workshops, webinars and different academic sources.

Small Enterprise Improvement Facilities

Small Enterprise Improvement Facilities (SBDCs) are precious sources for entrepreneurs. These federally funded native facilities supply free sources and companies to new and established small companies. Providers embody consulting and coaching to assist small companies develop, succeed and overcome challenges.

Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce provides small companies networking alternatives, advocacy and sources to encourage development and enlargement and join with their communities.

Enterprise grants alternate options

Securing a small enterprise grant could be difficult. Since grants don’t should be repaid, most are wildly aggressive. Others have strict eligibility necessities, making it troublesome to seek out one which’s a superb match for your small business.

As an alternative choice to grants, you possibly can look into different financing choices. On the constructive facet, these funding sorts are normally sooner and simpler to get than grants, however they’ll require you to tackle debt.

  • Small enterprise loans. Permits startups and established companies to safe capital for operational prices, stock or gear purchases and extra. The principal plus curiosity is repaid over a set interval.
  • Enterprise bank cards. Companies get entry to a revolving credit score line that can be utilized to cowl a wide range of enterprise bills. Not like a small enterprise mortgage, curiosity is paid on the funds used reasonably than the entire quantity.
  • Enterprise traces of credit score. Just like a enterprise bank card, enterprise traces of credit score present a credit score line as much as a sure restrict that can be utilized to cowl enterprise bills.
  • SBA microloans. This mortgage can be utilized to cowl enterprise bills beneath $50,000. They usually require collateral and/or a private assure, and rates of interest fall between 8 % and 13 %.
  • Peer-to-peer lending. Permits companies to safe funding from people or firms that lend cash on to them via a web-based platform. Curiosity could be excessive with peer-to-peer lending, but it surely’s a fantastic different when conventional financing isn’t an choice.
  • Crowdfunding. Helps you to increase cash for your small business from associates, household, enterprise acquaintances and even strangers. In alternate, you would possibly supply fairness or a reward (like firm merchandise, unique merchandise, or reductions).

Backside line

It may be difficult for small companies to safe capital. Many could think about financing, however this a dangerous choice as a result of it requires companies to tackle debt. However with federal, state, native or personal small enterprise grants, companies can entry non-repayable capital, making it one of the low-risk, inexpensive methods to fund a enterprise.

Often requested questions on enterprise grants

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