How do I get a grant to start my business?
Asked by: Randall | Age: 24 | Location: Gary, Ind | Business: Security
Answered by: Brandon L. Griffin, Founder of FyeBye™
Randall, thank you for your question. If your business is a for-profit you may find it very difficult to find an opportunity to receive a grant to start your business. Grants are usually more available for not-for-profit entities.
For business, it is more likely to find loan opportunities. The difference between loans and grants is the following: loans must be paid back and in many cases with interest, and grants are usually not required to be paid back.
The SBA, or Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) is a resource provided by the government to aid small businesses. The SBA is very popular for the loan opportunities they provide to small business owners. I encourage you to investigate their website. While visiting, you will see that they have many other resources that can assist you and your business. One program of the SBA is called SCORE. SCORE are groups of retired professionals who provide insight in their areas of expertise to inquiring-entrepreneurial minds.
The Small Business Administration also has “satellite” offices in cities across the country. These Small Business Development Centers have on-site professionals, who are capable and willing to assist you in developing a strategic business plan for your business. They will help you determine if your company will be a sustainable business, assist you in the creation of a marketing and financial plan. When complete, they will also walk you through the steps of receiving a small business loan for your business.
Also, you should be conscious of the state of our economy. Banks, another source of loan funding for businesses, are not lending as much as they used to. This means it may be a little harder for you to get funding for your new business. Through your business plan, and other supporting efforts and resources, you must be ready and able to prove to ANY investor that your business idea will be a successful business opportunity! Remember, however, nothing is impossible!
And, at this point, just in case you’re thinking about changing you business concept to a “non profit” concept… Not-for-Profit organizations are a little harder to establish than for-profit entities considering the amount of legal work, and tax preparation that is needed to begin and maintain.
~ Brandon L. Griffin, Youth Entrepreneurship Expert, Campus Calm