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What is a business development grant, and how can I get more information?

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Although poor management is given credit for being the number one reason businesses fail, inadequate or improper financing can be the runner up. When starting a new business, sufficient startup capital is essential.

There is grant money available for just about any reason, including for the development of small businesses. Some types of financial assistance are better geared for some business than others. This would depend on your type of business, your location, your future plans, and the amount of financial aid needed. All these factors will need to be considered when deciding which type of funding may be the best source of capital for your business.

There are many types of grants offered today to help entrepreneurs live their dreams by turning their ideas into successful businesses. Some of these types of grants are geared towards individuals, women, minorities, businesses, and education.

Finding and identifying agencies that give grants for specific purposes or in specific subject areas requires time, effort, and research. Although not always the case, generally grant money is given to non-profit organizations for programs and services that benefit the community or the public at large. Thus, if you are looking for funding for a for-profit business, you may encounter difficulties.

There are no direct small business grants available as of yet from the federal government, but many state development agencies offer direct small business grants and other types of financial assistance. This is designed to encourage and assist entrepreneurs in starting or expanding their small businesses.

Getting a grant can be very difficult. There are many that will tell you that there is money out there for the taking. Although there is some truth to that, there is a lot of competition for grant funds and a lot of work involved. To be successful in winning a grant, you must provide the funding agency with a well-written proposal which clearly states your objectives and sets forth a plan and budget for your activities. If you are awarded a grant, you may also be required to provide periodic progress, program evaluation, and/or financial reports to the government.

Some tips for getting a business development grant are:

  • Provide complete and accurate information in the application. An incomplete application may not make the review process or can add a delay to the approval of your grant.

  • Get to know your grant officer. Know what their constraints are, what their budget is and what concerns they have with approving your grant.

  • Stand out among the crowd with a well-prepared business plan. Demonstrate your understanding of the business. Show how the grant money will bring the benefit the government agency wants.

  • Bring in outside experts if necessary. An accountant or consultant can add credibility to your application process.

  • Keep in touch. Make regular contact with the grant office in a professional, non-intrusive manner.

Accessing information on getting a business development grant will vary depending on your state. As stated earlier, the federal government does not as of yet, provide funding for business development grants. You will have to do a search for state grants in the state that your business `resides' in. The best way to do this is to do an Internet search. Go to any search engine and type in `business development grant' and then your state. `Small business grant' is another way of phrasing it, and may result in more hits. Research several grant agencies to find grants that you think you may qualify for. If you find a grant that interests you, make sure that you carefully read the section on Eligibility Requirements to find out if you would be qualified to apply for that particular grant.

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Comments (1)

You might get free money in... (Below threshold)

You might get free money in the form of grants but there are a lot of strings attached too. The eyes of the agency granting you the money will always be hounding you.

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Posted by DF
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