FUNDS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: 25+ Best Options for Startups

funds for small businesses

To encourage entrepreneurship so many governmental and non-governmental organizations provide starting funds for small businesses. This could be in form of grants. For these organizations, it’s a way of supporting startup businesses and growing the economy. Let’s look at government funds for small businesses.

Government entities are among the largest grantors, supporting a wide range of businesses from environmental conservation to child care services. Although applying for government grants can be scary, they are excellent options for small business owners trying to expand.

Government Funds for Small Businesses

Government funds for small businesses, provide free money to both new and existing businesses. Researching and applying for funding can take a lot of your time and effort. So to help you start we have a list of government funds for small businesses.

Since each state’s agency assists small businesses in obtaining funding (including state or regional funds), securing locations, and attracting staff. You can look for regional offices and local resources in the economic development directory.

#1. Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer award programs

SBIR and STTR grant programs focus on technology innovation and scientific research and development. Small businesses can also use the programs to get federal grants and contracts from 12 different government entities. To be eligible, you must own and operate a for-profit firm with less than 500 employees and meet other criteria.

#2. USA.gov

This government website doesn’t have any federal small-business grants, but it does have resources for beginning or growing a business, including a link to GovLoans, which offers information on the several types of federal small-business loans available.

#3. $100,000 to Launch an SUD Startup

The yearly 2021 $100,000 for Start a SUD Startup Challenge is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). SUD stands for Substance Use Disorder, and NIDA will fund research for any new business venture with a focus on this topic. There will be ten $10,000 prize winners, and those who win will also be able to compete for NIDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funds. The deadline for submissions is November 16th, so eligible entrepreneurs should start brainstorming ideas right once.

#4. Loan for Economic Injuries and Disasters under COVID-19.

Small businesses can get Target EIDL Advances of up to $10,000 from the SBA. These firms must be in low-income areas and be incurring revenue losses as a result of the pandemic.
Grants from the National Institutes of Health. Currently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is financing grant opportunities for COVID-19 research. Hence, small enterprises that create and research biomedical technologies are eligible for these funds. There are numerous awards available with deadlines in 2021 and beyond.

#5. Minority Business Development Agency of the United States of America (MBDA).

Throughout the year, targeted funds are however available to assist small-owned businesses. Minority-owned businesses can learn more about local MBDA Business Centers by visiting MBDA.gov.

#6. State Trade Expansion Program of the United States Small Business Administration (STEP).

This program, designed to help small enterprises who want to export their products, distributes federal cash through state entities. Small enterprises that match each state’s standards can also use financial aid to engage in overseas trade missions and trade exhibitions, gain admission into foreign markets, establish websites, and design international marketing items or campaigns.

#7. U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The EDA, which is part of the US Department of Commerce, provides ongoing funding for projects that promote regional and national economic development. Applicants can also apply for a range of EDA investments on a rolling basis that fund projects in construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, research and evaluation, higher education, and other areas.

Contract Support from the Government

Every year, the federal government spends billions of dollars on goods and services. A significant portion of that money is spent through a competitive bidding process. Programs have been put in place to help some small businesses navigate the process while giving them a greater chance of competing for government funds.

#1. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

The federal government aims to award at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to such enterprises each year, and this initiative contributes to that goal. This government contracting funds program assists service-disabled veterans who run small businesses. Eligible small enterprises must be over 50% owned/controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans, have at least one service-disabled veteran managing day-to-day operations and long-term goals, and have a service-connected disability.

#2. Federal Contracting Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB).

Every year, the federal government aims to award at least 5% of federal contracting funds to women-owned small businesses. The Office of Women’s Business Ownership supports women entrepreneurs through this SBA program by providing business training, mentoring, federal contracts, as well as access to credit and capital. Its mission is to provide equitable business possibilities for all women.

#3. HUBZones Program

This initiative assists businesses in underutilized business zones by increasing their competitiveness for certain government contracts. Businesses who participate in the HUBZone program are eligible to compete for set-aside contracts as well as earn priority on others, including a 10% price evaluation preference in open contract competitions.

Funds for Small Business Starting

Grants.gov is a good place to start when looking for funds for starting small businesses. This government website contains the most complete database of monies that the government intends to distribute. There are also thousands of grants available, offering chances for businesses of all sizes. Many charity and corporate organizations provide grants and other forms of assistance to small enterprises. Here are a few examples of such programs that are open to small firms in any industry that meet certain criteria:

#1. Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com is supporting a $500,000 grant in collaboration with Hello Alice to help online entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. Furthermore, each of the chosen winners will earn $10,000 for their enterprises. To enter, go to their website and tell them why you think your initiative or company is cutting-edge in its field!

#2. Small Business Relief Fund on GoFundMe

The Small Business Relief Fund on GoFundMe will match $500 grants to qualifying small businesses that have been harmed by COVID-19 and have raised at least $500 through a GoFundMe campaign. GoFundMe, as well as companies like Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, GoDaddy, and Bill.com, are supporting the effort. Small company owners who already have a campaign can also use the hashtag #SmallBusinessRelief and confirm their business by filling out the form.

#3. Grant for Nav’s Small Business.

The Nav-sponsored small company award for this quarter is now open! To apply, create a free account on Nav’s website, fill out their basic application outlining how you’d spend the grant money, and then post about the contest on your company’s social media using the procedures given on the application page. The site also includes useful hints for making your application stand out, as well as examples of prior recipients’ applications. Winners may get up to $10,000 if they send their applications by October 28th.

#4. New York Start UP!

This is a 2022 small business plan competition in New York City. The New York Public Library is however sponsoring its business plan competition for the 12th year in a row, which awards eligible firms $15,000 to help them begin and build their businesses. The Thomas Yoseloff Business Center at the New York Public Library will also provide advice and mentorship to entrepreneurs. Hence, residents of Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island are eligible for this subsidy.

#5. Walmart Funds

Grants to local communities from Walmart. Local organizations can get funds from Walmart and Sam’s Club locations through this small business award. Grants are therefore available in amounts ranging from $250 to $5,000. The application date is December 31, 2021.

#6. Amber Grant Foundation

The Amber Grant Foundation was established by WomensNet in 1998 with the sole purpose of assisting female entrepreneurs. Every month, the foundation provides a $10,000 grant to a woman entrepreneur with a compelling narrative, as well as an additional $25,000 prize in December.

#7. Annuity Payment Freedom’s BIPOC Small Business Grant

The Annuity Payment Freedom award was formed in response to the pandemic’s impact on BIPOC-owned enterprises. There are both marketing grants and micro-grant options available to help generate traffic. These are given out on a monthly basis to businesses, with winners announced on the final day of each month.

#8. Grant for Black Founders in Business.

The SoGal Foundation and other sponsors award grants of up to $10,000 to Black and multiracial women as well as nonbinary entrepreneurs through the Black Founder Startup Grant program. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis and is open to entrepreneurs who have a legally registered business and want to scale up.

#10. Comcast

This small business award is designed to assist firms owned by persons of color in marketing, creative media, and technological services. Businesses must be at least 51 percent owned or controlled by persons of color and have been in operation for at least a year within a Comcast Business or Effective service area to be eligible to apply. To be considered, submit your application by October 16th.

#11. Clover + Fiserv Back2Business

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses experienced significant obstacles, and many fought to stay operational. By awarding $10,000 in grants to black and minority-owned small businesses, Fiserv and Clover, therefore, hope to assist them in recovering from any COVID-related economic losses. The Back2Business award program is now only open to residents of Oklahoma City, Texas, as well as the Detroit metropolitan region, and applications will be accepted through the end of the year.

#12. Galaxy Grant

The majority of grants have a lengthy application process. Essays, recommendations, and even business ideas are sometimes required. Small business owners only have to put in important demographic information when applying for the Galaxy Grant. Only minority and women entrepreneurs are eligible for this $2,750 incentive, so if you fulfill the criteria, apply now before September 30.

#13. Elevate Fund. Go. Be.

Go.Be., formerly known as the Good Work Network, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners, with a focus on diverse and minority-owned enterprises. Go.Be. will award up to $4,000 toward any initiative that will help your small business develop, in order to continue to encourage small companies managed by women and people of color. You must be a Go.Be. client to be eligible for this grant, so check out their grant page to see if your small business qualifies.

#14. IFundWomen

IFundWomen COVID-19 Relief Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to COVID COVID-19 Relief Fund, established by IFundWomen, provides community-funded microgrants as well as free coaching to women-owned companies affected by the virus. Grants are given out on a regular basis. Women entrepreneurs must launch an IFW campaign in order to be considered.

#15. IFW First Woman Grant Program

Jane Walker is a recipient of the IFW First Woman Grant Program. Jane Walker by Johnny Walker has teamed up with IFundWomen to launch a grant program that will help women-owned businesses in a variety of fields, including entertainment, media, STEM, and more. This year, 15 women will each get a $10,000 award as well as a one-year coaching membership with IFundWomen. To be considered, your woman-owned small business must submit a 60-second film describing how it continues to push boundaries in its field. On the application page, you’ll find the eligibility requirements. Applications will be accepted until October 20, 2021.

#16. Live Your Dream

Women’s Education and Training Awards Being the sole breadwinner for your family while also pursuing your job ambitions can be difficult. With over $2.4 million granted to over 1,500 women each year, the Live Your Dream awards aim to help women have it all. The organization’s website has eligibility rules for women, and the deadline to apply is November 15.

#17. Growth Grants from the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

The NASE has granted over $1,000,000 in grants to its members, according to its website. It offers up to $4,000 in growth grants to help with training, marketing, and other expenses. Before you may apply, you must have been a member for 90 days.

#18. Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theater in New York City.

The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music, and Theater is hosting a grant competition for the third year in a row to donate $2.5 million to women who are typically underrepresented in the communications profession. Applicants can submit work in a variety of genres, including fiction, documentary, theater, and others. The deadline for this award cycle is November 1st.

#19. Open Data For Good

The Open Data For Good Grand Challenge is a project that encourages people to use their data for good Open Data is a vital tool in our daily lives; it’s the foundation of apps, search engines, and other information-gathering platforms. The US Census Bureau is awarding a total of $100,000 in prize money to applicants that use open data in the most innovative ways to solve public concerns. The focus is however on issues in the areas of climate, economy, and health. The entry rules are available on their website, and the concept submission window opens on September 13 and concludes on October 18.

#20. SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant

This grant offers Black women or non-binary entrepreneurs the chance to receive a cash grant of up to $10,000. To encourage as well as assist Black women and people who identify as non-binary having equitable access to finance for their small enterprises, SoGal has teamed with numerous sponsors to produce this grant. You must have a legally registered business, self-identify as a Black woman or nonbinary entrepreneur, and plan to seek funding now or in the future to be eligible. This deadline is rolling, so apply as soon as possible!

Conculsion

Keep in mind that not all aid from the federal government reaches small businesses directly. Some funding is provided to state and local governments, charitable groups, and higher education institutions. These organizations then distribute the monies or use them to give local technical or educational help. Check with your state and local governments, in addition to the programs listed above. When looking for grant and contracting opportunities, keep in mind that you may be eligible for more than one.

Accepting free money from the government, as you might think, comes with a lot of paperwork. Grant applications can be time-consuming and complicated. You should therefore ensure that you are eligible before applying. There are continual reporting and auditing needs in addition to the legal and administrative duties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there grants for starting a small business?

Small-business funds are available from government agencies, state organizations, and private businesses. The government database grants.gov, your local Small Business Development Center, and charities like the Local Initiatives Support Corp are all ideal locations to start your search.

What do startups use funding for?

Startups raise capital for a variety of reasons, but the primary goal is usually to expand their firm. It might take a long time for a firm to become profitable, and in the meantime, it requires money to stay afloat.

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