Being an entrepreneur, you understand that risking your own life savings is not a good idea. That’s why earning a grant from a government, or private organization can greatly help start a new business or develop an existing one. To receive a grant, you would need to develop a business plan to show that your company will bring value to the community.
The majority of government grants will ask you to meet their requirements, and they might place some restrictions on spendings. However, if you go for a private grant investor, you will have more freedom in your decisions.
Here, you will learn about where you can apply, what grants are available, and their requirements.
Funding In EU
European Regional Development Fund
This grant is aimed at businesses operating in underdeveloped regions. It supports small and medium enterprises. The amount of funding depends on the location. That’s why if you are planning to open a business in less developed countries in the European Union, you should correctly represent your company.
Especially if you are from an English-speaking country, and your target market is in another language and totally different culture. Make sure to conduct proper research and adjust your business plan accordingly. In order to avoid mistakes in the target language, check translation services in Sheffield or any other city in the UK.
European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)
EMFF is targeted at the maritime market. That’s why this funding is available for fishers; it financially supports fishing projects to create new jobs for local people. Its aim is to improve the quality of life, too. Each country in the EU has allocated funds to support the industry.
That’s why you should contact your national authority who is in charge of this program. EMFF’s budget is 6 400 million euros.
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
This fund supports climate and environmental change; it supports smart villages and local actions. This fund is available for companies working in the forestry and agricultural sector. EAFRD and local governments support businesses in agriculture and allocate funds according to the given needs.
Funding In The USA
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant
This is a type of grant provided by the US government for small businesses with less than 500 employees. The goal of SBIR is to fund small businesses that want to develop and commercialize a new product. You can apply for a grant if you are planning to research or develop new products or improve existing ones.
These grants are available for the following activities:
- Product development
- Commercialization of a product
- Technology development
The government will provide you with up to $500,000 to support your efforts, but it will not cover the cost of working capital.
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant
This is another kind of grant made available by the US government to small businesses. The main purpose of this grant is to promote the commercialization of the latest technologies developed at a federal agency. It is meant to help businesses that are starting or operating out of universities and national laboratories. In addition, these grants aim at helping small businesses conduct research and development on the latest technologies.
The government will give you up to $500,000. However, there are some limitations placed on the use of funds. You will only be allowed to spend up to $100,000 on indirect costs like salaries and benefits. You will also be required to share your IP rights with the government after the project is over.
Federal Grant Funding For Women-Owned Small Businesses
This grant aims to promote women’s entrepreneurship by offering training, counseling, mentoring, and networking opportunities for women business owners. This grant is designed to help women-owned businesses fulfill their potential in the economy by promoting their growth and expansion in many areas, including export and international trade, training programs, and small business loans. If you want to apply for this grant, you would need to show that you have a good track record of business success and that you are capable of employing more women in your company.
In addition, you would have to meet other key requirements before you can qualify for this grant, such as:
- Have received less than $5 million in federal funding from all sources combined over the past five years (the maximum amount you could receive is $3 million)
- Have an established business that is profitable or has strong potential for success
- Plan to grow your business within five years if you intend to expand
- Expand or create at least one business activity that will lead to a job being created directly or indirectly by your business
- Have no employees who were hired because they were relatives or who received special favors or treatment
- Have no employees who are related to the owner
- Meet other criteria such as patents or licensing that boost your capacity as a woman business owner
- Support women’s entrepreneurship in other ways (by mentoring women entrepreneurs, etc.)
The grant is also meant to connect women with funding sources such as loans and grants so that they can start or expand their businesses easily and affordably.
Federal Grant Funding For Minority-Owned Businesses
This type of grant encourages minority entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through different activities such as establishing new businesses, expanding existing ones, providing job training, and hiring more employees. This grant is designed to help minority business owners build a strong foundation for their company so that they can thrive in the economy. In addition, it also aims to promote the economic empowerment of minorities through direct access to capital and other resources which are vital for starting and operating a successful business.
To apply for this grant, you will have to meet the following requirements:
- Have been in business for at least five years
- Achieve or maintain profitability within your first year of operation
- Have annual gross revenues (or total amount of money coming into your company) falling between $200,000 and $1 million
- Hire at least one new employee and meet other requirements such as patenting or licensing which boost your capacity as a minority business owner
You are also required to show that you have a good track record of business success and that you are capable of employing more minorities in your company.
As you see, there are many available grants for new or existing small businesses. You can research the grant opportunities related to your business industry and location. Check the requirements and amount of financing available to support your company.
Make sure to prepare the documentation and presentation about your business properly. Clearly convey the mission and vision of your company, and provide the reasons why you decided to start your business.