All businesses need upfront investment to succeed, and grants are a great way of funding a startup without worrying about things like loan repayments or ownership dilution. Business grants tend to target those who fall into specific groups, and you might not realize that you’re eligible for this type of support until you’ve done some research. For starters, here’s a look at the schemes which serve veterans, women, and minorities who’ve got commercial projects they want to launch.
Business Grants for Veterans
Whether you want to start a home business or enter the world of commerce with bricks and mortar location, if you’re a veteran of the army, navy, or air force, there are several different grants to consider applying for.
Organizations like the US Small Business Administration (SBA) have facilities for veteran-owned businesses to take advantage of. There are also incentives available as part of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which aim to accelerate R&D in the tech sector. While any small business owner can apply to these schemes, additional weighting is often given to veteran-owned startups.
Female entrepreneurs are crucial to the modern global economy, and more is being done to ensure a better balance in the business world. This isn’t just about getting more women into positions of power in established organizations but also giving them opportunities to branch out with their startup concepts. For people still in education, a young entrepreneur grant offers a way to turn your idea into a workable reality without needing to risk your own cash or get into debt in the process.
There are also specific grant schemes, such as She’s Next which focuses on African American businesswomen, along with Amber Grants which doles out $10,000 to a chosen business each month. It’s worth looking into regional grant schemes, as many are unique to a particular state, and you may be lucky enough to live somewhere with funding provided to female-owned businesses that meet the proper criteria.
We’ve already touched on an example of a grant which seeks to facilitate the launch of minority-owned businesses, and the She’s Next project is just the tip of the iceberg in this regard. This is all the more important since research shows there’s still a gap in the amount of funding available to businesses founded by minorities and those belonging to white men.
Going the federal route makes sense, with the official Grants.gov website giving you an overview of the programs which are operating at the moment. The Rural Business Development Grant, overseen by the Department of Agriculture, is a good choice for minority-owned businesses in more isolated countryside communities. There’s also the Coalition to Back Black Businesses, which gives millions in grants each year to fund commercial endeavors in areas typically compromised by economic hardship.
Depending on your background, you may also be eligible for the Asian Women Giving Circle Grants or the First Nations Development Institute Grants.
Business Grants – The Bottom Line
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get every grant you apply for, it’s well worth seeking out whatever funding is available. To reiterate, businesses can’t become viable if they have no proper funding, especially during their early stages. Grants will likely not be your only source of capital. Still, unlike traditional business loans, they leave you with no obligation to repay the amount provided, giving you more freedom and flexibility.