Did you know that there is 2.5 Billion dollars in government funding waiting for entrepreneurs and small business owners to apply for? Did you know that at level one of funding 1 out of 8 that apply get the grants and most are first time proposers? Did you know that level one starts at $80K?
Often when someone starts a new business they immediately think they just need to get a business loan or an angel investor to assist them. However, today I want to share with you about government grants that are available to you.
The first is the SBIR/STTR Program which was developed to promote technological innovation and economic growth through the investment of Federal research funds in small US businesses.
So what does it take to be eligible?
- You must be a for-profit organization and greater than 50% owned and controlled by a US Citizen, permanent resident aliens and/or one or more domestic business concerns which are also greater than 50% owned and controlled by US Citizens or permanent resident aliens.
- Must be a small business (fewer than 500 employees)
- PI’s primary employment must be with the small business concern at the time of the award and for the duration of the project period. (Meaning this business has to be your primary employer, you cannot be working another job)
- R&D must be done in the U.S.
There are three phases to this program.
Phase 1 includes:
- Feasibility Study
- $80-$225K and 6-month or 12-month award
Phase 2 includes:
- Expanding on phase 1 R&D
- $750K – $1.5M and 2-year award
Phase 3 includes:
- Commercialization Stage
- Use of non-SIBR/STTR Funds
It is difficult for most to reach Phase 2, however, what is important to note is you can win multiple awards in Phase 1. In Phase 2 about 1 in 2 to 1 in 3 receive funding and Phase 3 about 1 in 20.
Also to note it usually takes up to about 6 months to get funding!
For more information on these grants you can go to SBIR.gov or ZYN.com
So what about those of you who are not in the technology innovation sector? What if you are like me? A life and business coach? I’m glad you asked! There are many available including those that are looking for people to help others be successful in life!
Start with Small Business Association if you’re looking for loan options and also to find local workshops to help you grow your business. (You can often find grants on this page)
There are many organizations that put grants together for both local businesses as well as those that are focused on a particular solution. These are both at a state government level and also nonprofit organizations, foundations etc.
One of my favorite websites to help locate these opportunities is http://www.usgrants.org/ then just go to Government Grants, Small Business Grants. This website will also lead you to Grants.gov which is really the technology and innovation grants so no need to spend time there. However, if you scroll to the bottom of the page and click on your state you will be led to a page that discusses what your state offers.
If you are a woman or minority owned business here is a link to find grants. .
If you are a woman you can also go to http://womensbusinessgrants.com/ and click on your state to find the local SCORE office. SCORE provide’s mentoring for entrepreneurs (male or female) and the ability to apply for grants. For example here in Dallas the website is https://dallas.score.org.
So where else can you find grants?
In your local newspaper! Yes I know this sounds so ancient but the reality is that if you look in the small gossip column ads you often will find grants to apply for! So go buy a local newspaper for your city! Often those that give these grants want to support local businesses. You can even go to the library and check out all of the newspapers available if you don’t know of one to pick up.
Do a google search for business grants and add as much specific information about your niche as possible!
Finally, network with your banker, accountant, local business groups, (go to the chamber of commerce to find these groups). They often know those who have won grants or who give the grants, families often give grants, businesses etc. Networking is never a bad idea! Network!
So what are you waiting for? Go out and hustle today and find some grants to apply for! Take advantage to all the FREE help available to you!