The idea that there are millions of dollars in grant funds – free money — waiting for the small business owner to tap into them is true and at the same time, not true.
In most cases, grant funds are not designed to start a new business. There are some specialized businesses that may qualify for start-up capital, but 99.9% of the businesses in the Yellow Pages would be ineligible to receive start-up funding.
Yet there are millions of dollars available to help existing small business funding and employment programs, particularly in the non-profit arena. The trick is to be able to research grants and find those that are most aligned with your company’s mission and/or project.
Grants fall into two categories: government and corporate. They all come with strings attached and very specific requirements for those who will be awarded the funds. Funders look for businesses and organizations that already exist, that will use the money for a worthwhile project, i.e. jobs in inner cities, providing training to specialized groups, etc., and that will develop a self-sustaining program.
For small businesses that are looking for funding for expansion or for equipment purchases, it takes a creative mind to find a grant that could apply to your specific needs while filling the requirements of the grant funders. That is where the services of a professional grant writer are invaluable.
For example, a company may want grant money to fund an expansion of their sales force and they need to add more space as well as hire more people. Well, a for-profit company may not be eligible for any grant money. However, the company could form a non-profit agency that trains veterans or welfare moms in sales skills, leases or buys space to accommodate the workers and gives the new trainees a place to work by leasing them to the for-profit company.
Read more here.