Top Small Business Grants to Take Advantage Of
Below you will find a number of free government grants that you can use to start a business and you never have to pay them back.
If you’re looking to start a small business, grants from the government (federal, state, or local), private companies, banks, and other organizations are one way to fund your venture.
These grants provide you with the capital you need to get your business up and running. And the best part? You don’t have to pay them back. Basically, they’re free money offered to qualified applicants.
The best site to begin your search is Grant.gov. It’s a helpful site that boasts an impressive database of funds offered by the government for free. You can search and apply for thousands of federal funding opportunities.
But remember, not all grants flow from the federal government to small businesses. Some go to state and local government, and others to universities, colleges, and even non-profit societies.
That said, below, we have provided you with a list of small business grants you can take advantage of in 2022.
NIDILRR’s SBIR Program
The SBIR program strives to stimulate technological innovation and research in the private sector and strengthen small businesses for the social and economic benefits of the nation. The NIDILRR’s (National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research) SHIR program mission is to improve the lives of individuals living with disabilities.
Through the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the program offers 10 grants, totaling up to $1 million. Check more information on the grants provided by the program at ACL’s official website.
Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grants
RISE program offers grant assistance to create high-wage rural jobs, use local productive assets in low-income areas, and speed up the establishment of new businesses. Eligible applicants can qualify for a minimum grant amount of $500,000 and a maximum of $2,000,000. The grant also comes with a 4-year term. Learn more about the program at rd.usda.gov.
Small Business Technology Transfer Program
Another grant worth checking out is the STTR program. Created in 1992, STTR seeks to bridge the gap between science and the marketization of resulting innovations. It also aims to increase funding opportunities for small businesses and non-profit research organizations to support research and development.
However, eligible applicants must collaborate with non-profit research institutions to receive the reward during Phase I and II. They must also run a profitable business with 500 or fewer employees. Check this attachment for more eligibility requirements.
500 Global Flagship Accelerator Program
The 500 Global Flagship Accelerator Program allows new small businesses and start-ups to access funding throughout the year. The program started in 2010 and provided Silicon Valley start-ups with a four months long accelerator program. Later, they move to San Francisco and opened new applications on a rolling basis. Qualifying founders enjoy investments of up to $150,000 and help grow and scale their start-ups.
Amber Grant Foundation
Established in 1998, Amber Grand Foundation was formed to honor the memory of Amber Wigdahi. She died at the age of 19 before her business dream could become a reality. Since then, the program has provided women entrepreneurs with interesting stories, with capital amounting to $10,000 monthly and $25,000 each December.
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest offers winner’s prize money of $50,000, FedEx Office Print services worth $4,000, plus other benefits like website audit by HigherVisibility. American-based for-profit small businesses with 1 to 99 employees and 6 months of operation qualify for the contest.
National Association of the Self Employed (NASE)
NASE provides self-employed and micro-businesses growth grants worth up to $4,000. Plus, dependents of these individuals enjoy an annual college scholarship of $3,000. Successful applications get reviewed in April, October, and January, but the grant is awarded year-round.
Patagonia Corporate Grant Program
Patagonia Corporate Grand Program works with small, grassroots organizations with agendas and active campaigns to preserve and protect the environment. These groups usually receive funding ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Find out if your small business qualifies for the grant by visiting https://www.patagonia.com/how-we-fund/.
Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant
Women-owned and women-led businesses can apply for Eileen Fisher grants, which totals up to $100,000 every year. Applicants must own at least 51% of their businesses. Also, the business should have been running for at least 3 years and earning $1 million or less in annual revenue. Another requirement is the venture must be focused on creating positive social and environmental impact. At the moment, the program is suspended temporarily, but chances are it will open up soon.
Veteran Small Business Award
This small business grant program by StreetShares Foundation offers veterans and their spouses funding of up to $15,000. However, they need to own at least 50% of the business. The program strives to inspire, educate and support as they establish and scale their small businesses.
Inclusive Backing from American Express
Last but not least, we have the Inclusive Backing From American Express. It’s a grant program that offers financial support of up to $5,000 to small brick-mortar businesses. Currently, the applications for the next cycle of the program are open. So, if you’re a woman, veteran, or non-binary individual, begin the application process.
It’s no secret! The pandemic took a huge toll on small businesses. Luckily, help is available from the government and private organizations through grants. Take advantage of the above free money and grow and scale your business to new heights.