Start a Business

Using a Grant to Set Up Your Small Business or Start-Up

Each one of us dreams of owning our own business someday. But financing a business can be an uphill task, especially with the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

What other options are available to you if you don't have enough capital to make your dream come true?

Read our complete guide to business grants

Business Grants

One of the best options available is a business grant. A business grant is money given by a government body, foundation, or another entity to establish businesses or grow their operations.

Grants are an attractive source of business funding for entrepreneurs and small businesses with little cash for starting, growing, or expanding their businesses. They are available for small and online companies, including women and minorities.

Unlike other funding operations, grants do not have stringent conditions. Grants are desirable because you don't need to pay them back, as is the case with loans. Business owners do not have to give equity in exchange for the grant.

What is a Start-Up Grant?

A start-up grant is funded by the government or any organization to set up small businesses and sustain their growth. Though this money does not require any collateral, it comes with some rules regarding spending it.

Accepting a grant entails following your funder's accounting and reporting guidelines. You should spend the money on what is covered by the grant. For anything else, you may be charged with fraud.

Who Qualifies for a Start-Up Grant?

Unfortunately, the government does not give grants for setting up a business, covering expenses, or paying off business debts. That is unless your start-up is a nonprofit or a project related to medical research, education, or technology.

There are a variety of grants available depending on the owners and business types. There are start-up grants for innovators, women, veterans, minorities, green businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Where Can You Find Start-Up Grants?

It can take time and effort to research and apply for funding. To help you start, here's a list of federal, state, and private small-business grants and resources that cater to small businesses and start-ups.

Grants for Growth

A database of grants that the federal government sponsors - you should first register through System Award Management and create an account.

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs

These two programs provide grants to small businesses that focus on federal research and development. You must operate a company with 500 or fewer employees and meet other requirements.

Amber Grant 

This foundation looks for women business owners with a passion and a good story behind their business. It awards $10,000 to women-owned businesses that are based in the U.S. and Canada.

National Association for the Self-Employed

This trade association awards growth grants to small businesses. The grant can be used for hiring employees, marketing, and advertising.

Women's Business Centers

Sponsored by the SBA, Women Business Centers help women entrepreneurs access capital. They also help you find business grants and loans.


Fundid connects businesses of all sizes to grants, guides, and resources. Join our bi-weekly newsletter, Grants for Growth to receive the newest business grants, grants that are closing soon, and tips on growing your business!

How to Apply for a Small Business Grant

Applying for a grant can be daunting, but doing some basic research on the grant that suits you can increase your chances of obtaining one. Gather all the information you need, what is required, and when it is due.

Make a general outline of the business and consult with industry experts. Follow all the instructions of the grant application so that your application can be considered.

Workshops and conferences can be an excellent resource for learning more about the grant process. They are also a perfect avenue for connecting with grant funders and writers. The biggest asset you can bring in this process is patience since it can take weeks.

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