Looking for a loan or a grant to expand or start your business? Below are a few resources that can help you on your quest to growth and profitability.
There are a few highly competitive private sector grants for certain types of businesses, and a few specifically for woman-owned businesses.
- FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. Each year since 2013, FedEx has offered $25,000 grants to businesses. The application process is a short one month period, so ready your applications for the February 20th open date. You’ll need to capture your business’s story via video (read FedEx’s tips here). Good for existing businesses.
- National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants. NASE Growth Grants are offered to NASE members looking to take their business to the next level. NASE grants are worth up to $4,000 and can be used for all types of activities, like purchasing new equipment, hiring help, and creating promotional material.
Good for: existing businesses.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Global Challenges. The foundation awards its grants primarily to 501(c)(3) organizations, but if you run a business that is solving health and development problems through innovation, this grant could be yours. Check here for their open applications and keep in mind that the open grants are usually specific to a particular problem. Good for: nonprofits or businesses solving health and development problems.
- The StreetShares Foundation Veteran Business Grant. Open to veterans, active duty members, or the spouse of a military veteran or active duty member. Applicants can receive up to $5,000 and will be judged based on their business idea, their expected use of funds, product-market fit, team, and the influence the business will have on the veteran or military community. Good for: veterans, military members, and military spouses who run a business.
- IdeaCafe $1K Business Grant. This grant is open to any business owner or person looking to start a business. $1,000 will be awarded to the most innovative business or business idea. Past winners include bakeries, magazines, an art gallery, and a custom cycling company. Applications open in November. Good for: planning stage businesses.
- Nav’s “Legitify Your Small Business” Grant. We’re offering a $10,000 small business grant to the most deserving business that applies. The application is easy, we just ask that you let your personality shine. Good for: existing businesses.
- Fundera’s Zach Grant: Submit a three-minute video to compete for a $2,500 grant awarded annually.
- Mission Main Street Grants. Each year, Chase Bank has offered $2 million to 20 young, small businesses. 2015 was the last year they ran their Mission Main Street Grant contest, but keep an eye out for a 2018 contest. Good for: young businesses.
- Caleb Brown Urban Entrepreneur’s Community Grant. The Caleb Brown Venture Capital and Consulting Project hosts a $1,000 grant aimed at promoting and nurturing young urban entrepreneurs with vision who plan to rebuild local blocks, neighborhoods, and communities “by providing training and jobs to the next generation.” The grant is open to startups and young businesses in urban areas. This contest is run every month—submit your application by the 15th to enter. Good for: community businesses, new businesses, existing businesses.
- Halstead Jewelry Grant Award. Are you a jewelry artist? If so, submit your portfolio and business plan to Halstead for their annual jewelry grant award. In addition to funds, Halstead aims to help jewelry artists develop their business, their plan, and hit their goals. Good for: jewelry artists, startups less than three years old.
- SBA Loan Programs
The SBA offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes. See if you qualify to participate in the programs described here.
- BusinessUSA – Access Financing
This interactive tool from the Federal Government allows you to describe your business and your needs, and generates a list of government financing programs that may be available to you.
A central location for thousands of grant programs from the 26 federal grant-making agencies.
- The Foundation Center
Among the features of this independent organization on foundation grants allows grantseekers to pose questions to an online librarian.
A compendium of links to private and government grant resources, here in the U.S. as well as abroad.
We hope this helps some.