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Government Assistance for Entrepreneurs for Beginners

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

Improve your chances of receiving a government grant for small business.

  • To improve the likelihood of receiving a government grant for your new business, you need to demonstrate that the business is feasible.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration offers free online training classes that cover how to apply for government contracts and how to apply for a small business loan.
  • Several organizations that help entrepreneurs are SCORE, SBDCs, and MBDA Business Centers. 

There's government assistance for entrepreneurs available to organizations, institutions, and industries for targeted projects and programs. A vital aspect of winning a government grant is to show the feasibility of the business. By doing so, it improves the chances of successfully obtaining government assistance for entrepreneurs. For beginners who are researching government grants and loans for small business, creditworthiness is another important factor in acquiring financial support.

What are government grants?

According to Investopedia, a government grant is a financial award that is given by the local, state or the federal government. These grants are given to people and organizations that have ideas, products resources, etc. That can be potentially beneficial to their area or the country at large. These grants are most often given as gifts and the recipients often do not have to pay the money back.

The government often provides entrepreneurs assistance in the form of free information; however, financial assistance or grants tends to be reserved for nonprofits, social services, educational endeavors and specified research.

Learn the fundamentals of government grants for small business startup

There is a set of rules and procedures that a small business must follow in order to qualify for government assistance. In addition, there are deadlines and time frames that also govern how and when the funds are disbursed. When applying for a grant, it is important that you follow the procedures outlined by the agency.

Gain valuable information resources about where to find entrepreneur assistance

The process of successfully obtaining a grant from the government for small business startups requires a clear understanding of what projects the government is interested in funding. Knowing how to locate tools and resources to operate your business is a starting place to finding funds from government grants.

Business.gov provides a checklist to apply for business finance. MoreBusiness.com gives entrepreneurs assistance through access to a list of resource materials and other helpful advice for starting and growing a business with government assistance.

Find matching government grants for entrepreneurship

Grants, loans and contracts serve a set purpose for doing business on behalf of the government. Make sure the objectives of your small business align with governmental interest. Prepare documentation that shows you are capable of getting the job done and communicates how you can help the government achieve its intended outcomes utilizing entrepreneur assistance.

Visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a list of free online training classes from winning government contracts to preparing a loan package for government grants and loans for small businesses. Bplans.com gives insightful information about the process for government assistance for entrepreneurs, for beginners and a broad range of small business owners.

Government organizations that support entrepreneurs

If you are wondering if there are government organizations that provide support to entrepreneurs, the answer is yes! The following is several of the most beneficial organizations and programs, according to Inc.com:

  • SCORE: The Service Corps of Retired Executives, or SCORE, is an organization comprising retired executives who help up-and-coming entrepreneurs. A nonprofit that is funded by a grant from the SBA, SCORE is highly revered by many entrepreneurs due to the free and invaluable information and resources it provides. By providing each entrepreneur with a seasoned consultant free of charge, this allows entrepreneurs to receive specific guidance and resources based on their unique goals and circumstances.

  • SBDCs: Small Business Development Centers are partially funded by the SBA, and they also collaborate with state governments and universities. However, unlike SCORE, they typically charge a minuscule fee for their services. While they can help businesses in a variety of ways, they specialize in acquiring financing, getting government contract work, and writing business plans.

  • MBDA Business Centers: Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers are most often located in major metropolitan cities and are most commonly funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This organization focuses on minority business owners. They also typically charge a nominal, per hour fee for the services they provide. 
  • SBA Guaranteed Loan Program: The SBA Guaranteed Loan Program helps small businesses by guaranteeing or securing small business loans. This allows lenders to get an up to 90% guarantee on the loans they make to small businesses. This is great for both banks and small business owners and it offers an incentive for these banks to offer loans to certain small businesses.

Tips for applying for government grants

According to Sage Automation, of you are interested in applying for government grants, take heed to the following tips:

  1. Act quickly. Grants are often first come, first served.

  2. Make sure you fit the criteria. Every grant has a criterion, make sure you fit it before applying.

  3. Call the grant administration. If in doubt, call the grant administration first. They can tell you whether you are a good fit for the grant.

  4. Align your application with the strategic priorities of the providers. Given that every grant has strategic goals and priorities, you must take the time to ensure your business or idea is in line with the goals of the organization.
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