Every year billions of dollars are awarded in the form of free money and other types of funding. Most people know this money exists, but just don’t know where to apply, how much they qualify for, or even where to get an application.
Contrary to popular belief, free money is available to entrepreneurs. Real business grants do exist. In fact, hundreds of black and minority-owned businesses each year receive such grant funding from various government agencies and nonprofit organizations, reports BlackNews.com. Such funds do not have to be repaid, but must be used to either start a new business or enhance an existing one. Others can be used for innovation research.
Whether needed for growth or startup business funding, here are the top 10 small and minority business grant programs available:
1. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a nationwide competition that will award $50,000 in total to six deserving U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners. Go to www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/fedex_small_business_grant_contest.html
2. The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program allows business owners to apply for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used funds to purchase computers, hire part-time help, and create marketing materials. Visit www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/national_association_self_employed_nase_business_grants.html
3. The Dare to Dream Grant Program encourages students to move through the business creation process by offering business development seminars and up to $10,000 in funding. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/dare_to_dream_grant_program.html
4. The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition (formerly known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series) is an annual competition for minority business owners sponsored by Miller Lite. Designed to economically empower minority businesses, the program continues to invest in entrepreneurial dreams to empower urban communities. Learn more at MLTaptheFuture.com
5. The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several competitive business grant programs, ensuring that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts. Check out www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_grants.html
6. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round financing. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/minority_business_development_agency_mbda_business_grants.html
7. The Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program provides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funds can be used for land acquisition, construction, renovation, technical assistance, project planning, and more. Visit www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/rural_business_enterprise_grants_rbeg_program.html
8. The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program awards grants and business resources to moms to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/huggies_mom_inspired_grant_program.html
9. The DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is intended to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department’s highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance programs. Learn more at www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/dot_disadvantaged_business_enterprise_program.html
10. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides grant funding to small businesses to engage in biomedical or behavioral research/development that leads to a potential for commercialization. Go to www.businessgrants.org/opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_grants.html
To learn about more 2014 business grant programs, visit www.BusinessGrants.org.