Most telephone calls to our office start with, "I need a grant to start my new business."
Unfortunately, it's not quite that easy. While we do provide a lot of support and offer resources for new business, we don't offer direct financial assistance.
The U.S. Small Business Administration does NOT offer grants to start or expand small businesses, regardless of the gender, ethnicity or economic status of the business owner. In fact, there is no government agency that hands out free money to start a for-profit business. Almost all small businesses started with cash from personal savings, friends or family, or loans from the bank.
A few government grants are available to small businesses for early stage research and development in highly technical industries. These grants address important needs of interest to the nation, such as scientific advancements in medicine or food production. The best place to search these grants is www.grants.gov.
There are a variety of governmental agencies and organizations that do give grant money to educational and not-for-profit entities, but this money is usually tied to a social need or issue. The best place to search these grants is www.grants.gov.
Pursuing grant money to start your small business is generally a waste of time and effort that could be better spent preparing your business plan.