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Small-Business Grants for Women: 10 Go-To Spots #online #business #classes

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Small-Business Grants for Women: 10 Go-To Spots

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If you’re starting a business and need outside financing, it’s natural to be wary of small-business loans. Why take on debt if you can get a grant that you won’t have to repay?

But small-business grants for women — or men, for that matter — can be hard to come by. “There’s not a pot of free money,” says Michelle Somes-Booher, a business consultant at the Small Business Development Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

If you need business financing, two more likely options are business credit cards and small-business loans for women. The competition is fierce for small-business grants, and it takes a lot of time and effort to find them and complete the applications. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the payoff can be worth it. Here are 10 places women entrepreneurs can look for small-business grants.

Federal small-business grants for women

The federal government offers some grants for small-business owners, but they’re designated for very specific purposes, such as certain research and development projects or for businesses in rural areas. Government grants can’t be used to cover startup costs or day-to-day expenses, and most aren’t earmarked specifically for women.

Grants.gov is a database of all federally sponsored grants. You can search for small-business grants here — just make sure you filter the results on the left side of the page to view grants specifically for small businesses.

2. InnovateHER Challenge

The U.S. Small Business Administration hosts an annual competition for businesses with a marketable product or service that positively affects women s lives. To participate, you must first enter and win a local InnovateHER Challenge to advance to the national semifinal round. The top three national finalists will win $40,000, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.

3. Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs

The SBA facilitates these two competitive programs, which ultimately provide grants to small businesses that contribute to federal research and development. Eleven federal agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services, post grant opportunities on their websites. You can search all grant opportunities on the SBIR website.

State and local small-business grants

Because federal small-business grants are limited in number and often very competitive, you may have better luck looking for grants at the state and municipal levels. You’ll have to do your own research to pinpoint specific grant programs in your area, but here are some places to look:

4. Women’s Business Centers

The SBA sponsors about 100 Women’s Business Centers nationwide, designed to help women entrepreneurs with business development and access to capital. Some, such as the California Capital Financial Development Corp. lend money directly, while others simply help you find small-business grants and loans that you may qualify for.

5. Economic development agencies

Every state and many cities have economic development agencies focused on promoting a strong local economy. Even if the agency itself doesn’t offer a small-business grant, it will likely be able to point you in the right direction.

6. Small Business Development Centers

There are hundreds of these SBA-sponsored centers around the country, typically housed at colleges and universities. SBDCs offer free, one-on-one business consulting. Set up a meeting with your local SBDC advisor, who will be able to tell you about grants and other business financing opportunities in your area.

Private small-business grants for women

Some private organizations and businesses have created national grant programs for women small-business owners. Here are two to look into:

The Amber Grant Foundation awards $500 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $2,000. The application is relatively simple: Explain what your business is, describe what you’d do with the grant money and pay a $7 application fee. The foundation’s advisory board chooses the winners, looking for women with passion and a good story.

8. Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant

Eileen Fisher, a women’s clothing retailer, awards $100,000 to up to 10 women business owners each year. To be eligible, women must make up at least 51% of your business s ownership and leadership, your business must have been in operation for at least three years, it must not exceed $1 million in annual revenue, and it must be focused on environmental or social change.

Two other good possibilities for grants

These options aren’t specifically for women, but they’re good small-business grants to consider:

9. FedEx Small Business Grant

FedEx awards up to $25,000 apiece to 10 small businesses annually. The application requires an explanation of your business, how you’d use the money, photos of your business and — this part is optional — a short video explaining your business. You don’t need a FedEx account to apply.

10. Mission Main Street Grants

Chase Bank gives $150,000 to 20 small businesses each year through its Mission Main Street Grants program. To be eligible, you must have been in business at least two years and have fewer than 100 employees, and the application includes answering five essay questions.

Find and compare small-business loans

NerdWallet has come up with a list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

To get more information about funding options and compare them for your small business, visit NerdWallet ssmall-business loanspage. For free, personalized answers to questions about financing your business, visit theSmall Businesssection of NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor page.

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11 Grants for Women-Owned Businesses You Need to Know About #personalized #business #cards

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11 Grants for Women-Owned Businesses You Need to Know About

In 2014, there were close to 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, a 68 percent increase since 1997, according to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express. This percentage increase exceeded the national average of small business growth by 1.5 times.

It also illustrated what we already know: Women entrepreneurs are having a tremendous impact on the small business landscape nationwide.

Yet to continue to be competitive and grow, these entrepreneurs have to find funding for their ventures. And, alarmingly, women entrepreneurs are increasingly being turned away by banks for small business loans. Thankfully, they still have other options, given the rise of technology-driven financial lending sources — such as online loans, peer-to-peer loans and crowdfunding.

Then there are government grants. While not widely known or used, these grants are another great option for women seeking extra funding for their business ventures. They just take a little more work.

Understanding grants

Business owners often turn to grants because they are not required to pay them back; essentially, you can look at grants as free money, but they come with stipulations. Also, understanding and navigating the grant process can be complex.

First, you have to research and find a grant for which you re eligible. Then, you have to understand the strict application and compliance guidelines you must meet, to be eligible. Third, you have to compete with other businesses for the same pool of money. Fourth, if you re awarded a grant, you must report on how you used it. Finally, you must devote time and energy to the lengthy application process, then wait for approval. In a nutshell, you need to have all of your ducks in a row, up-front and afterward.

Finding federal and state grants

Many business owners think that federal grants are just a click away. We have all seen the ads promoting free federal money to start businesses. But this is a huge misconception. While there are federal grants available in the areas of medical research, science, education and technology development, no such grants exist specifically for women-owned businesses. You may find grants that fund projects that empower women, but such funding is often set aside for nonprofit corporations, not for-profit businesses.

When researching grants specifically for a woman-owned business, start at the state level. Most states offer grants for women-owned businesses in some capacity. Each state website has a business section where you can find grant and funding opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses. A good example of this is the business section for the state of New York. which lists incentives and programs for businesses. Check out your state s site to find out what is available for your business.

Another great resource to use in your research is the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The MBDA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that assists minorities and women in establishing and growing their businesses. On its site, you can research grants and access links to state agencies that work with women-owned businesses for funding opportunities. Click here to view all of the state agencies across the country.

Private grants for women

To help in your search, we gathered information on these private grants for women entrepreneurs started:

  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program. Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
  2. Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants. The grant awards up to $15,000 to advance the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood. The awardees also receive resources to further develop their products and startup businesses.
  3. FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program. Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
  4. Idea Caf Small Business Grant. The Idea Caf is a free gateway that hosts different grants on its site. Its current grant is the 16 th Small Business Cash Grant. which awards one $1,000 grand prize to a business with the most innovative idea.
  5. InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge. This business challenge is sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women s Business Ownership. The challenge awards three winners $30,000 in prize money for businesses that have an impact on the lives of women. However, be aware of the recent fraud news around the SBA .
  6. Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project. Chase and Google have partnered to award $3 million in grants. In 2014, recipients were awarded $150,000 to help take their businesses to the next level. Recipients also received a trip to Google headquarters, a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
  7. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
  8. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR). The STTR program reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to provide funding opportunities in research and development.
  9. Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition. This competition, organized by Capitol One and Count Me In for Women s Economic Independence. allows participants to present two-minute pitches for a chance to participate in a nine-month business accelerator program.
  10. Wal-Mart Women s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE). As part of a huge Wal-Mart initiative, sourcing opportunities for U.S. and international companies will increase to $40 billion over five years.
  11. Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money. This Utah-based bank s grant annually awards $3,000 across six different categories, including business.

Applying for a grant

Once you find a funding opportunity, there are steps required to apply. A few tips to assist you:

  • Make sure that your business is eligible for the grant: Read the grant synopsis guidelines and eligibility requirements.
  • Create a checklist for all of the documents required.
  • Follow the rules. Grant applications can be very technical. It wouldn t hurt to have a second (or even third) set of eyes when reviewing the application to ensure that you have provided all accompanying documents.
  • Start early. Since the application process can be long in some cases, it doesn t hurt to get a jump on things.

If you find the grant application process too daunting or lengthy for your small business, Kabbage is committed to supporting small business loans for women business owners. Because our application process is fully automated and online, we can quickly provide small business loans of up to $100,000. We use simple, meaningful revenue data from your business to approve your business — not elaborate documentation that takes extensive time to gather. To learn more, visit Kabbage.com.





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Government grants and financing – Canada Business Network #business #images

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Government grants and financing

Government departments and agencies provide financing such as grants, contributions, subsidies, and loan guarantees. Find out what type of government financing may be available for your business. Use the search tool or browse by type of financing.

Browse government financing by type

Explore opportunities to receive public funds to help springboard your business venture.

Examine these loans and other borrowing possibilities for your new or existing business.

Having trouble securing a loan for your business? A government-backed loan guarantee could help you attract creditors.

Looking for more return on your business expenditures? Browse potential tax benefits that could help reduce overhead.

Are high wage expectations making you reluctant to put up that Help Wanted sign? A wage subsidy program can put the perfect employee within your reach.

Searching for a long-term financial solution for your business? An equity investor may be willing to bank on your potential.

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Grants for starting a business: What small business grants are available?: Starting a business advice and business ideas #sba #small #business

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Grants for starting a business: What small business grants are available?

If you’re a small business owner or thinking of starting a business, finance is probably your biggest concern. You may be wondering if there is any funding available for start-ups.

The simple answer is yes, but getting your hands on it can be a complicated and rather stressful process. There are countless schemes, each with their own set of criteria, which you can apply for when you’re on the verge of starting a business.

Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

Start-up funding is out there to be claimed, yet every year we receive stories of piles of cash sitting in accounts and not being invested. It’s not because you don’t need the cash, but it’s because navigating through the grants jungle can leave you wishing you were still employed.

Types of business support

All publicly funded schemes are designed to encourage new and growing businesses, to bring wealth and ultimately create jobs. To help achieve this the government makes available a portion of taxpayers’ money to help and encourage enterprise through small business grants.

This cash gets distributed through a variety of ministries, departments, agencies and quangos on a national and local basis. Most businesses are eligible at any one time to apply for a number of different business start-up grants and support schemes which are distributed in a wide variety of forms.
s
Government grant resource the business finance support finder is a great tool to help those starting a business find relevant funding to suit their needs and you are able to customise your search by your business location, size, and type of business activity.

Want to read more on grants?

Government business grants available

Direct grant

This is a cash award, which is usually given out for activities such as training, employment, export development, recruitment and capital investment projects. With a direct grant most schemes usually require the company involved to put up around 50% of the cost.

The government s ‘business finance support finder’ directory has over 300 direct grants agencies listed such as UK business “innovation” organisation the Technology Strategy Board. The directory also features various local grants providers which are facilitated by the government’s £3.2bn Regional Growth Fund. such as Catalyst for Growth which has direct grants of £5,000 to £500,000 available for chemical start-ups launching in the North West of England.

Soft loan

A soft loan is a special type of grant where the terms and conditions of repayment are more generous (or softer) than they would be under normal financial circumstances. So, for example, the interest rates may be less, or there may be no interest to pay at all, and the repayment terms could also be for a longer period.

There are hundreds of organisations that offer soft loans and guarantees but the most notable is government-funded scheme Start Up Loans which offers new businesses loans of up to £25,000 for 6% interest with a 12 month repayment “holiday”. To date it has helped to fund over 10,000 start-ups with over £50m invested. You can find out more about the Start Up Loans scheme here. (If you need a higher value business loan, fill out our business loans form and we may be able to put you in touch with the right people).

If you’re starting a social enterprise or charity there are organisations such as Big Issue Invest. the investment arm of the Big Issue, which has soft loans from £50,000 to £1m available for positive impact, socially-driven entrepreneurs and also operates ‘participation loans’ where repayment is linked to future performance of the enterprise.

For young entrepreneurs aged between 18-30, The Prince s Trust provides soft loans of up to £4,000, as well as support for your business idea, with interest capped at 3% and repayments spread over a period of two to five years.

Equity finance

With equity finance a capital sum is injected into the business and the provider of the funds takes an equity share of the enterprise. When the value of the firm increases the stake can then be returned. However, unlike venture capitalists, the expectations and requirements of the providers of public funds are usually less demanding.

It is also worth noting the government Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) which help companies raise finance by providing tax relief to investors who buy a share in your business.

Free or subsidised consultancy

Start-ups can often find themselves in the situation where they are lacking a particular set of skills and there are some specially run schemes which provide this knowledge either for free or at subsidised rates. For instance, the Welsh government runs a business support service offering free, independent advice on starting a business and operates an instant hotline for business queries.

Access to resources

As with a lack of skills, it can be the case that start-ups do not possess the physical resources or facilities they need in order to develop particular projects. In the same way there are a number of initiatives, particularly incubator and accelerator schemes, that can help overcome these concerns by providing access to publicly owned facilities. One such initiative is the department for business, innovation and skills’ (DBIS) GrowthAccelerator which provides advice and coaching to fast-growth businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

Technology and Best Practice transfer

The transfer of technological advances and new best practice initiatives can often take a long time filtering down to smaller businesses. The government has set up schemes which aim to overcome this through business support networks and there is now a number of well-established best practice initiatives such as Investors in People (IIP), which specialises in business tools and resources.

Cost sharing

When it comes to research and development, the costs involved can prevent small firms from taking part. However, by sharing the costs with other businesses, and then sharing the expertise, this problem can be avoided.

To find out more about grants for starting a business, visit our dedicated small business grants channel here .

Useful business start up tools

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11 Grants for Women-Owned Businesses You Need to Know About #business #names #ideas

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11 Grants for Women-Owned Businesses You Need to Know About

In 2014, there were close to 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, a 68 percent increase since 1997, according to The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express. This percentage increase exceeded the national average of small business growth by 1.5 times.

It also illustrated what we already know: Women entrepreneurs are having a tremendous impact on the small business landscape nationwide.

Yet to continue to be competitive and grow, these entrepreneurs have to find funding for their ventures. And, alarmingly, women entrepreneurs are increasingly being turned away by banks for small business loans. Thankfully, they still have other options, given the rise of technology-driven financial lending sources — such as online loans, peer-to-peer loans and crowdfunding.

Then there are government grants. While not widely known or used, these grants are another great option for women seeking extra funding for their business ventures. They just take a little more work.

Understanding grants

Business owners often turn to grants because they are not required to pay them back; essentially, you can look at grants as free money, but they come with stipulations. Also, understanding and navigating the grant process can be complex.

First, you have to research and find a grant for which you re eligible. Then, you have to understand the strict application and compliance guidelines you must meet, to be eligible. Third, you have to compete with other businesses for the same pool of money. Fourth, if you re awarded a grant, you must report on how you used it. Finally, you must devote time and energy to the lengthy application process, then wait for approval. In a nutshell, you need to have all of your ducks in a row, up-front and afterward.

Finding federal and state grants

Many business owners think that federal grants are just a click away. We have all seen the ads promoting free federal money to start businesses. But this is a huge misconception. While there are federal grants available in the areas of medical research, science, education and technology development, no such grants exist specifically for women-owned businesses. You may find grants that fund projects that empower women, but such funding is often set aside for nonprofit corporations, not for-profit businesses.

When researching grants specifically for a woman-owned business, start at the state level. Most states offer grants for women-owned businesses in some capacity. Each state website has a business section where you can find grant and funding opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses. A good example of this is the business section for the state of New York. which lists incentives and programs for businesses. Check out your state s site to find out what is available for your business.

Another great resource to use in your research is the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The MBDA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that assists minorities and women in establishing and growing their businesses. On its site, you can research grants and access links to state agencies that work with women-owned businesses for funding opportunities. Click here to view all of the state agencies across the country.

Private grants for women

To help in your search, we gathered information on these private grants for women entrepreneurs started:

  1. The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program. Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
  2. Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants. The grant awards up to $15,000 to advance the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood. The awardees also receive resources to further develop their products and startup businesses.
  3. FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program. Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
  4. Idea Caf Small Business Grant. The Idea Caf is a free gateway that hosts different grants on its site. Its current grant is the 16 th Small Business Cash Grant. which awards one $1,000 grand prize to a business with the most innovative idea.
  5. InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge. This business challenge is sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women s Business Ownership. The challenge awards three winners $30,000 in prize money for businesses that have an impact on the lives of women. However, be aware of the recent fraud news around the SBA .
  6. Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project. Chase and Google have partnered to award $3 million in grants. In 2014, recipients were awarded $150,000 to help take their businesses to the next level. Recipients also received a trip to Google headquarters, a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
  7. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
  8. Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR). The STTR program reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to provide funding opportunities in research and development.
  9. Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition. This competition, organized by Capitol One and Count Me In for Women s Economic Independence. allows participants to present two-minute pitches for a chance to participate in a nine-month business accelerator program.
  10. Wal-Mart Women s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE). As part of a huge Wal-Mart initiative, sourcing opportunities for U.S. and international companies will increase to $40 billion over five years.
  11. Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money. This Utah-based bank s grant annually awards $3,000 across six different categories, including business.

Applying for a grant

Once you find a funding opportunity, there are steps required to apply. A few tips to assist you:

  • Make sure that your business is eligible for the grant: Read the grant synopsis guidelines and eligibility requirements.
  • Create a checklist for all of the documents required.
  • Follow the rules. Grant applications can be very technical. It wouldn t hurt to have a second (or even third) set of eyes when reviewing the application to ensure that you have provided all accompanying documents.
  • Start early. Since the application process can be long in some cases, it doesn t hurt to get a jump on things.

If you find the grant application process too daunting or lengthy for your small business, Kabbage is committed to supporting small business loans for women business owners. Because our application process is fully automated and online, we can quickly provide small business loans of up to $100,000. We use simple, meaningful revenue data from your business to approve your business — not elaborate documentation that takes extensive time to gather. To learn more, visit Kabbage.com.





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Government grants and financing – Canada Business Network #business #search #engines

#business grants

#

Government grants and financing

Government departments and agencies provide financing such as grants, contributions, subsidies, and loan guarantees. Find out what type of government financing may be available for your business. Use the search tool or browse by type of financing.

Browse government financing by type

Explore opportunities to receive public funds to help springboard your business venture.

Examine these loans and other borrowing possibilities for your new or existing business.

Having trouble securing a loan for your business? A government-backed loan guarantee could help you attract creditors.

Looking for more return on your business expenditures? Browse potential tax benefits that could help reduce overhead.

Are high wage expectations making you reluctant to put up that Help Wanted sign? A wage subsidy program can put the perfect employee within your reach.

Searching for a long-term financial solution for your business? An equity investor may be willing to bank on your potential.

Date modified: 2016-05-05

Secondary menu





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Government grants for small businesses #sba #business #loans

#government grants for small businesses

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Mr Mark Brennan commenced in his role as the Australian Small Business Commissioner on 2 January 2013.

Dr Craig Latham commenced in his role as Deputy Small Business Commissioner on 21 May 2013.

The role of the Australian Small Business Commissioner is to represent small business interests and concerns to the Australian Government.

There are Small Business Commissioners in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia.

If you are in a business dispute, Dispute Support can assist you to find the right dispute resolution service

A good understanding of your dispute will help you to make informed decisions about the best way to try to resolve the dispute.

Tips from the Australian Small Business Commissioner to help you build strong business relationships and avoid disputes

Find out about dispute resolution services available in your state or territory.

There are publications available to assist you to understand, manage and prevent disputes.

It is difficult to know where to begin when starting your own business. It’s important to consider whether you really understand what’s involved and that you are aware of your tax and legal obligations.

Are you are thinking about expanding your business? Here are some suggestions that could help you grow your business.

Once you decide to sell or pass on your business, you need to consider how much your business is worth, the best time to sell and whether you should make use of a broker or other professionals to maximise selling opportunities.

There are resources available to assist you with starting and growing your business.

The family business sector accounts for 70% of all businesses in Australia.

Family Business Australia’s top ten tips for surviving a family business.

Family Business Australia’s best practice principles for family business.

Read case studies from family businesses.

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Planning should always be the first step in developing a business.

Checklists that contain a series of questions to guide you through the various stages of setting up your business including before you start, when you start, when you buy and when you run your business.

Links to help guide your business.

View news articles from the Australian Small Business Commissioner.

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Keep up to date with the Commissioner’s newsletter.

View submissions and reports by the Office of the Australian Small Business Commissioner

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Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP – Small Business #atm #business

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Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP

There are many opportunities for businesses to obtain free support and grants, both at start-up and during growth and development.

However, keeping up to date with what is available is a task in itself, with schemes appearing and disappearing on a regular basis.

Competition is high and success does not come easy.

If you follow the RAPP process when applying for grants and support, you will improve your chance of success.

The RAPP process

R esearch – find out what grants and support are available.

A pplicant suitability – when you identify an opportunity, ensure you meet the criteria or conditions required for the funding before spending time on an application.

P reparation – take time to prepare and tailor the application to meet the specific criteria and conditions. Alternatively, P can stand for a professional who has the skill set and knowledge of the type of grant you are seeking.

P atience – take time completing your application (but without missing deadlines) and be patient waiting for the result!

Financial support in the form of grants can be found at three levels. National grants primarily focus on growth and capital investment, such as the government’s Growth Accelerator scheme, while regional grants come from a local board specifically set up to help a region that has government and local authority support.

Local grants may be available from a local council, for example subsidised rents for new start-up businesses or funding to help tidy up a high street retail unit.

There are also European grants and funding support, details of which can be found at UK Trade and Investment .

Where you live or trade may significantly increase your chances of success of getting funding, particularly if your business is in an area defined as economically disadvantaged.

It is not unknown for businesses to set up in or move to an area where regional or local assistance is more readily available.

When looking for or considering grant options, four points generally apply.

1. Nothing is free; typically you must be prepared to put in some of your own funds. It is extremely rare for a grant to finance the total cost of, say, a start-up or project, unless it is for a very small amount. Many grants require match funding ie you need to match the funding from the grant provider.

For example, Growth Accelerator is a government-backed scheme providing mentor support, coaching and workshops for businesses looking for rapid growth.

The business has to pay a contribution towards the assistance; the amount depends on the size of the business, with the government contributing to the overall cost of the support.

A grant does mean that you are not giving up part of the ownership of your business, as you would if you were seeking equity funding or repaying the money and interest as you would on bank borrowing.

2. Grants are generally available for a specific project, for example development of a new product or job creation.

Therefore your application needs to meet the criteria for which the grant or support is being provided. Grants are not generally available for just starting a business.

3. The grant scheme provider will have objectives, strategies or aims which the funding supports, for example helping with youth employment.

Understand what the objectives or aims are when completing the application.

4. You must have a business plan that explains what you require the funding for and which is tailored to the grant provider’s specific criteria and conditions.

A blanket application or plan is not going to work. On most occasions, your business plan will have to be entered into the provider’s prescribed application form.

Do not just think of grants and support as financial support. Other types of free support can come in many guises.

For example, when opening your business bank account you may be offered free book keeping software, and many local councils and chambers of commerce offer free training seminars on topics such as social media.

The type of product or service for which you are seeking funding supporting has a major impact on your chances of success. Key areas for which grants and support are readily found are:

Innovation

There are a wide range of schemes and support to encourage research and development. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) provides grants and support to help develop new products and services and put them in a position to be brought to market.

Energy and environment

here are schemes specifically for developments that will improve energy efficiency or reduce environmental impact. Natural England lists a number on their website .

Training

There is plenty of funding and support is available to develop skills, including those of the business owner, as well as support for new employees where the business will be providing training and development.

For example, the National Apprenticeship Service provides advice and support on starting a subsidised apprenticeship. Alternatively, it could mean taking on an intern from the local university for the summer with the university providing match funding to pay the student’s salary.

Exports

Politicians’ emphasis on exports driving the economic recovery have led to considerable support and assistance for businesses looking to export the goods they manufacture. UK Trade Investment provide funding and subsided advice and services to help business export their products.

Business grants are notoriously hard to come by, but there is assistance out there if you know where to look. Follow the RAPP and hopefully you will be one of the successful ones. Good luck!

Further reading on grants

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10 top government grants for start-ups #entrepreneur #ideas

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10 top government grants for start-ups

Government grants are notoriously hard to snare for start-up businesses and can involve completing a mountain of time-sapping paperwork in the application process.

However, it appears the system isn’t always as stringent as it should be. A damning report tabled in the Victorian Parliament last week showed that 50% of all businesses awarded grants had failed to properly meet the criteria .

Before you rush off your application in the belief that it’s open season on grants, it’s worth remembering that countless more start-ups are still rejected for grants than are accepted.

To help you navigate the complex web of grants, we have partnered with Victoria’s Small Business Festival to hold an instructive, free webinar, no matter where your business is located. You can sign up to the webinar by clicking here .

But it’s also worth getting a good handle on what grants are out there for start-ups. The most obvious candidate for new ventures is Commercialisation Australia. which offers matched funding up to $2 million for proof of concept, early-stage commercialisation, skills and management support.

But there are others that you may not be quite so familiar with. We’ve picked out 10 of the best, but maybe little-known, grants available to small businesses.

For information on each grant, click on the tabs below:

1. Enterprise Connect

An offshoot of the federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Enterprise Connect is perhaps best known for the free business review it performs for entrepreneurs.

But the network also oversees several start-up focused programs that have cash attached.

The Researchers in Business Grant provides 50% of salary costs, to a maximum of $50,000, for university researchers to work on new idea within a business for between two and 12 months.

There’s also the Tailored Advisory Service Grant, which stumps up half the cash needed, up to $20,000, to engage a consultant to make improvements in your business.





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