Hundreds of businesses each year receive grant funding from various government agencies and non-profit organizations. Such funds must be used to start a new business or enhance an existing one, and do not have to be repaid. Others can be used for innovation research.
Here are nine small business grant programs available in 2014:
1. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a nationwide competition that will award $50,000 in total to six U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners. The deadline to apply is usually in February. Learn more here.
2. The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program offers access to capital for micro-business owners who have a specific business need but lack the finances to carry out that goal. Through the program, NASE members can apply for up to $5,000 to purchase new equipment or software, fund advertising, marketing materials or training, and other business needs. Deadline to apply is ongoing. Learn more here.
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. The deadline to apply is September and January. Learn more here.
4. The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition, formally known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series, is an annual competition for minority business owners sponsored by MillerCoors. Applicants can enter their business plan for a chance to vie for a $50,000 business grant and potentially become a MillerCoors supplier. The deadline to apply is usually in April. Learn more here.
5. 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. Award amounts and deadlines to apply vary. Learn more here.
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. Award amounts and deadlines to apply vary. Learn more here.
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. The award amount ranges from $10,000 to $500,000, and the deadline to apply varies. Learn more here.
8. The Huggies Mom Inspired Grant Program awards a $15,000 grant and business resources to moms to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses. The deadline to apply varies. Learn more here.
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 here.
To learn about more 2014 business grant programs, visit www.BusinessGrants.org.