5 Small Business Funding Resources You Might Not Know About

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Most small businesses fund their startups with self-funding, investor or loan resources. However, these are not the only funds available to small businesses.

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Here are a few additional resources where small business owners can find necessary capital to run a business.

Grants.gov

One of the best resources for finding legitimate grants is by utilizing the Grants.gov database. Federal government agencies share small business grant listings on this website. You may find more than 1,000 grants from various organizations that may be a good fit for your business.

Business owners may use this search engine to learn more about grant programs and grant eligibility and search for grants. Applicants can learn how to apply for a grant and track their application once it has been submitted for review. You can even download the Grants.gov app to search for relevant grants and submit on the go.

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

Are you a self-employed business owner and a member of the National Association for the Self-Employed? You may apply for a small business grant worth up to $4,000 through NASE.

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Since 2006, NASE has awarded nearly $1,000,000 to members through the Growth Grants program by providing small business grants. Members in good standing are eligible to apply for grants. 

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NASE grant applications are reviewed quarterly based on the following schedule each year:

  • Completed applications received in January, February and March will be reviewed in April.
  • Completed applications received in April, May and June will be reviewed in July.
  • Completed applications received in July, August and September will be reviewed in October.
  • Completed applications received in October, November and December will be reviewed in January of the following year.

Selection criteria is used in evaluating applications and awarding grants. This includes review of identifiable business need, detailed use of the proceeds of the grant, the grant’s potential to satisfy the identified business need and potential impact of the grant on overall business growth and success.

WomensNet | Grants for Women in Business

Created decades ago to help women achieve their business dreams, WomensNet offers free tips on how to get a grant, a monthly grant and promotes encouraging stories about women entrepreneurs on their platform.

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While WomensNet is well-known for its monthly Amber Grant, which awards a monthly Amber Grant winner with $10,000, there are other grants available through the platform. Some of these include the Marketing Grant, Non-Profit Grant and Business Category grants that award applicants in under-represented categories, such as skilled trades and sustainability, with additional grant money.

Applicants may apply through the monthly Amber Grant application form to be considered for the Amber Grant as well as the additional grants mentioned on the WomensNet website.

Minority Business Development Agency Centers 

Minority-owned small businesses in need of financial assistance may turn to one of the centers run by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

Business experts at a MBDA Business Center will be able to assist business owners with securing capital, competing for a contract, identifying a strategic partner and competing in emerging markets. Search by title, state and program type to find the closest MBDA center near you.

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Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

This may not be a direct funding resource, but your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a great place to find assistance and counseling to run your small business.

Small Business Development Centers offer counseling and training to entrepreneurs. This includes individualized business advising and technical as well as problem-solving assistance. Problem-solving assistance from the SBDC helps small businesses access capital and improve several areas required for small business growth and expansion including planning, strategy, operations and financial management.

You can find local assistance by visiting the Small Business Development Centers online and entering your zip code for the nearest location to you.

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About the Author

Heather Taylor is a senior finance writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the head writer and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been published on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global, and more media outlets. 

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