ND SBDC a Partnership Program
Small Business Development Centers operate in partnership with the U.S.
Small Business Administration under a Cooperative Agreement. The support
given by the U.S. Small Business Administration through such funding does
not constitute an express or implied endorsement of the co-sponsor(s) or
participants’ opinions, products, or services. Programs are
nondiscriminatory, and reasonable accommodations will be made, upon
request, for persons with disabilities.
Where is all the Free Money?
You see their ads on TV. They send you junk
mail. You know who we’re talking about.
The publishers of directories that claim to
contain the secret to finding FREE money,
no strings attached, for everything from
paying off medical bills and personal debt to
starting a business.
WOW! Piles of money sitting someplace just
waiting for you to claim your share!
Test your knowledge
– True or False: There are no grants available to start a business.
There are a few grant programs available to small businesses.
However, you will find they are few and far between and are
restricted for very specialized uses. To determine whether you
are eligible for any of these grant programs and to get a grant,
you will need to learn:
Who is offering grants?
What are the Guidelines?
How do I prepare an application?
A Friendly Warning
So there ARE grants available to individuals and small
businesses. Should you consider buying one of these
FREE MONEY directories?
You can buy one, but you will find the claims are
exaggerated, you will find a lot of information that is not
applicable to your situation and will lead you to dead ends.
But, perhaps the most infuriating discovery you will make is
that all of the information you just paid for is available for
free once you know where to look.
Save your money, do the research yourself, and use this
guide to help you find the answers you are looking for.
What is a Foundation?
A foundation is an entity that is established as a
nonprofit corporation or a charitable trust with a
principal purpose of making grants to unrelated
organizations, institutions, & individuals for scientific,
educational, cultural, religious, or other charitable
1Source: The Foundation Center, accessed online on December 23, 2003, at
Where can I find Foundation Grants?
If you would like to get familiar with Foundations and find
information on available foundation grants, an excellent source is
The Foundation Center.
The Foundation Center is an independent national service
organization that provides information on foundations to
cooperating libraries throughout the country. (They also provide
information on-line, but a costly membership is needed – if you’re
not a non-profit organization, the membership not worth the cost.)
In North Dakota, there are three libraries that are part of the
Foundation Center's Cooperating Collections Network. You can
use the Foundation Center materials at no cost at these libraries.
However, most foundations give grants only to nonprofit
organizations, so this may prove to be a time-consuming process
that might not prove useful to you if you are seeking funds to
start a business.
Libraries with Grant Information
Local Libraries With Foundation Center Materials
Fargo Public Library 102 N. 3rd St. Fargo, ND 58102
(701) 241-1491 or website: Fargo Library
Bismarck Public Library 515 N. 5th St. Bismarck, ND 58501
(701) 222-6410 or website: Bismarck
Minot Public Library 1516 2nd Ave. SW. Minot, ND 58701
(701) 852-1045 or website: Minot Library
Ag Product Utilization Commission (APUC)
APUC offers four grants to
Marketing & Utilization
Ag Product Prototype
Ag Research Application
For more info visit the Ag
Product Utilization website.
Mid-America International Agri
Trade Council (MIATCO)
MIATCO provides US food producers 50% cost reimbursement for a wide
variety of international marketing and promotional activities which include
advertising, in-store promotions, product demonstrations, travel &
exhibit frees at overseas trade shows, public relations, promotional
publications, and freight cost for samples. This is a USDA-funded
program available to small businesses and agricultural producer cooperatives
and is limited to retail food products and wood products.
For more information call (312) 944-3030 or visit the MIATCO website.
Rural Tech Ventures
Provides Technical Assistance
for technology ventures located
in rural North Dakota
Provides 75% funding for
feasibility studies, market
analysis, business planning, and
Eligibility: Fewer than 50
employees, less than $1MM in
sales annually & in a town less
than 50,000 people.
For more info visit The Center for Innovation’s Website
North Dakota SBIR / STTR
NDSS is a resource center for
small businesses seeking
federal assistance in
developing products and
services based on advanced
technology. NDSS primary
means for assisting
businesses is through a
Federal and State Technology
(FAST) Partnership Program
grant from the United States
Small Business Administration.
NDSS Services (cont.)
1. Pre-Proposal Review
2. Proposal Preparation
3. Phase 0 Grants - $2,500
4. Phase I Grant Writing
5. Grant Writing Workshops
Visit the NDSS Website for
more information on SBIR/STTR
Child Care Resource & Referral
Childcare Resource & Referral is
an organization that provides
assistance in becoming a
licensed care giver, assistance in
filling vacancies, and information
about grants and scholarship
programs. Grants for up to $600
are available for family daycares.
Visit their website at:
Child Care Resource & Referral
If you are an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes you are eligible
for business finance through Business Equity Loan Fund. The Fund
Provides equity grants from 34% to 50% of the business financing needs.
Requires a business plan or entrepreneurial training experience
Trickle Up program provides micro grants ($500-$700) to small business
entrepreneurs assisting people out of poverty.
More information can be received from contacting Jonathan Anderson at the
Tribal Business Information Center 701-854-3734 / firstname.lastname@example.org
or Christine Martin-Goldsmith / email@example.com
Partial Grants / Match Programs
Red River Valley Community Action
Saving Our Cents Program
This program is one of many Individual Development Accounts (IDA)
programs across the country that matches the amount you save with
money from donations. This program is a special savings program
for people with limited income.
Who can join?
If you are 18 years of age or older, have a present and past
employment history, and meet the income guidelines shown, you
may qualify for the SOC program
What are the income guidelines?
No Children $10,380
With 1 child $27,413
2+ Children $31,152
Saving Our Cents (cont)
How does the account work?
The participant will save a minimum of $25 per month in a specially
authorized account at Bremer Bank. The amount saved each month
is matched 2:1. That means for every $1 you save you will be given
$2 for a total of $3. The money earned can be used start your own
business once the amount reaches a certain limit.
What if I am receiving assistance?
The amount of money saved in SOC will not be counted in
determining your eligibility for public assistance.
How do I open an account?
Visit Red River Valley Community Action office and fill out an
application to determine your eligibility or visit the Red River Valley
Community Action website.
Bank of North Dakota PACE Loan
The PACE program provides a
grant in the form of reduced interest
rate (5% interest buy down) on your
business loan. To qualify your
business must be primary sector,
manufacturing / production and
have some job creation involved
with the project.
Visit the Bank of North Dakota’s
website for more information.
Didn’t find what you were looking for?
“Need Money, Look Here” is an 1. Personal savings
article written by David Newton that
appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine 2. Friends and family
in June of 2000, describing the
various sources of funding available 3. Credit cards
to entrepreneurs and the level of 4. Second mortgages
ease or difficulty in obtaining each.
The article discusses the potential 5. Other businesses
funding sources shown at the right in 6. Trade credit
ascending order from "easiest
access" to "most difficult to secure". 7. Commercial bank loans
You will see that grants do not
appear anywhere on this list. This is 8. Angel investors
the reality of how people find the 9. Venture capital
money to start a business.
Small Business Administration
Bank of North Dakota
Beginning Entrepreneur Loan
Business Development Loan
SBA Main Street Program
Dakota Certified Development Co.
Want to Learn More?
To learn more about loans listed in this training take our
Where’s the Cash? online training course on our website.
To learn more about the grants listed in this presentation
call the Small Business Development Center in your area.