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					Sources of Business Startup Grants

Probably the greatest concern any would-be entrepreneur has initially is
funding. When starting a business, the old saying that you need to spend
money to make money holds true. However, if you know where to look,
there are quite a few resources you can tap to help you find the money
you need. One of the best sources for business startup funding is a
grant. Provided you have a feasible business, you could apply for one of
these so you could get your business running in no time.

If there's one thing true about business startup grants, it's that
applying for them is very challenging. Although there are many agencies
and private companies that can potentially provide you with financial
assistance, you will find that for every available grant there is, dozens
of hopeful would-be entrepreneurs are just waiting to be the next
recipient.

When looking for business startup grants, be ready to compete. In fact,
if you need help writing a grant proposal for your busine ss, you might
even want to consider asking for assistance from someone more
knowledgeable about the application process or a professional grant
writer.

You should also know the eligibility requirements associated with certain
grants. Some grants, for example, restrict the applicant's age,
geographical location, sex and race. The purpose for which the funding
will be used will also be carefully scrutinized. Qualifications can be
highly detailed and in some cases, rather difficult to comply with.

Agencies who offer grants are very picky. If you can't show that your
business has a strong potential for succeeding, you'll find it difficult
to win a grant.

Where to find a business startup grant
There are several sources of business startup grants that you can tap.
These include:

State
Asking for a state-provided business startup grant is an excellent first
option because it is relatively easy to apply for. Competing applicants
are also lesser in number compared to those you will meet at the na tional
level. Applying is also convenient and you're likely to receive a
positive response since these state agencies have a good understanding of
the market and the business industry in general.

A caveat, though: applying for a business startup grant from this source
is easy but it does have a few challenges. Most grants are designed to
address a specific need in the business, such as purchase of supplies or
inventory, construction, etc. You'll have to be very creative in making
sure that your business plan is a match to the available funding.

Federal
The national government offers several opportunities for you to apply for
and receive a business startup grant. However, there are some specific
requirements you'll have to meet to qualify. Most of the grants
available through federal funding are designed to assist non -profits. If
you want to win a grant from this source, make sure you look carefully
for opportunities that for-profit businesses like yours can qualify for.

Local government departments
There are business startup grants that are available for entrepreneurs
with special needs. Women, minority groups and people with physical
disabilities are often recipients of these grants. These sectors usually
have special needs that may not always be given priority by more
traditional grant providers.

Advantages and disadvantages of business grants
Unlike loans, business startup grants are free money – that means if you
do become a recipient, there's no need to pay it back. You only have to
qualify for it and present a clear purpose as to how the money will be
spent in the business. This is also the very reason why competition for
business grants can be rather tough.

However, if you're prepared for it and have a clear and feasible purpose
for your business, there's a good likelihood that you could get approved.

				
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