Obtaining grant funding for a startup business is possible but rare. The truth of the matter is, you will not get grants from the government or public or private foundations. Those sources only provide grants to non-profit organizations, specifically, 501(c)(3)’s. There are organizations that provide grant funding to (for profit) startup businesses, however, it’s usually very competitive and the amount you can obtain is not always substantial.
For example, a recent client of mine was awarded grant funding from the Detroit Development Fund. He submitted his grant application along with the business plan my team and I wrote for him and was awarded $10,000! Here are a few other grant funding sources you may want to try out for your (for profit) small business:
- Business Owners Idea Cafe – This website is ran by Dev Start, Inc and they have been online since 1995. The site provides resources to startups and existing small businesses. You can find information on business ideas, business financing, marketing and more. They also conduct an annual grant competition for startups and existing small businesses. They have been doing so for 20+ years. The grant is for $1,000. It may not seem like a lot, however, any little bit helps. The most innovative business receives the grant funding (it’s highly competitive). In addition, your business will also get free publicity and national recognition. All you need to do to qualify (and apply) is register as a member on their website here.
- Mission Main Street – Chase Bank offers a program called Mission Main Street Grants where you can apply for $100,000 in grant funding. That’s a far cry from the $1,000 grant offered by Dev Start, Inc (mentioned above). This grant is even more competitive than the grant offered by Dev Start and that’s mainly because it is offered by Chase (a popular banking institution) and is highly publicized. The good news is that Chase rewards up to 20 recipients (instead of only one). You must be in business for at least 2 years to apply for this grant. Go here to learn more.
The bottom line is, a for profit startup business can get grant funding, you just have to search high and low to find legitimate grant sources. Rarely will you find grants offered by non-profit foundations to for profits businesses. However, for profit companies like Chase Bank and Dev Start, Inc provide grant funding opportunities to for profit businesses. You’ll have to do your research to find more for profit grant funding sources like these. Good luck!