A successful business often starts with a single idea. Then, with a little help from outside financial resource, this idea is later turned to reality. See the trend here? While we're not saying that money can make the world go round, it can do a lot of unusual feats, like turning your ideas into dollars, for instance. But then, there lies a problem. How many bright ideas do you think have people come up with? A thousand? And out of all that, how many of them had been turned into successful business enterprises? Ten? Twenty? Thats because the person who came up with the idea doesnt have the financial means to make his idea work. Now, what if we told you that there is a way for you to finance your dreams? No, we're not talking about loans.
We're talking about business grant money. Unlike a loan, a business grant does not require you to pay back the amount. In fact, thats the reason why many people refer to it as free money because it is, technically, free, though there may be obligations and sanctions imposed. The great thing about business grants is that it is out there. It exists, though you may have to dig deep to find one that suits you perfectly. And when it comes to federally funded grant money, you may have to dig a bit deeper than usual.
You see, while many private institutions and nonprofit groups offer business grants to enterprising individuals, the real money (a hefty chunk of it, in fact) often comes from government. Congress allocates about $67 million in business grant money to be distributed to the 57 federal agencies all over the United States. For a simple street-paving project proposal, you may get awarded something around $1,000 - $25,000 in grants. The only requirement that the federal government imposes is that your business project must be beneficial to the local community or the general public.
A search through the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) will lead you to two types of business grants: one for rural businesses and one for minority business enterprises. For a rural business grant, the purpose is to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs. Since the program gives a strong emphasis on helping existing businesses grow, eligible applications for the grant money for starting a business are public entities and nonprofit corporations that may in turn award money to the residents they serve. Other eligible applicants for the money for starting a business include Indian tribes on Federal or State reservations or other Federally recognized tribal groups, and cooperatives with members that are primarily rural residents and that conduct activities for the mutual benefit of the members. On the other hand, minority business grants offered at CFDA is aimed at fostering new minority business enterprises and maintaining and strengthening existing firms to increase their opportunities to participate and receive benefits of our economic system. Applications eligible for this program for grant money for starting a business are Federal, State or local government entities or quasi governmental entities, American Indian Tribes, colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and for project organizations.
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