A grant is a form of assistance, usually financial in nature, the benefit of which is non-repayable. It is given by one organization to another to encourage it to undertake or continue activities that it would not (or could not) otherwise do without that support. Alternatively, a grant may be used to persuade the organization to refrain from certain activities.
Grants are non-repayable funds disbursed by one party (grant makers), often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, to a recipient, often (but not always) a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual. In order to receive a grant, some form of "Grant Writing" often referred to as either a proposal or an application is usually required.
A grant is a great way to get a project off the ground and is possibly the best source of funding available. There is no interest to be paid and funds are generally non-returnable (except in exceptional circumstances, where grant terms and conditions are not met). Grants are often referred to as ‘free money’, but there are usually a number of strings attached. Anyone who has ever tried to secure a grant will be familiar with the fact that grants are notoriously difficult to get. It is hard work convincing the awarding body that you deserve such support, and a considerable amount of effort and time is involved in making an application.
Most grants are made to fund a specific project and require some level of compliance and reporting. The grant writing process involves an applicant submitting a proposal (or submission) to a potential funder, either on the applicant's own initiative or in response to a Request for Proposal from the funder. Other grants can be given to individuals, such as victims of natural disasters or individuals who seek to open a small business. Sometimes grant makers require grant seekers to have some form of tax-exempt status, be a registered nonprofit organization or a local government.
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Grants can be distinguished from other forms of finance available to individuals or organizations by the fact that the grantor's decision to support an organization is made without the need for direct commercial gain.
Over recent years there has also been a trend to see grants being offered to encourage public - private sector co-operation rather than offering public support to encourage companies to undertake projects they might not otherwise do. Increasingly, central and state government support is provided to encourage local authorities to work with the private sector to release properties that would otherwise remain derelict, empty or under-utilized. In so doing regeneration in areas of social, economic and other need will be accomplished.
The not for profit sector in particular has had to consider how to obtain funding, requiring it to be more businesslike in its approach. Charity funders are unlikely to support any scheme that has not been thought through or could not be continued once their initial support ceases. Increasingly, the lines of division between the profit and the not for profit sectors are becoming blurred - sports, arts, medical care, education are but four examples where requests for help could be directed to government, charitable trusts or commercial sponsors.
When someone plans to start a business, one of the many worries is cash for the business' capital. This is true whether you are putting up an internet business or a physical business office. Many entrepreneurs find raising of funds an arduous task. Building the inventory, paying for registration fees, renting or purchasing space, and purchasing the needed equipment require working capital. One of the key sources of capital is a government entrepreneur grant.
There are many ways to raise business capital. Since entrepreneurs are hard working individuals, they will not stop until they're able to raise the needed amount of capital. They can seek assistance from friends and family members, relatives, banks, and personal savings. Most entrepreneurs on the other hand prefer to search for venture capitalists.
Aside from those mentioned earlier, a government entrepreneur grant is one of the best options to raise business capital. The government gives grants to qualified entrepreneurs that would serve as financial assistance. There are different grant making agencies in the country, depending on where you reside. These agencies have grant programs that you can utilize as long as you are qualified. The US federal government, for example, has a budget of around $400 billion for government entrepreneur grants.
The best way to look for entrepreneur grants is through the internet. If you find it hard to do it online, because you are not comfortable searching, then you can always ask your local government for information regarding the grants.
Grants are given for many purposes; for starting a business you must choose an entrepreneur grant. If you are lucky enough, you can find grants that offer business consultation, loans, and services for free. Most often, local governments award entrepreneur grants to businesses that can potentially hire more employees.
Economic development is very important for every country. The economic conditions are unpredictable and volatile and so every country needs all the help it can get to improve its overall standing. Businesses are the major contributors to the success of the economy and so the government is always willing to extend the needed financial aid. Some entrepreneurs are hesitant to get assistance from the government. But if you are one of those entrepreneurs with capital issues, do not hesitate to ask help from the government. The government has a huge fund allocation for the grants.
Before an entrepreneur decides to open their business, they need to conduct plenty of analysis to determine if the business is feasible or not. If they can prove the feasibility of his business proposal, the government will immediately provide the needed capital assistance through the entrepreneur grants. If the working capital that you have raised from family, relatives, and friends are insufficient, try to contact the local government and ask for the requirements in order to apply for the government entrepreneur grant. You can either do this online or you can visit the physical office of the local government of your state or country.
For those that qualify, you will need to provide a clear business plan to receive the amount that you need. A successful grant proposal is one that is well prepared, thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged. The potential applicant should become familiar with all of the pertinent program criteria related to the grant program from which assistance is sought. Refer to the information contact person listed before developing a proposal so as to obtain information, such as what funding is currently available, when applicable deadlines occur and details of the process used by the grantor agency for accepting applications. Applicants should remember that the basic requirements, application forms, information, and procedures vary with the Federal agency making the grant award.
Individuals without prior grant proposal writing experience may find it useful to attend a grant writing workshop. A workshop can set out the best method to approach the grant body and help avoin common mistakes.
When developing an idea for a proposal it is important to determine if the idea has already been considered in the locality or State. A careful check should be made with legislators and area government agencies as well as related public and private agencies that may currently have grant awards or contracts to do similar work. If a similar program already exists, the applicant may need to reconsider submitting the proposed project. If significant differences or improvements in the proposed project's goals can be clearly established, it will be worthwhile to pursue Federal assistance.
Grants are available for a variety of projects, but each individual scheme will offer funding for a specific purpose. Whether you qualify for a grant can also depend on factors such as the type of business you run, the size of your business, whether the business will create jobs and where it will be located.
Grants may be available to cover one or more of the following activities:
It is worth noting that grants cannot usually be used for working capital or simply the organic growth of your business.
In most cases, qualification for grant assistance is dependent on four criteria:
Eligibility for funding schemes, no matter what the type of organisation, is usually dependent, in part, on the location of the activity for which funding is being sought.
For example, a city may wish to encourage business start-up projects within its boundary as benefits may be derived in terms of job creation and improvements to the local economy. Some areas of the country are looked upon more favorably than others, for example a project may be eligible for a special grant if it is creating a business in an economically disadvantaged area with high unemployment, such as areas suffering industrial decline or where traditional industries have collapsed.
Although many grants are available across all sectors, some activities such as the arts, crafts, tourism, agriculture and other specialist interests may be targeted for additional funding.
Grants may be aimed at businesses or groups of a certain size, employing a minimum or maximum number of people, targeting growing businesses as opposed to self-employed individuals, or for large, well-established organisations.
Finally, one of the most significant factors for the qualification of grant assistance is the focus of the proposed project or activity. This may be on research and development, exporting, environmental improvements, community development, rural diversification, or training and skills development. It is therefore important to explain what it is you want the money for and being clear about the intended outcomes of your project. Many schemes will not fund day-to-day running expenses, but are happy to help fund identified costs.
Do not rely on outdated funding publications or Web sites for current contact information. Anything older than one year should not be used. Scroll down to the bottom of the Web site’s home page to see the date that it was last updated.
Remember that only a very small portion of the funding source’s monies will be awarded in one geographic area. If your neighbor gets the cash then you may not. The exception is funding sources that are local and only distribute funds in a specific city, town, county, or state.
When it comes to grantseeking in the private sector, you have endless Web sites to look through. There are books, books, and more books in regard to potential funding sources. Some funding database subscription Web sites still market their databases; however, you will find the most up-to-date information by using the online government databases.
In the United States, the most affordable nonprofit Web site with the largest database for corporate and foundation funding sources is the Foundation Center’s Web site. Headquartered in New York City, the Center has field offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. In addition, the Center also has cooperating collections across the United States and in Puerto Rico.
If you are looking for freebies, co-operating collections are free funding information centers in libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit resource centers. They provide a core collection of the Foundation Center’s publications and a variety of supplemental materials and services in areas useful to grantseekers. So if you have a co-operating collection near you, you will not have to pay for a subscription to access the Center’s online materials. The advantage of subscribing is that you can have the information you need, when you need it, and at your finger tips — at home or at work.
Applying For A Grant
It is possible to get a grant for your business but it is even more possible that someone will get you to part with your money only for you to receive nothing.
There is no way that anyone, other than the grant funding body, can guarantee that you will get a grant.
By writing a business plan you will increase your chances dramatically, but it will not guarantee that you will get a grant.
Whilst we urge you, if you are serious about getting a grant, to write a business plan, we urge you even more to follow these four simple rules.
A grant is a form of assistance, usually financial in nature, the benefit of which is non-repayable. Grant money is given by one organization to another to encourage it to undertake or continue activities that it would not (or could not) otherwise do without that support. Alternatively, grant money may be used to persuade the organization to refrain from certain activities.
Grant money can be distinguished from other forms of finance available to individuals or organizations by the fact that the grantor's decision to support an organization is made without the need for direct commercial gain.
Over recent years, there has also been a trend to see grants being offered to encourage public – private sector co-operation rather than offering public support to encourage companies to undertake projects they might not otherwise do. Increasingly, central government support is provided to encourage local authorities to work with the private sector to release properties that would otherwise remain derelict, empty or under-utilized. In so doing regeneration in areas of social, economic and other need will be accomplished.
The not for profit sector in particular has had to consider funding how to obtain funding, requiring it to be more businesslike in its approach. Charity funders are unlikely to support any scheme that has not been thought through or could not be continued once their initial support ceases. Increasingly, the lines of division between the profit and the not for profit sectors are becoming blurred - sports, arts, medical are, education are but four examples where requests for help could be directed to government, charitable trusts or commercial sponsors.
There are a number of sources of finance for the fledgling small business entrepreneur but one of the easiest to get is a business grant. Many individuals are looking for business grants or "free money" to start their business. They may have read or heard that free money for business owners exists, and how easy it is to get hold of these monies. Some have read ads, in print or on the Web, offering them information as to where to get free grants. With these ads making it look like there is money out there for the taking, who would not want to get a part of it?
Before you get a business grant for any business you need a business plan.
There are hundreds of millions of dollars in business grant funding available every year that is free to entrepreneurs and small business owners. These grant monies come from the government, non-governmental organizations, and private institutions. The grant amounts range from $5,000 up to some in the six figures - none of that money is available unless you have a business plan.
Although the money is free, preparing to get it can be frustrating and time-consuming, but getting free money is certainly not impossible. However, the myth of "easy" free money intended for starting or expanding a small business needs to be dispelled.
Grants For Your Business
Billions in government grants are funded by the Government yearly and countless millions daily by private and corporate foundations. The government and these private foundations will provide a grant for your business. There are many different types of programs and foundation grants. Today government grants and foundation funds are available for
Government grants are funded by tax and, therefore, require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent; grants are not given away indiscriminately.
Grants from the Federal government are authorized and appropriated through bills passed by Congress and signed by the President. The grant authority varies widely among agencies. SBA has authority to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs, but does not have authority to make grants to small businesses. If Congress authorizes Specific Initiative Grants, organizations receiving such grants will receive individual notifications.
Small Business Grant
The range of grants available is large and constantly changing. It is important that you consider not so much the grants that are currently available but the general way in which grants are delivered to small businesses. Sources from which one may seek information on grants include:
Grant giving bodies
Many organizations, often grant giving bodies themselves, provide information on the finance that is available. Often this information is free of charge and in many cases available over the Internet. In almost all cases you should start with your local government office, town hall, state house or your community library. Always start locally and work upwards, not the other way around. Your local people will have detailed knowledge of assistance available in your area.
Planning departments, accountants, solicitors, lawyers, real estate brokers and local colleges and universities tend also to be very grant aware.
A Government Grant is a financial award given by the federal, state or local government to an eligible grantee. Government grants are not expected to be repaid by the recipient. Grants do not include technical assistance or other forms of financial assistance such as a loan or loan guarantee, an interest rate subsidy, direct appropriation or revenue sharing. There is typically a lengthy application process to qualify and be approved for a government grant. Most recipients are required to provide periodic reports on their grant project's progress. The federal government provides grants for a wide range of projects and businesses that serve public groups. Over 26 federal agencies administer more than 1,000 grant programs annually to provide funding for the arts, educational institutions, agricultural projects and much more.
If you are in need of funding for your business venture, there are many options available to you.
While there are no grant programs to start a small business, there is grant support in the way of research and educational assistance. Despite the hype that you can get "free money to start your business", grant monies are bound by very specific terms and timelines. Even the SBA does not provide outright grants to individuals to start or expand a small business but there are many financial assistance programs you can use.
The Small Business Administration offers numerous loan programs to assist business startup and entrepeneurs. While these programs are available through the SBA, the SBA itself typically doesn't provide the funds - they are a "guarantor" of the loans made by financial institutions; most programs are on guaranteed basis. The SBA's Micro-Loan program offers smaller loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small businesses. These funds are made available to community non-profits, called Intermediaries, which in turn provide the funds to eligible applicants. The maximum amount you can borrow is $35,000, and the average loan size according to the SBA is $10,500.
So if you have, say, everything in place for your business but lack an advertising budget, or you need equipment and have exhausted all other funding sources, the Micro-Loan program may help you get the smaller loan you need.
Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Education Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based. Education Grants and scholarships can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization.
Every individual has a right to an education and the options after high school are endless, with individuals being able to choose whether they go to university or college, or even go to a trade school as part of a work based training program. This, of course, is personal choice because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, but there are certain factors that may dictate the direction we choose to head in as we embark on our journeys in the big wide world. Financial limitations and worries may be the main factor for the majority of individuals. Problems with funding may actually prevent someone who is extraordinarily talented from going to university and making the most of their potential.
However, there are solutions to this problem if people do choose to make the most of their potential and head to university. Some individuals may choose to drop in and out of school when they have the cash. They may attend for three semesters and then spend a year working to build up enough funds to attend for another semester and so on. They may also choose to continue working through college to supplement any help they may get from their parents or to preserve their savings. However, this can put individuals through severe stress as the financial burden begins to tell on them and it ultimately may affect their health. There is now an easier option though.
There are ways you can lessen the amount of student loans you need. Once you are accepted at an accredited university, college, or community college, talk to the financial aid department. There are several scholarships and grants that are based on income and may make it possible not to need as high a student loan.
The Pell Grant is one of the federal programs most schools automatically file for students. The maximum award is over four thousand dollars. However, not all students will get the maximum amount. Many factors are considered when a student applies. With few exceptions, a part time student must be carrying at least a half time load. Another factor that is considered is the actual college costs for both tuition and books.
Unlike a student loan, a Pell Grant is just that, a grant. It is never repaid. It is up to the individual institution as to how the money is applied. You may either receive a check or have it applied directly to your school expenses. The various options will be discussed between the student and financial aid officer. Federal law required payments to be made a minimum of twice per academic year.
Another issue to consider when applying for a Pell Grant is the type of institution. State colleges and universities are often less expensive than private colleges. Pell Grants are available to Universities, private colleges and community colleges. The community college system is often the least expensive and can be used to earn Associate degrees and have many of the credits then be applied to a four-year institution. By using the Pell Grant to pay many of these expenses the student can thus earn a degree that can be used to secure employment that can then be applied to the continuing education process.
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution (EFC); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.
Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.
Scholarships and grants, collectively known as financial aid, can really boost the financing that you have behind you and can make all the difference between eating and starving. A scholarship or Student Grant can give you the funding you need to make sure that you get through college in one piece and go on to forge a successful career on the back of obtaining your degree.
There are various packages available to individual students out there and some providers actually offer several scholarships rather than just the one for students to literally fight over. There is a variety of ways or an individual to benefit from a scholarship. They come in a variety of guises, including athletic, federal and school scholarships, so you could feasibly apply for several, and that may give you a better award ratio! The award of even the smallest scholarship would enable you to avoid at least a little stress on your finances. You may still have to work through college but would have that little bit to fall back on if need be.
The main function of a scholarship is to enable an individual to make it through college unscathed. Some come out with huge debts so this is not always possible. However, at least you would have a base to work from, you could figure out a budget to stick to and work from there if you did happen to come into some money along the way. Unlikely as this scenario may ultimately turn out to be, dreaming for a little while can at least make you forget the financial burden that you may well be carrying after a while!
Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. School Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based. School Grants and scholarships can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization.
Any practicing U.S. teacher, counselor, or education support professional employed by a public school, including public higher education institutions, is eligible to apply for a grant from the Foundation. Educators in the Department of Defense school system are also eligible to apply. Full time administrators, such as principals, assistant principals, and school district staff, are not eligible.
Education support professionals can be classified as: para-educators, school bus drivers, maintenance and custodial staff, food services staff, school nurses and student services workers, clerical and office assistants, school security officers, and technicians.
Although you may serve public school students through a community-based after school program, parochial school, or in some other setting, you are only eligible to apply if you are employed (and paid) by the local public school district. If your school is listed as part of the system on the district's web site you are probably eligible to apply.
If you are looking to open a business of your very own, you are not alone. Every year more and more people make the decision to stop working to make other people rich and to start their own businesses. For most of them, having the start-up capital that is needed is harder than one might think.
Small business grants are often a hot topic with new business people with a small amount of money and little access to other capital. We have all seen the many media claims about "Free Government Grant for Small Business." It seems all too easy to get these days. Of course, if it were really that easy, all you would have to do is find a government small business grant to apply for, apply and before you knew it you would have the money to grow your business.
Most government departments do not provide any grants for help in starting a small business. Grant programs are available through state programs and other groups as well. The grant programs are often awarded to people in fields such as medicine or education, and they all have specific eligibility criteria.
The process of finding a small business grant program to apply for and reviewing the requirements to getting is very time consuming.
Eligibility can be based on your location, and your business’ sales revenue to the application date, years in business, sex, race, and even for the purpose of funding.
Great Businesses were Planned that way!
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