Starting your own business takes money, and unless you have a large amount of it or a huge line of credit, you are likely to struggle with taking this step.
This is not a rare problem in our time. A survey conducted by the British firm Ernst, Young, and the American company EIG showed that 42% of millennials cited a lack of cash as the biggest obstacle to starting their own business.
Millennials are not the only ones having trouble with this, as 30% of startups fail because they can’t generate cash during the first year.
Fortunately, there is a way to get money without having to resort to bank loans, or increase your debts, known as small business grants.
That is what we will be talking about in today’s article, so keep reading!
Small business grants are sums of money provided by private companies, non-profit organizations, and sometimes-even governments, to fund projects and start-ups without having to return the money.
This means that, as long as you have met the donor’s conditions and criteria, you will be able to obtain financing for your project without incurring any additional debts.
How do you get a grant to finance your project?
Obtaining a financial grant to finance your project is not easy, as it requires a lot of patience, determination and hard work, but it is not impossible, and if you follow the following three steps, you will undoubtedly be able to obtain a financial grant to finance your small business.
First: Find the right grant and get to know the donor better.
The first step in obtaining a financial grant for your project is to choose a grant that matches what you do and what you seek to achieve.
This is because donors often have a very specific conception of the projects they wish to fund. In order to gain their approval, the vision and goal of your project must be consistent with what the donor wants.
If you work in retail, do not apply for grants targeting technology innovation projects (unless your project provides a new technology service, for example).
And if you own a project that provides services to companies or what is known as B2B services, look for financial grants that target this type of project…and so on.
Here are some of the types of projects and startups you can find heavily funded grants:
Companies and projects owned by women.
Companies and projects owned by minorities (religious, ethnic, etc.).
Environmentally friendly projects or Green Businesses.
Rural projects, suburban businesses.
If your company or project falls into one of the above categories, you are more likely to find funding opportunities and donors than the other categories.
As you will explain in it how your project will develop in the future, and the goals that you want to achieve with the help of the financial grant that you may get.
Your business plan should begin with an executive summary, which brings together all the important points of your plan.
Make sure this summary is no more than two pages long.
Remember: the summary may be is the only part some grant committee workers read, so it should be all-inclusive.
Look at the following questions, the answers to which make a good blueprint for your business plan summary:
What is its importance? What product or service do you offer to customers, and how can receiving the grant help you achieve your goal?
Define your target market,
What are its demographic characteristics?
How do you seek to expand your business market if you receive the financial grant?
Give a brief explanation of how your project or company operates,
Also, explain why you chose the current location for your project.
State your expected income and the cash flow you expect to receive over the next three years. Provide a brief explanation of what your project or company will look like after the end of your grant term.
The rest is based on the executive summary you wrote at the beginning.
The latter is the roadmap for the entire action plan. The business plan should provide a detailed view of the parts mentioned in the summary.
Start by providing a full and more detailed explanation of your project, its goal, the benefit it brings to the client, and what you expect to achieve after receiving the grant.
Expand on the previous details and make sure to support them with graphs, in-depth research, and everything that proves your eligibility to receive the grant. Donors tend to fund projects that have a clear and forward-looking outlook.
So make sure your business plan makes this aspect of your project clear.
The other parts are no less important than the plan, so they should be completed to the fullest. It may seem more difficult than it actually is, but remember: as long as you have chosen a grant that perfectly matches your project, and your vision matches that of the donor, you will have no difficulty answering the questions in your application.
Read the application questions one by one, giving each question enough time to answer it.
Read the scholarship description carefully, and try to imitate the style of language used when answering the questions.
Use the same keywords specified in the description, as this method would make the giver feel that you understand exactly what they want and share their vision and goals with.
Make sure to attach all the supporting documents required of you.
There is nothing worse than making the effort to apply for a financial grant and then being rejected because your application was incomplete.
Where can I find donors to fund my business?
Well, now that you know the steps for obtaining a financial grant, you are now wondering:
Where can I find granting institutions to apply?
Of course, there are many private and governmental institutions, both local and international, that provide financial grants to finance various small projects and start-ups.
You can start registering on RealFreelancer.com, and browse the various financial grants available to individuals and companies, which are Updated constantly.
You can also do a quick web search for local companies in your country that offer financial grants. All you have to do is write on Google: “financial grants to finance business in…” and fill in the blank with the name of your country or the nature of your project.
As for international institutions that provide financial grants to different countries, there are also many, and the following are months:
1- USAID The United States Agency for International Development is an agency of the of USA. President John F. Kennedy founded it in 1961.
It seeks to provide economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world, as it manages many aid programs, the most important of which are:
The American Schools and Hospitals Abroad Program (ASHA) This program offers a number of highly competitive financial grants, to private universities, or Non-profit, schools, libraries and medical centers abroad.
Since its inception, the program has provided assistance to more than 257 institutions in more than 76 countries. This contributed to the development of the local communities in which these institutions are located. If your project falls into one of these categories, do not hesitate to apply for the program immediately.
The Food for Peace program, as the name expresses, seeks to provide funding to cooperating bodies (voluntary organizations, and international institutions) that seek to find solutions related to food security in the world, whether through five-year development projects or through programs Emergency food assistance.
Global Development Alliance The Global Development Alliance (GDA) is an outstanding model of public-private alliance aimed at improving social and economic conditions in developing countries. More than 600 public-private partnerships were concluded in 2006 and more than $4.8 billion was raised to be provided in the form of financial grants to various institutions and projects.
2- UNHCR Innovation Fund Innovation often comes with difficult circumstances and significant challenges. This confirms the saying: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
As the difficulties, obstacles and great challenges faced by refugees in all countries of the world often push them to seek to overcome them through innovative ideas and inspiring projects. Hence, the UNHCR Innovation Fund appeared, to support this group or projects aimed at improving their living conditions.
Areas of Funding The Fund finances projects and startups working in the following areas:
Data and Artificial Intelligence.
Modeling and simulation.
Culture and storytelling.
3. Australian Direct Assistance Program DAP The Direct Assistance Program or DAP is a flexible program financed by the Australian budget and administered through 66 regional offices located around the world.
As it is a non-profit grant program offered to individuals, local groups, non-governmental organizations, in addition to a number of other companies working in development and development activities in the countries in which the program operates, including a number of Arab countries: (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Morocco).
Categories of Funding Categories of funding covered by the Direct Assistance Program include vulnerable or disadvantaged groups (children and youth).
Projects that aim to reduce poverty and unemployment, improve health, and develop the education system. Infrastructure projects and rural development.
Projects that support people with special needs in order to improve their lives or participate in decision-making and development of their local communities.
If your project falls into any of the above funding categories, you can apply to any of the grant programs mentioned previously.
But if it’s different, that doesn’t mean, of course, that the doors are closed to you.
There are many other international and local institutions and companies offer financial grants in various fields. All you have to do is take some time to research and then start preparing your application. Alternatively, register on our site and see the various financial grants available, competitions and prizes that is may be a suitable source for obtaining the funding you need.