In general, grantors want to be sure that the money is put to genuine use, so, they prefer companies that have been in business. They do not often give grants to individuals. Although business grants are 'free money", the grantors have some expectations regarding the use of the money. Business grants may or may not have a specific deadlines for application. You've to do a thorough homework in order to meet all the requirements of any given grantor.
There are very few US government grants for small businesses or start ups. Most US grants are for States, government agencies and educational purposes. Find detailed information regarding US government grants. On the other hand, state and local counties may have various grants and low interest loans for small businesses in order to grow their economy.
Best Places to Find Business Grants
Private Business Grants
There are a lot of private grants for nonprofits and a few business grants for starting a business. Various foundations provide grants to businesses,
Ford Foundation provides various business grants.
Free Search for business grants from US foundations
Foundation Center provides information on both US business grants and international business grants for NGO'S. Foundation Center offers a subscription to its extensive database of grants to individuals, small businesses, nonprofits as well as to international seekers. However, you may get a free copy at your local library.
In addition, there are a number of business contests that help startups and small businesses to gain marketing exposure as well as obtain free business grants. Please visit this page frequently as we update the contests that are available according to their availability period.
Another way of getting funds and free marketing for your business is to participate in business award programs. Similar to business contests, there's a deadline for these awards..You've to read and follow the rules.
Cartier Women - This award is open to women world wide. Contest ends March 8th
Business Plan Competition
The business plan competitions are of ten run by universities for their students. However, more and more these competitions have opened their doors to the public. The intensity involved in submitting a business plan for these competitions help businesses that get involve have the a greater likelihood of running successful businesses in the future even if they don't win any free business money.
Global Student Entrepreneur Awards - The organization provides a competitive business award to students in high school or college who've their own business. All participants who are selected to participate in the competition receive feedback from the panel.
The Rice Business plan competition - Participate in a Business plan competition.for graduate level students around the globe.and earn business funding from venture capitalists.
Free Business Funding - others
Shell LiveWire - Free business money for entrepreneurs and startups in UK who have been in business for up to 12 months (or need funding to get started). Grant include £1,000 cash and business marketing. ON a rolling monthly basis. Entrepreneurs age limit - 16 - 30.