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How To Find and Apply For Small Business Grants

Person Looking For GrantsA simple search of the Internet will produce a wide assortment of grant funding opportunities. There are state and local organizations that want to help small business owners succeed in their entrepreneurial start-ups. However, caution is advised.  Do not believe every opportunity you see. There are many scammers out there who would like nothing better than to take the money right out of your hands during a time when you need the finances most.

According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a genuine online resource that serves as “a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $400 billion in annual awards” is Although this site does not exclusively include small business grants, there are valid opportunities available.

Women business owners may find the grants that they are seeking finances for through several web sites that are excellent grant resources. There, women entrepreneurs can access various grant opportunities both state by state, as well as by specific diverse group. The funds could either aid in the start up costs of a new business or help a business currently in operation to fund a new program.

If you happen to live in the United Kingdom or Ireland, J4B’s web site offers over 4,500 financial programs that include those pertaining specifically to small businesses. The site is updated daily and gives you the option to have updates sent to you via email when new grants arise that match your business needs. The web site also includes helpful information regarding deadlines and funding success, among other topics.



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Below are the top small business grant opportunities:


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grants
Provides millions in grant money every year to various non-profit organizations, communities, and occasionally - small businesses.


Caleb Brown Community Business Grant Program
Provides access to "seed money" and grants to assist urban professionals with starting businesses and rebuilding the community.

CDC Procurement and Grants Office
Awards grants and contracts to help accomplish its mission to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.


Dare to Dream Grant Program
Encourages students to move through the business creation process by offering business development seminars and up to $10,000 in funding.

Dept of Energy Industrial Technologies Program (ITP)
Provides about $50 million annually in cost-shared funding to manufacturers for research and development.

Dept of Labor Grants
Delegates grant and procurement authority through a decentralized procurement structure via several other government agencies.

DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Offers grant funding to provide training and other services to minority-owned and women-owned businesses to help them compete for highway contracts.


Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Grants
Every year, the MBDA organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round financing.

Microsoft Workforce Software Grants
Supports IT training and workforce development in underserved communities, and gives grants to non-profit community technology centers around the world.

Miller Lite Tap the Future® Business Plan Competition
Annual competition for minority entrepreneurs that gives away business grants to applicants who submit the best business plans. (Formally called MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series).


National Association For The Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants
Business owners can apply for a $5,000 grant useful for financing a particular small business need.


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Grants
Provides grants to companies and organizations that focus on improving the lives of people with disabilities.


Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program
Provides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas, to be used for land acquisition, etc.


E-Grants Initiative
Comprehensive online database of over 1,000 grant programs administered by the 21 federal grant-making agencies.


FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
Allows business owners and entrepreneurs to register and submit their business story and photos, get voted for, and be considered among the top 100 finalists and the winners.

FHLB Economic Development Program (EDP) Plus Grants
Designed to assist member bank institutions in providing capital to under-served areas or to under-served populations.


HP Life Grant Program
Offers training to students, aspiring entrepreneurs, and small business owners to harness the power of IT to establish and grow their business.

Huggies Mom Inspired Grant Program
Awarding grants and business resources to further the development of original product ideas and startup businesses.


Intuit "Love Our Local Business" Competition
Allows fans, including customers, vendors, employees, and the community, determine who deserves some love - in the form of financial assistance for their business.


Small Business Administration (SBA) Grants
The SBA and it's various initiatives award $2 billion in grant funding and loans to small high-tech businesses annually.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants
The SBA and it's various initiatives award $2 billion in grant funding and loans to small high-tech businesses annually.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants
Provides grants, fellowships, and research associateship opportunities to institutions and organizations in the field of environmental science.


VetFran Business Grant Fund
Provides veterans who own franchises with financial grants for business development, education, training, and/or technical assistance.


Women's Business Center (WBC) Grant Program
Provides technical assistance to women entrepreneurs, both new and established, in the areas of finance, management, and marketing, and other areas.



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