If you were with us at our Florida Roadshow, you were treated to a great session by Dr. Michael Lucchesi, the Director of Grant Development for Northwest Florida State College. Dr. Lucchesi was gracious enough to share some grant information as well as resources with us that we have shared below. Please let us know if you have any to add by leaving us a comment.
National Association for the Self-Employed: This is a nonprofit association that’s a good resource for all small-business owners. It provides educational resources and grants, and in 2015, it will have awarded more than $48,000 in grants to small businesses. To apply for a grant of up to $4,000, you’ll need to become an active member of the association, provide a detailed explanation of how you’ll use the funds, show how the grant will support your business growth, and provide some supporting documentation.
FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program: Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
Minority Business Development Agency: This agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce promotes the growth of minority-run small businesses by connecting owners to financing resources, federal contracts and market opportunities.
Operation HOPE Small-Business Empowerment Program: This program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs in low-wealth neighborhoods, which often include minority communities. It provides access to small-business financing options, as well as help with setting up a business plan and financial statements, credit counseling and educational resources.
Open Meadows Foundation – The Open Meadows Foundation is a grant-making organization for projects that are led by and benefit women and girls. It funds projects that reflect the diversity of the community served by the project in both its leadership and its organization; that build community power. Their focus is on nonprofit charter schools.
The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program – Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
Wal-Mart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE): As part of a huge Wal-Mart initiative, sourcing opportunities for U.S. and international companies will increase to $40 billion over five years.
Interested in getting into the business of grant writing? Here are some resources to check into:
• Grant writing 101
• Grant writing for Dummies
• The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need: Top Grant Writers and Grant Givers Share Their Secrets (Paperback)