You’ve probably seen the fliers in your mail box, messages in your email inbox, and commercials aired on late night TV – promises of government grant money available promising free money from grants to help fund your business. The monetary amounts available range from a few thousand dollars to six figures funded by government and non-government institutions as well as private organizations.
Well, I for one think it’s time to expose the myth of free grant money for entrepreneurs once and for all.
The truth is most organizations offering legitimate grant funding to small businesses go to great lengths to target specific groups, industries, types of organizations and activities. They are offering money to everyone with a business idea.
The Small Business Association (SBA) has been known to bestow grant funding to non-profits and education-based organizations, and a few financial institutions may show preference to certain non-profit organizations when approving funding.
There are very few real grant funding opportunities out there, and even if you’re lucky enough to latch on to a legitimate opportunity, most grants only cover a very small portion of what you may need to start and operate your business. Grants are not designed to cover 100% of the cost of running a business.
Exercise caution when it comes to grant funding promises following the advice from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Do not pay for services promising to secure a grant or loan for your business in exchange for payment.
- Investigate organizations claiming to provide grant and other funding resources thoroughly via the Better Business Bureau and Google search to find out if there have been any complaints reported.
- Don’t assume that just because an organization has the money to run advertising and marketing campaigns in print publications or online that the company is operating legitimately.
If you’re interested in researching existing grant funding opportunities, the following links may helpful:
U.S. Small Business Association
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
JB4 (For residents in the U.K)
Muslimahs Working at Home was created to provide women with a financial alternative to earning an income outside of the home. Our objective is to share resources and tools needed to operate a successful, home-based business.