Today's Top TipOnline business plan scams are alive and doing very well. There's even a new wrinkle: the "crowd funding". Trust me, no one makes money but the promoters in this scheme.
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It would be great if there were thousands of grants for starting a business. But there just aren't.
And grants/gifts are not given to "help business". These monies are given to help something else, usually a disadvantaged segment of the community, or some kind of social need that has gone unmet.
For example, grants are given to
... and lots of other reasons. None of those reasons says "to help business." But in fact, each and every one of them DOES help business.
"Combat poverty" could mean companies that go into a blighted area and create shopping malls, train workers and refurbish buildings. Each of those tasks needs real companies behind them.
"Provide education" could mean schools, often private companies, to provide education for everything from car mechanics and data processors.
"Provide health services" can mean setting up clinics in poorer neighborhoods.
"Rebuild areas ravaged by storms" entails all types of construction and aid facilities.
The way that grants are structured is that the monies come to a company ON THE CONDITION that those monies are used to help someone else. That is true whether you are looking for grants to start a business or grants for an established business.
If, on the other hand, you truly have your heart set on a boutique downtown, there are few, few business grants you will ever find.
Sometimes there are government listings for available grants. Sometimes a grant service can help you locate appropriate grants. And sometimes you will need to create your own proposal and present it to prospective funding groups/agencies.
Let's be honest. Multi million dollar grants go to very large companies with lots of experience. But smaller grants are available for smaller companies, working on smaller projects. For example,
Instead of providing training services for drop outs from 20 high schools in your area, set up your program to serve just the drop outs from the one school that is most needy.
Instead of setting up child care services for the whole slum area, set up one child care center to serve one specific group.
Let your successes demonstrate how good you really are. Then, and only then, go after larger grants.
Grants for starting a business work very much like loans. The more success you can prove, the greater your chances of getting either a grant, or a loan.
Go in with experience.
Go in with a strong advisory board.
Go in with a real plan that will accomplish real goals.
You can do this! It is not easy, but it is doable.
J. Helen McAllister
Business Funding Specialist
Many of life's failures are people who did not
realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas Edison, Inventor
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