Are you looking for free money or grants for your organization? If YES, here are 7 SURE steps to getting free money from the government without needing to pay back. If you are in business or perhaps are a student, you could also be out of job; know that there are opportunities for you to access free funding from the government of your country.
Government usually has a way of giving back to her citizens and they do it in an organized way. No government goes out to the street and start distributing free money to people – rather they have modalities in which they operate whenever they want to give out free money. Free money from government comes in different forms, different amounts and also for different group of people.
For instance; if you are an aspiring entrepreneur or you own a start – up business, you can access free grants and support from the government of your country. As a matter of fact, if you choose to start a new business in a specific industry that enjoys the support of government, you will automatically get free financial support from the government of your country.
Normally new businesses in the recycling industries, agriculture industries or NGOs that operate in consonant with government policies usually attract free money. Likewise, if you are a student, you can get free money in form of scholarship or bursary from the government of your country. Over and above, there are several ways one can get free money from the government of your country all you need to do is to ensure that you have all the required documentation that will qualify you to access free money from the government.
Now let us quickly consider 7 sure – fire tips that will help you get free money from the government of your country;
7 SURE Steps to Get Free Money from the Government
1. Be Sure That You Qualify
Whilst there are numerous government platforms that offer grants to business owners, not all types of businesses qualify for these grants. Although there may be a few exceptions, most of the grants are awarded to businesses involved in research and development, higher education, community projects, non-profits, high technology and innovations, agriculture and environmental protection.
There are also government grants targeted towards specific sectors of the economy like government grants for the minority, government grants for African Americans, government grants for women, widows and so on. The Government gives out these free monies to businesses whose solutions would make a significant impact on the improvement of the quality of life of its citizens.
So before you start exploring government grants, make sure your business is a very innovative and significant one. If you are looking for free money to pay off your debts or cover operational expenses of a ‘regular’ business enterprise, it is unlikely that you will get it from the government for free. You can explore government backed small business loan options from the Small Business Administration (SBA) instead.
2. Get the Required Documentation
If you don’t possess the required immigration status or residence status, you will not qualify for free money from the government of the country that you are residing. The first thing that you should do if you are itching for some money from the government of your country is to ensure that you have your international passport or any document (driver’s license or national ID card).
Also, if your tax clearance is available then that may be an added advantage. You can visit the local government office in your community to get details of what is expected of you as a residence before you can be qualified for support from the government. This is important because sometimes the federal government channel this free money through the office of the local government.
3. Research on Areas of Business / NGOs or Field of Studies That Attract Free Money from the Government of Your Country
There are areas of business or field of studies that usually attract free funding from government. For example, if you are into any form of recycling business, you will attract free money from government. If you are into agriculture related business you can as well attract free money from the government of your country. It is a way to encourage entrepreneurs to work in tandem with government policies.
In some countries, students are encouraged to study technology related courses, nursing and medicine or agric related courses and the government usually prepare grants for those who eventually choose to study these courses. The courses might be different from one country to another or from government to another government. The bottom line is to ensure that find out the field of studies that can easily attract free money from the government of your country.
4. As an Aspiring Entrepreneur, Register Your Business and Obtain the Needed Tax Payers ID.
As an aspiring entrepreneur; if you want to access free money / grant from the government it is important to register your business, open a corporate account for the business, and maintain proper and clean financial record and also to obtain your tax payer ID.
If you have all this in place, it will go a long to position you to ensure that you are prepared to manage the financial resources when it is given to you and also it will give you an edge over other competitors that will equally apply for free government money.
5. Search for Government Grants
Government grants can be divided into three major categories – federal, state and local government grants. The first step to take before you start applying for grants is to search for, and identify the different types of grants under the three categories mentioned above. You can always get regular information about available grants to apply for on the platforms listed below:
Grants.gov is where you will find a comprehensive list of all the grants administered by the various government agencies.
To start searching for available grants, visit the home page and go to the “Apply for grants’ page, then click on ‘Applicants”. You’ll see a lot of grants that you can apply for. Don’t forget to pay attention to the closing dates of these offers so that you can apply before the closing dates.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs(STTR)
These are also grants issued by the federal government but they are awarded specifically to scientific research and technological innovation programs.
They also have other eligibility requirements that you must meet up with especially regarding the number of employees, and size of the company. For example, your business must be for profit, and must have no less than 500 employees. You can check their official website to find out other eligibility requirements.
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
This grant is issued by the U.S Department of Commerce to support economic growth and encourage entrepreneurship in the country. The grant is administered on a state level and is awarded for starting new businesses.
Apart from offering business financing, the EDA also assists with technical and business support. You can visit its official website to learn how to apply for the grant for your business.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
SBDC grants are usually awarded by the state economic development agency or state university. They also offer other business support apart from financing. They help to connect business owners with mentors, offer trainings and other assistance to help them grow their businesses.
If you are a woman, you can get a grant to fund your business idea through the innovateHER annual business competition for women.
Three Women with the most innovative business ideas are awarded grants for their businesses; the winner goes home with $40,000, while the second and third finalists go home with $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. On these platforms, you should be able to find a grant program that you qualify for.
6. Look Out For Opportunities for Free Monies from the Government of Your Country
From time to time government usually advertise whenever they want to give out grants to businesses or whenever they want to give out scholarship to students. If you are looking towards getting free money from the government of your country, ensure that you visit government’s official websites or their office regularly to keep tab on when they will advertise their grant programs. You can also keep tab with the National Dallies or National TV stations; they will also advertise via this medium.
7. Write Your Grant Proposal
Your grant proposal goes a long way in determining if you will get a grant or not. These programs are usually very competitive with hundreds or thousands of business owners competing for the grants too, so it’s important for you to send out a good grant proposal that will represent you well and improve your chances of getting the grants.
It helps to hire a professional grant proposal writer for around $100, to help you write something professional but if you can’t afford it, you can search for templates and resources online for writing a good grant proposal. A good grant proposal should have:
A Cover Letter
The cover letter is a summary of everything in the grant proposal. It should be enticing enough to make the reviewers want to read further, and it should also provide basic information about your business and why you need the funds.
The body of your grant proposal should provide an assessment of your business goals, its contributions to the society, funding requirements, and an analysis of what you plan to do with the funds if you win the grant.
Your grant proposal should also have a detailed project outline to show specific details and timeline for utilization of the cash you would be awarded.
Professional Qualifications and Experience
Your grant proposal should show that you and your team are well qualified and have the required experience to steer the business towards the path of success.
Don’t forget to include any documents that can help to back all your claims and prove your need for the grant.
It is important to avoid being overly ambitious when writing your grant proposal. Make sure you are giving a convincing explanation for why you need the money, and make sure you demonstrate the benefits and positive impacts that the business will have on the economy and the citizens of the country.
8. Be Prompt in Sending in Your Applications and Also Ensure You Support It the Needed Documents
Although, the government is willing to give out free monies to entrepreneurs and students doesn’t not mean that they will give such money to whoever apply for it; there is a modality but in place to screen applicants. In most cases those who are among the first set of people to apply (early birds) usually have some form of advantage over turn in their applications late.
In essence, in order to maximize your opportunity to get free money from the government of your country, ensure that you are prompt in sending in your applications. Before mailing your application ensure that you attach all the supporting documents as requested.
9. Polish Your Presentation Skills In case You Are Required To Pitch Your Business Idea
Don’t forget to prepare for an interview too. Most of the time, you would be required to attend a face-to-face or telephone interview where you would have to defend your proposal. Along with a well-written grant proposal, this is one of the factors that will determine whether you’ll be awarded the grant or otherwise.
In some instance as a means of screening applicants, you will be required to pitch your business ideas. You may have a fantastic business idea but if you cannot communicate the idea to stakeholders, you might not get free money from the government.
10. As a Student Ensure That You Maintain Good Grades and Character in School
Yet another way to access money from the government if you want to get free money – is via scholarship from the government as a student, you must ensure that you maintain good grades and good character in school. This is important as that is some of the laid down yardsticks you must meet.
Now, you know that getting good money from the government is a not a herculean task. Rather, you have got to work towards it to meet the requirements.