Business Grants for Startups

By Fernando Berrocal

A grant is funding that is given to an individual or group in order to achieve a specific objective. Grants are essentially gifts, but with a catch: they must be used exclusively for the originally intended endeavor. Submitting a proposal explaining your project - and specifying how it will help you -  must be completed in order to qualify for a grant. Even though acquiring grants is a complicated task, with care and execution, it can be accomplished!

Business Grants

Generally, the term “business grant” means funding granted to a startup to aid in its growth. Governments, foundations, and corporations frequently award them. Since there is no obligation to repay, owners can’t trade them for equity. Certain categories of firms, including those in research, development, and technology, have exclusions. Many state awards come with matching grants that are specifically related to social or economic factors. This implies that you will have to provide an equal amount. Smaller firms can apply for locally funded grants that are less selective than states–but pay less. This might be a good investment approach if your startup supports the community in which it is located.

Venture Capital

Different Kinds of Business Grants

  1. Business grants for women.  According to research from the Kauffman Foundation, women make up 40% of first-time business owners. These female-launched firms have grown at a rate that is twice as fast as those owned by males. Today, more women than ever are launching startups; however, they don’t have the same opportunities. In the startup industry, just 2% of venture capitalist (VC) investments were awarded to female entrepreneurs. This indicates that before initiating a business, women should look for other financial sources. Female entrepreneurs in need of capital also have access to specific incubators and accelerators.  Both provide various forms of funding, office space, and mentorship. It is worth looking in your community–although many incubators and accelerators are located in large cities.  Women in business can also get funding from private sources. These include investors seeking to support firms exclusively run by women, equity investment platforms, websites for female crowdsourcing, and incubators and accelerators that only accept applications from women.

  1. Business grants for minorities and immigrants.  Though they are not specifically aimed at them, immigrant-owned small businesses have a number of incentives available to them. Refugees may have easier access to these subsidies than other demographics.  The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is operated by the federal government; it helps minorities to expand their startups, often through grants.

  1. Business grants for veterans.  Most grants for veterans are sponsored by the government.  Sometimes they are only offered for a brief period.  There are other veteran-specific opportunities worth noting, however; in addition to the numerous federal and state loans available for veteran-owned small businesses/startups, the government also offers various lending programs. Through these, veterans may apply for private loans.  Service members can also take advantage of training programs to hone their entrepreneurial abilities, or help them in the preliminary stages of starting their business.

Business Grants for Startups

  1. Government business grants.  Grants from the federal, state and municipal governments are also worth considering.  Federal grants are the most enticing option; frequently connected to a government entity, they have rigorous pre-requisites–and deliver the most cash. State grants, on the other hand, offer less capital. For some grants, the federal government may collaborate with states. Remember that local funds can still be acquired through personal relationships, even though smaller grants can be challenging. These awards frequently focus on enhancing your locality, and are a fantastic choice for startups that focus on contributing to their community. Some grants are more specialized than agency-specific grants. To identify the funds that best suit you, search Keep in mind that the Small Business Administration (SBA) manages the bulk of grants–however, they don’t manage the money. Partner organizations, such as local foundations, carry out that. The SBA, serves as a link between the government and its affiliate lending institutions.

Applying for a Grant for your Business

The ideal site to find a grant for your business is All government grants are available in that database; small business grants are sometimes featured.  ( offers a simple procedure for small business government grants.) Find out more about business grants by determining your eligibility, looking for grants, registering and submitting an application, and monitoring the status of your submission. will be the first step in applying for one; and finding out if you qualify. Finding out your startup's eligibility for federal funds is made possible by checking your eligibility.  This website provides you with a list of prerequisites, and will send you in the direction of additional resources to figure out if your business qualifies. The grants may then be found by typing in keywords, opportunity numbers, or using the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).  Your next step?  Register your business. Then, a business grant application can be made. You may select from a wide range of various application kinds (depending on how complex your business is).  An important note: remember to follow up on your application. Simply enter your tracking number, and you will be provided with all details regarding the progress of your application.

Don't forget: grants don't solely emanate from the public sector. You can apply for corporate funding. Finding private sector grants is as simple as using a search engine; use terms that best characterize your firm, followed by "business grants".  You might be surprised by the industry-specific incentives available to help your firm advance!

Ready to bring your startup to the next level? Apply to MassLight’s next batch. MassLight supplies capital and a dedicated tech team. We take equity in return. Have questions? Refer to our FAQ page.

About Us

Started in 2000 in Washington DC, Masslight has served the DMV for 18+ years. We serve enterprises and startups with full-stack development and long-term project management services.

Contact Us

masslight logo
©2019 MassLight Inc.
Website by Oneness Co-Creative