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Any tips or guidance on chances of getting a grant approved for my small business?

Veteran

Luis Zaragoza Winter Garden, FL

Hello, I recently launched a fitness clothing company that goes by the name "Fit Froggie" (www.fitfroggie.com). You can find out more about it on my website. At this very moment, I am working through the registration process. Before I look into getting a loan for my business, I would like to see if I can get approved for any grants first. Any help or direction you can provide in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

Please accept my thanks in advance!

Luis Zaragoza

3 August 2022 4 replies Small Business

Answers

Advisor

June Webb Washington, DC

Luis,

Try GoFundMe. It’s a great platform to write you mission, story and your business intention to get support from people. You can use many social media outlet to launch the GoFundMe.

If you like, you can connect with me on Linkedin for more small business ventures fund raising ideas.

June Webb

17 August 2022 Helpful answer

Advisor

David Eastman Gresham, OR

Hello, Luis

First of all, thank you for your service. I have won grants for non-profit organizations and for start-ups, mostly in the high technology and life sciences area. It sounds like your clothing company is going to be a for-profit business and so your best bet is to go the Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov, and seek a start-up grant or loan from them to build and launch your company. Here are some other sources along that same line:

Personal Investment
Before seeking out any outside funds, you must go over your own finances and decide how much you can dedicate to your business. This includes how much money you have on hand, your assets and valuables you can offer as collateral. The majority of funding options all require lenders to carefully look over your personal finances to assess how risky it is to invest in you.

You must be honest about how much you can dedicate to your business. When you are presenting your business plan, lay out which parts of the budget you are already able to pay for, and which needs additional funding. The more you can fund your own project, the safer investors typically feel. It also shows you put a great deal of thought into your business and have enough faith in your abilities to risk your own money.

Friends and Family
Asking for funds from friends and family is informally known as love money. If you receive funding from your friends or family, you must be careful with how you accept the money. If the money is freely offered, this counts as a gift, which means you must report it to the IRS and pay gift taxes. The best way to get funding from friends or family is to phrase it as a loan.

Love money typically provides minimal funding for your company, but it can help with your initial startup costs. One of the hardest parts about requesting love money is separating yourself from your business. Do not get upset if your potential investors have doubts about your business or only want to provide limited funding.

Business Incubators/Accelerators
Business incubators are most commonly associated with tech startups, but they are available for other career paths as well. Business incubators typically do not provide direct funds to a business, but instead offer existing space or equipment. This greatly cuts down on your initial startup costs, allowing you to allocate funding to other areas.

Some incubators will charge reduced fees, while others ask for payment at the end of your contract, once your business has a chance to grow. There are some incubators that instead ask for shares in your business when the contract ends. On average, incubators sponsor a small business for two years, but this may greatly vary based on your business.

Government Grants
Another option to get startup funds is through government grants. Government grants are divided into multiple categories, with many available solely to small businesses. How much funding is available greatly varies depending on the grant. Government grants are competitive and require a detailed business proposal to even be considered for funding. In addition to government grants, you can also check for state grants in your area. The process is similar, but slightly less competitive since you aren’t fighting with all the other small businesses in the United States for funding.

Crowdfunding
One of the newest methods to get startup funds for your business is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding involves running an online campaign, where individuals can view your project and donate funds. Some campaigns require you to meet your goal before any of the funds are released, while others allow you to withdraw funds the moment they are donated. In order to incentivize donations, you can provide different perks and rewards to your donators. This is normally done in tiers, with larger donators getting more rewards.

It can be difficult to predict how much you receive through crowdfunding. Some businesses receive the bulk of funding from a crowdfunding campaign going viral, while others only make a few hundred dollars. Because there is so much variance, small businesses typically secure other rounds of funding before launching a crowdfunding campaign.

Business Loans
Most businesses receive the bulk of their funds from a business loan. A business loan is similar to a personal loan. You must setup a repayment plan and determine interest rates with your lender. Banks and credit unions are primary sources of business loans, but you can also apply through private lenders. During the application process, your personal finances and credit score determine your rates and how much you can borrow. Most lenders expect a business presentation to explain what you need the funds for and how you expect your business to succeed.

Fundbox
Fundbox is an excellent lender for small businesses. You can prequalify for a loan online, which only requires a soft credit check. It only takes a few minutes to find out what types of loans you qualify for. Fundbox is also flexible with how much funding you request. Most other lenders have a set minimum you must borrow, making it difficult to secure a smaller loan. Because it is intended primarily for startups, you can only borrow a maximum of $100,000 from Fundbox.

Fundera
Fundera acts as a loan marketplace, connecting business owners to other creditors, including loans offered through the Small Business Administration. Fundera is a popular option because you can apply for multiple loans through a single application. This is not only a timesaver, but it means there are less credit checks on your account, which can negatively impact your credit score.

Kiva
Kiva is another lender intended for small businesses. Kiva specializes in microloans. These loans have no interest as long as you repay your loan within 36 months, but you can only borrow a maximum of $15,000. Kiva does not have strict eligibility requirements. The company even advertises itself as helping disenfranchised entrepreneurs who are normally denied financial assistance.

I hope this is helpful. You might explore a website called www.gust.com. Gust is where entrepreneurs go to register their start-up business online and that provides opportunity for you to meet angel investors, VC firms and investment bankers who might invest in your start-up to get it kickstarted. You can also go to the Angel Capital Association of America that keeps an exceptional database for outreach to angel investors.

Regards.

David F Eastman
Veteran, US Navy.

Veteran

Luis Zaragoza Winter Garden, FL

Thank you much Richard for the information.

Advisor

Richard Byrne Hillsborough, NJ

Log Onto the ACP website.
Go to the "Community" tab
Under the" Advisors" tab, select "Financial Services" from the "Refine By" pull down tab
Enter your zip code in the "near" box ie: 34778
Read the profiles, message an advisor.
Similarly, you might want to select "Small Business" or "General Business" from the "Refine By" pull down menu for additional searches.

Alternately, I've added links to information & videos under these sections of my EE webpage that might be useful to you:
http://eehot.com/ee.html#funding
http://eehot.com/ee.html#vosb - Veteran Owned Small Business
http://eehot.com/ee.html#sba - Small Business Admin
http://eehot.com/ee.html#mentoring
http://eehot.com/ee.html#networking
http://eehot.com/ee.html#infosec
http://eehot.com/ee.html#datascience
http://eehot.com/ee.html#training

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