Small Business Start up Grants
Best places to get grants for business or ideas (2022)
Obtaining a grant is one of the best and easiest ways to fund your business ideas. It is the same as getting free money to boost your business.
There are many organisations that offer grants in Nigeria, Africa and globally.
Another option of funding your business is a loan but with loans, you have to pay back and also pay with interest so grants are a far better option especially is you are just trying out your business idea for the first time.
It gives you peace of mind to build and grow your ideas. Also who wouldn’t like to get free money to fund their small business.
In this article we will explore 10 different grant options where you can get small business start up grants to bring your ideas to life.
Best places to get small business start up grants
- Ford Foundation grants.
- The Rockefeller foundation grants
- AXA Research Fund’s grants
- African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) grants
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) grants
- World Bank grants
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants
- Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Grant
- Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) grants
- United States African Development Foundation (USADF)
What is a grant?
Grants are funds given to individuals or businesses to support their development without the benefactor having to pay back.
Grants are given by governments, non governmental organisations, large organisations and wealthy individuals for different purposes.
The good thing about grants is that you will never have to pay back.
What is the difference between a grant and a loan?
Grants and loans are different for a few reasons and you may want to consider these reasons before deciding on the option that suits you.
Thy both have their advantages and we will look at them below.
Availability: Loans are more available than grants. You can get a loan anytime and lenders are numerous. Grants are not always available. Sometimes they are available once or twice a year and are a bit hard to find.
Payment: Loans require you to pay back after a period of time with interest. Grants do not. They are like a gift and are non repayable.
Opportunities: Loans give you more opportunities to fund your small business ideas. There are several banks, individuals, microfinance and different organisations that offer loans.
But grants are very limited as there are fewer organisations that offer them. Grants are mostly given by international organisations, philanthropists and government.
Collateral: Some loans require collateral before you can obtain them. The collateral is taken over if the loan is not paid back after the stipulated period. Grants do not require any collateral.
Risk: There is no risk associated with grants because you are not required to pay back.
But when you collect a loan there are risks. If you don’t pay back the loan on time, you may fall into trouble and the chances of you getting another loan may be reduced greatly.
How to apply for small business start up grants
The fact that a grant is free and non refundable does not mean that you can just apply for any and every grant out there.
Here are a few things you need two consider before you shoot your shot and increase your chances of getting that grant.
Before you seek out a small business grant, you have to be very prepared. Ask your self these questions.
Why do you need the grant? What is the business plan? How will it help your business? If the grant is to start up a new business from scratch, you need to have a clear plan or blueprint on ground.
You need to know that grants are only given to individuals or businesses whom the giver believes will be successful and make a big impact.
You have to be prepared enough to convince the giver that you truely deserve the grant.
You need to check if you are eligible for a grant before applying else you may be wasting your time.
Some grants are specific to some locations so you need to be sure it covers your location before applying.
Others are limited to scope like agricultural grant, small business grant, health grant, research grant and so on.
When you apply, make sure your business is in one of the categories that grant covers.
Some grants may require some criteria before you can access. Such as some documents of your business, years in business or anything in particular.
Check all their requirements and make sure you have them. Also get the ones you don’t have. This improves your chances of getting that grant.
Submit your application
After fulfilling all the necessary requirements, you can proceed to submit your application for the grant.
Visit their website and carefully follow all the necessary steps and make sure all the information you provide is correct.
If it requires you to visit an office or mail the documents then do so. After that you wait for their reply.
Best places to get small business start up grants.
Here are places to get grants in you business ideas:
Ford Foundation grants.
The Ford Foundation is one of the most famous philanthropic organisations globally. It was established in 1936 and the foundation offers grants to organisations in Africa, Asia, United States, Latin America and the Middle East.
The Ford Foundation had given out over $16.3 billion in grants worldwide since it was established.
It focuses on initiatives aimed at reducing poverty and injustice, promoting democratic values and advancing human knowledge.
The Rockefeller foundation grants
The Rockefeller Foundation is a private foundation interested in making the world a better place. Its headquarters is in New York.
The foundation offers grants aimed at solving various problems facing our world.
AXA Research Fund’s grants
The AXA research Fund gives grants to outstanding researchers committed to contributing to global societal challenges related to Data &Technology, Health & Life, Economics and Climate & Environment.
AXA Research Fund grant is a creation of The AXA Foundation. The organisation has provided grants up to €179 million to 563 research projects in 35 countries including, Nigeria, South Africa and many other African countries as of 2018.
African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) grants
The African Women’s Development Fund is a grant making foundation that supports local, national and women’s organisations working toward the empowerment of women in Africa and realisation of their rights.
You can apply for their grant if your organisations ideas are related to women empowerment and promotion.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) grants
The international Monetary Fund offers grants to nonprofit organisations that are working to help the poorest and disadvantaged individuals to emerge from very low income, detrimental, socially dependent and dysfunctional circumstances. They offer an average grant of $10,000.
World Bank grants
The World Bank offers grants to businesses and entrepreneurs globally. Most of their grants are in partnership with governments.
In order to access World bank grants, you should be up to date with all the news relating to the latest World bank grants in your country.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was created in 2000 as a philanthropic organisatioffersh the goal of improving the quality of life globally.
It is available globally but it has a very large presence in Africa. The foundation is owned and funded by Billionaire, Bill Gates and his ex wife, Melinda Gates.
The foundation gives grants to organisations in Africa and the United States who offer solutions to global problems.
The grant focuses more on humanity. Agricultural grants are also offered regularly.
The foundation was reportedly worth US$50.7 billion in assets as at 2017, making it the largest privately owned philanthropic organisation in the world.
Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Grant
The Center for International Private Enterprise is a non profit, private sector organisation that offers financial support in form of grants to non governmental businesses.
Chambers of commerce, trade association, employers federations and private enterprise oriented research groups throughout the world.
These grants are made directly to non-US business organisations on private basis without any government intervention.
In 1983, CIPE was designated by the United States congress as the business representative in the bipartisan National Endowment for Democracy program.
The goals of CIPE include: Helping build independent business organisations or increase the grounds of business talent in developing countries and other objectives.
Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) grants
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund is a development organisation that gives grants to entrepreneurs and businesses across Africa.
The goal of AECF is to stimulate growth in the private sector across Africa. The AECF fund is worth $356M and is donated by several international partners including the Canadian, Australian governments among others.
The AECF offers grants and non-interest loans to African businesses and entrepreneurs with the brightest innovative ideas that are mainly focused on renewable energy, financial services, agriculture, agribusiness, access to information and adaptation to climate change.
A competition is organised where businesses and entrepreneurs are invited to present their ideas and solutions.
United States African Development Foundation (USADF)
The United States African Development Foundation is an independent agency of the U.S that was created to provide financial and technical aid to African enterprises.
The USADF provides grants up to $250,000 for enterprise expansion, operational assistance and market linkage to young businesses in agriculture, energy and youth-led enterprises that benefit Sub-Saharan African communities.
The grant focuses more on youth and women in agriculture.