As an entrepreneur, you may have an idea or project but find it difficult to fund its implementation. Thinking about using other people’s money to build wealth or fund your business is prevalent in such situations.
Soliciting grants appears to be the best alternative for keeping you off the mortgage, as they do not demand payback.
Business grants are offered by different organizations or institutions based on the project goals and objectives.
The coronavirus pandemic negatively impacted businesses, with some collapsing leading to loss of jobs. However, to recover the economy, several organizations and institutions have introduced grants to support companies and individuals to grow their businesses.
If you have a project but funding it is a problem, business grants create a solution. Keep reading to find out about the importance of using grants to fund your business and build wealth.
A grant refers to funding given to an individual or entity for a given purpose, by an organization, institution, or charitable foundation. Grants are earned based on the project benefits or end results to the public.
Business grants are awarded to businesses with the aim to expand and improve the socio-economic well-being of the public. They are offered when the issuing organization set aside money for a certain area of concern, like youth or women empowerment.
Apart from business grants, there are research and education grants that help in upskilling, special group grants, and community development grants that help in empowering society.
To earn a grant, make sure your project or business is eligible – set up clear goals and objectives that align with the purpose of the grant.
For instance, show what your project or business can do or is doing to respond to issues in the community, like offering employment opportunities, conserving the environment among others.
In your proposal, include evidence of the growing need in the community, the project solution, and the intended benefits to the target group.
Last but not least, highlight your business capacity and expertise to deliver the set objectives.
This involves describing the relevant skills, qualifications, and experience, the structure of the organization, cum business management, and leadership.
The following steps can help you earn a business grant;
Gaps exist in the community based on socio-economic and political factors. There is a need to empower young people, women, reduce unemployment among others.
You should focus on the demographics, history, political status, civil participation, geography, assets, and previous concerns to find out the exact need.
Other factors you can use to assess the community needs include what they value, what stakeholders think about it, barriers towards addressing the issues, among others.
Take advantage of the internet and media announcements to look for relevant grant opportunities based on the existing gap/project goals.
Look for available grants from government agencies, private foundations or donors, corporate foundations, or businesses.
There are grants targeting issues related to poverty, education, health, agriculture, environment, among others – which can be earned when well researched based on the business goals.
Develop a framework on how to achieve the intended results. Show what kind of activities the project will undertake to offer solutions to the community's needs.
Outline the project goals and objectives. The strategies you will employ in achieving these goals should be clearly stated.
For example, creating employment for youth in the community. This is a goal that can be achieved by showing the exact number of young people working on your project.
After you have identified the need and set the framework to implement the project, clearly outline the budget. Show the exact amount of funding required for each activity involved in the project.
For example, the budget could include the amount for remunerations, travel, equipment, among other logistical requirements.
Outline all sources of funding including individual savings, local funding, membership, in-kind support among others. The budget plan should include every cost in detail.
When you find grants that are relevant to your business concept, you should make contact with the issuers. Make it a point to communicate with these organizations on a regular basis about your project and its intended outcomes.
Communicating with grant issuers allows you to learn about upcoming grants and how to prepare winning bids. Reach out to potential grant issuers via social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and email.
When you receive a grant to help you grow your business, you have a better chance of achieving your financial goals. Grants are available and have a number of advantages over other forms of funding. Here are some of the benefits of grants:
Have you ever heard of free money? Grants are non-repayable funds provided by institutions to organizations or individuals for business development. Once you've received a grant, you're free to run your business without having to worry about interest or repayment terms.
You stand a good chance of receiving substantial grants if you have a compelling business plan with SMART goals and objectives. As a result, grants are one of the most appealing sources of capital for many businesses.
Grants are easily accessible. What you require is a business or project that you intend to run. You can get ahead of the game by using the internet and other media outlets to find out where, when, how, and who to approach for funding.
Depending on the type of project you are or plan to operate, grants can be obtained from government institutions, private organizations, charity foundations, enterprises, and institutions.
Once you receive your first grant, you significantly boost your chances of receiving additional funding in the future. The way you use the funding to build your business and achieve your goals will also serve as an eye-opener to other organizations willing to support you.
When applying for another grant, state that you have previously received support from another donor. With the achievements you made, you stand a chance to earn it owing to your dependability and trust.
When your business or project is considered credible, the brand visibility penetrates every corner of the market. You improve this image when you use grants to fund its success – like improving your operations, ideas, and strategies.
The money you get can be used to leverage changes related to technology, marketing and make service delivery efficient.
Grants are extremely important for the development of any business or startup. With this type of support, you can explore your business's potential and increase working capital for more efficient business operations.