Is Your Business Eligible for a Government Grant?

Nonprofits are not the only businesses eligible for grants. For-profit companies also receive grants based on their idea and work. For example, a company called Canopy Apps received $2M in grant funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to develop translation technology for medical professionals working with patients who don’t speak English.

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Of course, it is not easy to find (and receive) local, state and federal grants. It involves a lot of time re-working your business plan to put into an application format. “You have to have a revolutionary idea, incremental ideas don’t work,” says Jerrit Tan, CEO of New York City based Canopy. It has to be almost a crazy idea but within a reason.

If you can quantify the impact of your idea, it makes it easier. “Make it clear how big the impact of the problem you want to solve is,” says Amy Baxter, an Atlanta pediatric emergency doctor who in 2009 scored $1.1M in NIH funding for Buzzy, a pain-blocking device used for administering injections to children.

One thing is for certain in searching for an obtaining grants—you will need to put in time. For large federal grants, expect to spend several months preparing an application. It’s not a fast process, and it might take time for payments to arrive. Be sure to seek out the right opportunities for your business. Some grants may be more trouble than benefit. Some big payouts have restrictive stipulations on how the money can be used.

Don’t discount the smaller grants. They might have less stringent application and spending requirements.

One important aspect of application is to get external feedback. Run through your application with as many people as you can. As more eyes look at the proposal, they can find hidden flaws in the application which you might miss.

Have you ever applied for a grant? If yes, do you have tips for those considering applying for a grant? Share your thoughts and feedback here!

For more information, visit: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230830.

Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!

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