How can I find information about business/ education grants?
I keep finding sites that will sell info to me – is there anything out there that is a genuine directory and not a scam?
You don’t have to pay anyone for government grant information because the info is free. However, if you are looking for grants from private foundations, then you may need to pay for the information.
For education grants, check out Federal Student Aid Web Site or FAFSA http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ I suggest you explore all federal funding and grant options at the Federal Student Aid website http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/
You may also want to read the Handbook of the Pell Grant — this is an 86 page document that contains everything about the grant
Or you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center http://www.ed.gov/programs/fpg/gtepfpg.pdf at 1-800-433-3243 and ask them if there are any programs for you. Also check out Fastweb http://www.fastweb.com
It is hard to find grants to start a business. Unlike the myths that some perpetuate, federal government and even private foundations hardly give grant money for a for-profit business. And yes, grants mean PAPERWORK – lots and lots of it, that is why a cottage industry of grant writers was born.
Nonetheless, you can go to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) http://www.cfda.gov and Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov – these are two sites created by the federal government to provide transparency and information on grants. Browse through the listings and see if you can find any grant that would support a for-profit venture.
Even SBA does NOT give out grants. From the SBA website http://www.sba.gov/mostrequesteditems/CON_FAQ2.html
“The U.S. Small Business Administration does not offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs. (See http://www.sba.gov/financing for more information) While SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments.”
Here is a listing of federal grants for small businesses. See if there is any available for individuals for starting a business — THERE’S NONE.
Most of the federal grants are given to specific target groups with specific requirements (e.g. minority business owners involved in transportation related contracts emanating from DOT – Grant#20.905 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Short Term Lending Program
Grants are also often given to non profit groups or organizations involved in training or other similar activities (grant 59.043 Women’s Business Ownership Assistance that are given to those who will create women’s business center that will train women entrepreneurs
For private grants, you may want to check the Foundation Center’s Foundation Grants for Individuals Online http://gtionline.fdncenter.org . It’s a subscription based website ($9.95 per month) but their opening blurb only says that the database is ideal for “students, artists, academic researchers, libraries and financial aid offices.” Entrepreneurs are apparently not one of them, so I take it they also don’t have listings of private foundations who give grants to would-be entrepreneurs.